Nextant Aerospace is to wave its remanufacturing magic wand over Beechcraft King Air C90 turboprop twins as its next project.
Nextant will take old King Air C90s – it estimates there are more than 1,500 worldwide – and thoroughly overhaul and upgrade the aircraft back to ‘zero’ hour condition.
The airframe will be thoroughly rebuilt, new higher power GE H80 turboprop engines fitted, and a Garmin G1000 flightdeck fitted. The remanufactured aircraft will be called the G90XT and have superior performance for half the price of a new C90, says Nextant. Launch price is $2.2 million.
“The combination of new GE powerplants, Garmin Integrated Flight Deck and a completely rebuilt and upgraded airframe, cockpit and cabin make the new Nextant family of aircraft not just the most capable but also the most cost-efficient aircraft in their class,” said Nextant boss Sean McGeough.
The H80 turboprop engine from GE is relatively new and produces a significantly improved 800shp. The H80 has significant improvements in aerodynamics and metallurgy so the engine can run at higher temperatures and pressures, according to GE. This translates into lower fuel burn and higher power output, even in hot and high conditions. It has single-lever power control working through an new integrated, electronic control.
Maintenance costs are lower too, says GE, thanks to simplified design, advanced manufacturing techniques and a 3,600-hour TBO that requires no midpoint hot section inspection. Props have yet to be confirmed.
A Supplemental Type certificate (STC) for installing the GE engine into the C90 already exists which will speed up the process of certification. Flights tests of the G90XT will start in early 2014, with first deliveries by Q4.
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