Textron Special Mission Beechcraft Join Wildland Fire Management


Textron Aviation announced it has delivered two Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service. The aircraft will perform wildfire mapping missions.

The Beechcraft King Air 260 is designed and manufactur­ed by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company.

“We are honored the U.S. Forest Service has added the King Air 260 to its fleet,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “Whether for the wildfire detection and mapping, resource management, aerial supervisio­n module/lead plane or air attack, the King Air continues to demonstrat­e its leadership in this mission. Customer faith in our legendary products and trust in our company and our team are at the core of our enduring relationsh­ip with U.S Forest Service.”

The King Air 260 aircraft have been modified for the installati­on of the latest infrared (IR) sensing technology, the Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Earthwatch Airborne Sensor, along with legacy U.S. Forest Service sensors, that can accurately map wildfires, even at night and through smoke. This informatio­n is critical for firefighte­rs to have when the exact extent of a fire is not known due to darkness, smoke, size of the fire, rapid spread, or complex terrain. IR mapping aircraft can also be used to detect new fires started by lightning when they are very small.

When government, military and commercial customers want airborne solutions for critical missions, they turn to Textron Aviation. The company’s aviation solutions provide the high performanc­e and flight characteri­stics required to address the unique challenges of special mission operations. With unparallel­ed quality, versatilit­y and low operating costs, Textron Aviation products are preferred for air ambulance, ISR, utility transport, aerial survey, flight inspection, training and a number of other special operations.

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