General Aviation Beechcraft Denali completes first ground engine runs

Textron Aviation´s Beechcraft has announced, that its newest member, the Beechcraft Denali, has performed first ground engine runs.

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Textron Aviation has taken another step toward the first flight of its Beechcraft Denali turboprop aircraft. The latest vehicle to join the company´s portfolio has successfully completed initial ground engine runs with the new GE Aviation Catalyst turbofan.

The ground tests were performed with a Denali test bed aircraft on Textron Aviation´s west campus in Wichita in Kansas, United States. The tests verified, that the engine is working, as well as the fuel system and the avionics and electrical systems that are connected to the engine.

Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering, said: “These successful engine runs are a significant step toward the upcoming inaugural flight for the Beechcraft Denali, and they are a testament to the determination and collaboration from both the Textron Aviation and GE Aviation teams.”

At the beginning of August 2021, Textron Aviation announced to have moved the Denali turboprop from the Cessna brand to the Beechcraft brand. With these changes, Textron is enhancing the company´s high-performance turboprop product portfolio.

“The Denali features a technologically advanced engine that burns less fuel. It has an intuitive avionics suite that eases pilot workload and boasts the most spacious cabin in its segment. We are excited to get this aircraft into the hands of our eager customers,” Hearne added.

The engine used for the Denali is the GE Aviation Catalyst, which has now completed nearly 2,500 hours of testing. After these first ground tests, Beechcraft will now work on reaching the next steps toward aircraft certification.

For the upcoming months, the aircraft could take off to the skies for the first time, as the speed of successful tests already gained momentum over the last months. After the first engine was installed and powered up for the first time this Summer, two other test bed aircraft will receive the new engine.

Three additional ground test articles will then be used for the airframe static and fatigue tests, the manufacturer stated. Furthermore, cabin interior will be developed and tested. Textron Aviation said that it anticipates the certification of Denali in around two years.

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