General Aviation Beechcraft Denali performs maiden flight
The Textron Aviation Beechcraft Denali has successfully taken off to the skies for the first time.
Aviation group Textron Aviation was able to celebrate a new milestone with the Beechcraft Denali turboprop aircraft successfully performing its first flight. With the maiden flight done, the manufacturer will now focus on performing the flight test program that ensures maximum safety in everyday operations through various tests.
Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation, commented: “Today’s landmark flight is not only a significant occasion for the Denali, it’s a truly great moment for our employees, our suppliers and the customers who will be flying this aircraft.”
The first flight was piloted by Peter Gracey and Dustin Smisor, which are senior test pilot and chief test pilots at Textron Aviation respectively. The Denali took off from the manufacturer´s west campus at Eisenhower International Airport at 8:30 am and landed two hours and 50 minutes later at the same airport.
During the flight, the aircraft reached an altitude of 15,600 feet and attained speeds for around 180 knots. Main goal during the first flight was to control and test the aircraft´s overall performance, stability and control. Furthermore, the manufacturer tested systems like the avionics, flight controls and propulsion and environmental systems.
“With its more environmentally friendly engine and largest cabin in its class, this is an aircraft that will change the landscape for high-performance single-engine turboprop aircraft. Today’s flight is just the beginning for what we anticipate will be a long list of important accomplishments as we prepare the aircraft for certification and customer deliveries,” Draper added.
Peter Gracey said about the flight test: “From the beginning of the flight to the end, the Denali was simply flawless, Gracey said. It’s just a great aircraft to fly. The Catalyst engine was outstanding, and the aircraft performed to the levels we were anticipating. First flights really can’t go more smoothly than this. We are really off to an excellent start for the Denali flight test program.“
Over the coming months, Beechcraft will now perform more flights over the course of the flight test program. The manufacturer seeks to have the Denali certified in 2023 with customer deliveries commencing ideally the same year.
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