Textron Aviation Inc., Wichita, Kansas, was awarded an $11,444,058 firm-fixed-price contract for new Beechcraft King Air 360ER aircraft. The 350ER (B300CER) is available to government, military and commercial customers for special mission operations such as aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection, and surveillance. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 26, 2025. Fiscal 2022 Foreign Military Sales (Sri Lanka) funds in the amount of $11,444,058 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
The Beechcraft King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by Textron Aviation. The King Air family has been in continuous production since 1974, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft in its class. It outlasted all of its previous competitors; the only other pressurized multi engine turboprop utility aircraft now in production is the Piaggio P.180 Avanti. Beechcraft currently offers the 250 and the larger 350i models. The King Air 350 is based on the King Air 300 with a 3.4 ft (1.0 m) span increase and winglets, a 2.9 ft (0.88 m) fuselage stretch for an over 17 ft (5.2 m) main cabin, long enough for double club seating.
By 1988, Beechcraft had begun work on the replacement for the 300, it was introduced in 1990 and initially marketed as the Super King Air 350. The Beechcraft KING AIR 360ER aircraft offers flexible, reconfigurable interiors, making them equally adept at accommodating passengers, cargo, air ambulance or other missions. The next King Air 360ER turboprop reduces pilot workload with standard features like the IS&S ThrustSense Autothrottle, which delivers precision control for optimized power output, including Overtorque/Overtemp protection for a more efficient takeoff. Digital pressurization automatically schedules cabin pressure on both climb and descent, increasing passenger comfort and further reducing pilot workload.
Beechcraft is a brand of Textron Aviation since 2014. Originally, it was a brand of Beech Aircraft Corporation, an American manufacturer of general aviation, commercial, and military aircraft, ranging from light single-engined aircraft to twin-engined turboprop transports, business jets, and military trainers. On December 26, 2013, Textron agreed to purchase Beechcraft, including the discontinued Hawker jet line, for $1.4 billion. The sale was concluded in the first half of 2014, with government approval. Beechcraft and Cessna would be combined to form a new light aircraft manufacturing concern, Textron Aviation, that would result in US$65M-$85M in annual savings over keeping the companies separate. Textron has kept both the Beechcraft and Cessna names as separate brands