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Textron Flies Its Beechcraft Denali Turboprop Single For The First Time

Textron Aviation’s single-engine turboprop, the Beechcraft Denali, made its first flight Tuesday (Nov. 23) from the company’s west campus at Eisenhower International Airport in Wichita, Kansas. ( More...

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Doug Dornbos 5
There are only three legitimate positions to enter the market with a product or service:
1. Better
2. Cheaper
3. Different
plus one illegitimate position:
4. Me too

There is nothing really wrong with "me too" but it typically does not breed loyalty.
Chris B 3
I’m sure production workers who built the King Air are anxious to see this new aircraft receive approval as soon as possible.
I doubt that Textron/Beechcraft will ever equal Pilatus products in quality. The PC12 is the Rolex of single turbo engine powered aircraft.
21voyageur 2
Once again, American technology is way behind (in this case decades!) the global competition (ex: direct competitor Pilatus PC-12) and is left with scrapping for leftovers. Does the US economy have enough appetite for a PC-12 "clone"? Considering the largest base of PC-12s is North America, where the aircraft is very popular, I cannot see how the market is there for Textron. IMHO, too little, too late. What was the board thinking?
Roy Troughton 2
I suppose you missed the bit about the new GE engine. Consuming 20% less fuel than older turboprop technologies sounds significant don’t you think? Sounds like American technology might be way ahead in this particular case.
Jdoster1 1
"Older turboprop technologies" and "UP TO 20%" being the key phrases.

"Up to" meaning in optimum conditions that won't often be met.
"Older turboprop technologies" meaning non-FADEC engines. Pratt has already responded with the EEC-equipped PT6E-67XP.

The few advantages that the Denali would have had, Pilatus/Pratt have already taken care of.
Peter Fuller 1
Not purely American technology: the GE Catalyst engine, although produced by a nominally USA-based multinational corporation, appears to be of European design, development, and manufacture, according to Wikipedia.

So the apparent competition:

Pilatus PC12, Swiss airframe with Canadian engine
Textron/Beechcraft Denali, American airframe with European engine
John Nichols 1
At first glance the Beech has a shorter span and more dihedral...?
Jamar Jackson 1
PC-12 is a proven work horse. Hopefully they break even.
Seb Seb 1
How will plane spotters be able to differentiate this from a PC12 in the air, or even on the ramp?
Chris B 1
Cessna windows are more oval, like the King Air, undercarriage design, cockpit windows, tailplain are all easy to spot difference.
It’s the one made using additive manufacturing that reduces parts count, engine weight, and increases specific fuel efficiency. Whether that and other changes make it successful against a PC12 is a good question.
patrick baker 1
the dominant quality of pilatus would persuade me , not the 20% hype on fuel from beech. Beech has nothing else to offer beyond the fuel efficiency
John Nichols 1
20 percent is a massive improvement and stands alone as a reason to purchase the Denali. If it is but 10 percent, well, run the numbers.
Sidney Smith 1
IS the Catalyst engine from GE the Walther turbo shaft design or some variant?
Peter Fuller 2
GE calls it an “ all-new clean sheet engine”

Wikipedia article describes design details and such
Roy Troughton 1
Nice to finally have a modern American built competitor to the PC12. The early production models of the PC12 are now 27 years old. The potential game changer here is that new GE engine which they claim consumes 20% less fuel. That’s rather significant particularly with fuel prices on the rise.
The Denali cabin is two inches shorter, three inches wider, and the same height as the Pilatus PC-12NGX. Full fuel payload is identical. Range and speed are the same. Why didn't Beechcraft just buy a license from Pilatus to build the Denali in Kansas?
Jeff Phipps 4
That’s like saying why doesn’t GM license the right to build F150’s from Ford. They obviously think they can build a better plane and make money doing it.
21voyageur 3
But Pilatus has set the gold standard, has a strong installed base and at this stage, the Denali will be a late "me to" solution. The other alternative is that Textron, with all its business lines, could have simply stopped the program and should have done so a decade ago. IMHO, poor myopic business decision.
John Nichols 1
I guess wait and see?
Franco Prizzi 0
Apart from the name.
Roy Troughton 1
With this kind of logic then Airbus should never have built the A320. They should just asked Boeing to build the 737 under license!


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