A U.S. Army Beechcraft King Air 300 has surpassed 50,000 flight hours, Textron Aviation announced this week. In service in a special-missions configuration with the Army since 2009, the preowned twin-turboprop originally delivered to a private company in 1987 is part of a larger fleet of the Army’s Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System aircraft, which provides troops on the ground with imagery and signals intelligence data.
“The King Air Model 300 platform has been a solid performer,” said Col. James DeBoer, project manager for the Army’s Fixed Wing Project Office. “The aircraft was utilized heavily in [Central Command] to fill capability gaps over the past decade. An aircraft that was able to reach 50,000 flight hours, with more than 30,000 hours in mostly austere environments, deserves recognition as do the soldiers who flew and maintained the aircraft, and those who stood at the ready to support its missions through parts replacement, repairs, and other requirements.”
Worldwide, nearly 7,600 King Airs have been delivered since 1964, with the global fleet surpassing more than 62 million flight hours. Additionally, the type has served roles in all branches of the U.S. armed forces.