Welcome to the latest installment of easycharter’s Aircraft of the Month!
The Cessna Denali, Textron’s single engine turboprop, was expected to have its first flight back in 2019. However, due to delays in the engine program, things did not go quite as planned.
General Electric (GE) began ground testing the Catalyst turboprop, chosen to power Cessna’s developmental Denali, on a Beechcraft King Air flying testbed, and delivered the safety-of-flight engine, which “worked seamlessly” during initial ground tests, to Textron Aviation.
The Cessna Denali thus became ready to start its much-anticipated flight test program, and is expected to make a debut later this year, in 2021. Being a single-engine turboprop, it is comparable to the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher-Socata TBM.
More than a third of the components in the innovative Catalyst turboprop are manufactured using 3D printing or additive manufacturing, which drastically reduces weight and parts count, from 855 to 12 parts in this case. The GE Aviation Catalyst features a dual-channel-full-authority-digital-engine-control (FADEC) and a McCauley Blackmac carbon five-blade composite propeller with reversible pitch and ice-protection, to provide easy jet-like power in the flight deck, excellent operating efficiencies and engine protection. The modern materials, production techniques, and advanced computer controls used by GE thus provide a power plant that is much lighter, 20% more fuel efficient, and 10% more powerful! The catalyst engine delivers a whopping 1’300 shaft horsepower with singe lever power and propeller control.
The Cessna Denali’ flight deck is equipped with Garmin G3000 avionics. It features touchscreen control, 14-inch displays, synthetic vision technology and FADEC for easier flying. To provide more automation, and thereby reduce cockpit workload, the single power lever commands both engine and propeller. The aircraft is equipped with an enhanced digital weather radar, thus capable of flying into known icing.
The Cessna Denali’s four-passenger range is 1’600 nm, equivalent to 2’963 km. It can cruise at a maximum altitude of 9’449 m at a maximum cruise speed of 519 km/hr.
The Cessna Denali is 14.86 m long, 4.62 m high with a wingspan of 16.54 m. It features a large cargo door to facilitate loading. In the nose of the aircraft, additional baggage can be stored. Optional features include trailing-link gear and large tires to handle unimproved runways with ease.
Internally, the Cessna Denali’s cabin (5.11 m long, 1.6 m wide with a standup height of 1.47 m) is the tallest and widest in its class, quite spacious for a midsize jet. It can comfortably accommodate 8-11 passengers. At the maximum cruising altitude, the cabin is pressurized at merely 1868.4 m to guarantee passenger comfort. The cabin features large windows, spacious executive seating, an easily accessible baggage compartment, a forward refreshment center and an optional externally serviceable belt lavatory.
The question remains… Will the all-new Cessna Denali see its first flight in 2021? Time will tell!
For more information on the Cessna Denali, click here!
That’s all for this week, peeps!
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Easy Report!