Cessna De­nali pro­gresses to­ward 2019 first flight

Pilot - - NOTES -

At the Euro­pean Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion in May Tex­tron Avi­a­tion out­lined the devel­op­ment sta­tus of its new high-per­for­mance Cessna De­nali sin­gle-en­gine tur­bo­prop. Rob Scholl, Se­nior Vice-pres­i­dent, Sales and Mar­ket­ing, re­ported that man­u­fac­ture of nose sec­tions, fuse­lages, wings and tail­cones of the first three fly­ing pro­to­types is un­der way. Engi­neers are build­ing and test­ing ini­tial flight test ar­ti­cles us­ing pro­duc­tion as­sem­bly tools, and con­duct­ing static and fa­tigue tests on ground test ar­ti­cles.

“The clean-sheet De­nali is un­like any other air­craft in its class in terms of ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and per­for­mance. For that rea­son, we’re see­ing great in­ter­est through­out Europe from pis­ton own­ers look­ing to step up to more per­for­mance, as well as from tur­bo­prop op­er­a­tors,” he said. “In the devel­op­ment of this air­craft, we’re com­bin­ing proven pro­cesses used to de­sign and de­velop our new­est Ci­ta­tion jets with the in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy of GE’S new Cat­a­lyst en­gine to de­liver cus­tomers a best-in-class air­craft.

“Through­out the De­nali’s devel­op­ment, Tex­tron has in­te­grated new au­to­ma­tion and ro­botic tech­nolo­gies into pro­duc­tion, in­creas­ing prod­uct qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency through­out the as­sem­bly line. The com­pany looks for­ward to achiev­ing the first wing mate and com­plet­ing the pro­to­type air­frames as the pro­gramme nears first flight tar­geted for early 2019.”

The De­nali will be pow­ered by the Fadec-equipped, 1,240shp GE Cat­a­lyst en­gine − ‘the first clean-sheet tur­bo­prop en­gine to hit the busi­ness and gen­eral avi­a­tion mar­ket in more than thirty years’ − driv­ing Mccauley’s new 105in di­am­e­ter com­pos­ite, five­blade, con­stant speed pro­pel­ler, which fea­tures full feath­er­ing with re­versible pitch and ice pro­tec­tion. It will have sin­gle-lever power and pro­pel­ler con­trol. The en­gine is de­signed to have an ini­tial 4,000hour TBO.

In the cock­pit the De­nali will fea­ture Garmin’s G3000 in­tu­itive touch-screen avion­ics suite and three large high-res­o­lu­tion dis­plays with split-screen ca­pa­bil­ity. It will also in­clude a solid-state weather radar, ad­vanced Ter­rain Aware­ness Warn­ing Sys­tems and ADS-B ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The flat floor cabin is de­signed to con­vert eas­ily be­tween pas­sen­ger and cargo con­fig­u­ra­tions; in ex­ec­u­tive con­fig­u­ra­tion it will have six in­di­vid­ual re­clin­ing seats, club-con­fig­u­ra­tion ta­bles and re­fresh­ment unit, or in com­muter lay­out, nine in­di­vid­ual for­ward-fac­ing seats. Its dig­i­tal pres­suri­sa­tion sys­tem will main­tain a 6,130ft cabin alti­tude at the air­craft’s 31,000ft ser­vice ceil­ing. Pre­dicted per­for­mance in­cludes cruise speed of 285kt, full fuel pay­load of 1,100 lb, and a range of 1,600nm at high-speed cruise with one pi­lot and four pas­sen­gers, en­abling it to fly non­stop be­tween city pairs such as Lon­don-moscow, Los An­ge­lesChicago or New York-mi­ami.

TOP: as­sem­bling the pro­to­type ABOVE: artist's im­pres­sion of the De­nali

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