Cessna Denali progresses toward 2019 first flight
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