Denali begins to take shape


Textron Aviation recently provided an update on the development of the latest product to join its family of aircraft, the Cessna Denali.

The first test articles of the single-engine turboprop are beginning to take shape. According to a company statement, program engineers have started fabrication of the first static and fatigue test articles and initiated testing with the fuel system iron bird mock-up. Additionally, fabrication of door test articles has begun as well, including the 53-inch wide by 59-inch tall aft cargo door. The large aft cargo door will add enhanced capability to the Denali, particularly for special mission operators. McCauley’s 105-inch, five-blade composite propeller is undergoing tests as well; propeller test runs at max RPM vibration testing and bird strike testing have been successfully completed.

The clean-sheet Denali will incorporate the latest technology and is being designed to outperform its competition in capability, pilot interface, cabin experience and ownership costs.

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“This is an exciting time in the Denali program as this aircraft is now coming to life through the production of the first test articles,” comments Textron Aviation Engineering Senior VP Brad Thress. “The level of attention that goes into this phase of development results in a highly mature product in later stages of the development program.”

The Denali is powered by GE’s FADEC-equipped, 1,240 shaft horse power (SHP)-rated turboprop engine, which allows for achieve cruise speeds of 285 knots and a range of 1,600 nm. The turboprop will offer single-lever power and propeller control to ease pilot workload. Seating one pilot and four passengers, the Denali will be able to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Moscow. The Denali’s cockpit will feature Garmin’s G3000 avionics suite, which includes weather radar, advanced Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS), and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capabilities, which will make it compliant with a significant aspect of future NextGen ATC requirements.