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Upgraded Beechcraft King Air 250 gains FAA approval


Textron Aviation on Monday announced that the latest version of its Beechcraft King Air 250 has received type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.The latest version comes with a new Pro Line Fusion avionics system and new cabin enhancements. The certification clears the way for deliveries of the upgraded aircraft.

Beechcraft King Air 250 customers can now add the Rockwell Collins' Pro Line Fusion touch screen suite after the system achieved type certification for the twin turboprop. The introduction came only two months after Textron Aviation made its announcement that the King Air would transition to the new avionics platform.

Pro Line Fusion can be managed either through buttons on the FMS controller between the seats or by touching the 14-inch screens. The system includes the latest technologies, such as graphical touch screen flight planning, split screen options, electronic checklists and synthetic vision with Rockwell Collins' own airport dome graphics. Traffic and weather can be overlaid on the HSI on the PFD. The King Air 250 has a three-screen configuration and, while the left and right screens generally act as PFDs and the middle screen as an MFD, each screen is interchangeable making for an easy transition in case of a failure. Database updates can be completed for all three screens simultaneously wirelessly or by inserting a USB stick into a port on the center screen. The updates can also be done separately depending on customer preference.

Pro Line Fusion is also being incorporated into the King Air 350i/ER, the type certification of which is expected soon. Textron and Rockwell Collins are also working on integrating the system into the King Air C90GTx, expected in the first half of next year. King Air owners also have the ability to retrofit the touchscreen system, a process that is done through Rockwell Collins' dealers around the country. For airplanes with Pro Line 2 or Pro Line 21 avionics suites, the installation time is expected to be short, Rockwell Collins said. Textron Aviation also took the opportunity to update the cabin of the turboprops, adding conveniences such as Wi-Fi and dimmable window shades.

Wichita-based Textron Aviation also said in anews release that certification for the Pro Line Fusion-equipped King Air 350i/ER is expect in the fourth quarter, followed by the King Air C90GTx in the first half of next year.

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