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Beechcraft King Air

Multirole Transport Aircraft

Beechcraft King Air

Multirole Transport Aircraft


The Beechcraft King Air series began operations in 1964 and is still actively marketed today.
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ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1964
STATUS: Active, In-Service
OPERATORS: Argentina; Algeria; Australia; Barbados; Bolivia; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Ecuador; Greece; Guatemala; India; Iraq; Ivory Coast; Mexico; Jamaica; Japan; Morocco; Peru; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Spain; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela; Uruguay

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Beechcraft King Air C90GTi model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 35.50 feet (10.82 meters)
WIDTH: 50.26 feet (15.32 meters)
HEIGHT: 14.24 feet (4.34 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 6,945 pounds (3,150 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 10,097 pounds (4,580 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A turboprop engines developing 550 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 311 miles-per-hour (500 kilometers-per-hour; 270 knots)
RANGE: 1,520 miles (2,446 kilometers; 1,321 nautical miles)
CEILING: 30,000 feet (9,144 meters; 5.68 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 2,000 feet-per-minute (610 meters-per-minute)

None. Military forms carry special mission equipment for Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) sorties.

Series Model Variants
• Model 87 - Developmental Test Vehicle; 2 x PT6A-6 turboprop engines.
• Model 65-90 - Initial production model; 2 x PT6A-6 turboprop engines; 112 examples produced.
• Model 65-A90 - Revised cockpit; engine de-icing integrated; increased MTOW.
• Model 65-A90-1 - 2 x PT6A-20 turboprop engines; unpressurized cockpit/cabin.
• Model 65-A90-2 - Electronic Warfare Aircraft (EWA)
• Model 65-A90-3 - Improved EWA version
• Model 65-A90-4 - Reinforced airframe; increased MTOW; 16 examples completed.
• Model B90 - Revised wings; increased MTOW; revised cockpit; 184 examples produced.
• Model C90 - 2 x PT6A-21 turboprop engines; cabin pressurization of Model 100 series; 507 examples produced.
• Model C90-1 - Improved C90 model; 54 examples produced.
• Model C90A - 2 x PT6A-21 turboprop engines; revised undercarriage.
• Model C90B - Updated C90A models; increased MTOW
• Model C90SE - Alternative C90A updated models
• Model C90GT - 2 x PT6A-135A engines of 750 horsepower; 97 examples produced.
• Model C90GTi - Updated C90GT form with digital glass cockpit; 90 examples produced.
• Model C90GTx - Modified C90GT with added winglets; increased MTOW.
• Model D90 - Incomplete prototype initiative
• Model E90 - 2 x PT6A-28 engines of 680 horsepower; 347 examples produced.
• Model F90 - 2 x PT6A-135 engines of 750 horsepower; four-bladed propeller assemblies; T-style tail assembly; 196 produced.
• Model F90-1 - Model F90 with 2 x PT6A-135A engines; 32 examples produced.
• Model G90
• Model H90
• Model 100
• Model A100
• Model B100
• Model A100-1
• YU-21
• U-21A Ute
• EU-21A
• JU-21A
• RU-21A
• RU-21B
• RU-21C
• RU-21D
• RU-21E
• U-21F
• U-21G Ute
• RU-21G
• RU-21H
• U-21H
• U-21H Ute
• JU-21H
• VC-6A
• T-44A Pegasus
• T-44C Pegasus
• Shadow R1 - Surveillance platform based in the King Air 350ER.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Beechcraft King Air Multirole Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/11/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Beechcraft King Air is a utility platform developed from the Beechcraft Queen Air of 1958. It continues to see flying time despite its Cold War-era roots. A prototype saw its first-flight in May of 1963 and the series was introduced on September 9th of 1964. Since then, some 3,100 examples have been produced and many offshoots have appeared for both military and civilian roles. The King Air was born as the company Model 120 in 1961.

The two primary models of the line are the Model 90 and Model 100 with a plethora of subvariants in between. The Model 100 has a lengthened fuselage with additional cabin viewing ports and an increased MTOW. Militarized forms are used United States (as the VC-6A, Pegasus and Ute) and others such as the Israeli Air Force (IAF), the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). Beyond this, the type has also been in service at the governmental level and under civilian operators globally. Former operators include Chile, Hong Kong, Ireland and Sweden.

The C90GTi model has a crew of one or two and can carry up to seven passengers. Overall length is 35.5 feet with a wingspan of 50.2 feet and a height of 14.2 feet. Empty weight is 7,000lb against an MTOW of 10,100lb. Power is from 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A series turboprop engines outputting 550 horsepower each and driving Hartzell propeller units. Performance includes a maximum speed of 311 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 260 mph, a range out to 1,530 miles and a service ceiling up to 30,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 2,000 feet-per-minute.

The B100 model switches to 2 x Garrett TPE-331-6-251B or -252 series turboprop engines of 840 horsepower output. Speed is slightly decreased (307mph) as is the service ceiling (24,850 feet).

Variants in the King Air line include the "Super King Air" of 1972, also taken into civilian and military circles with nearly 4,000 units produced.


December 2018 - The United States Army is in the market to replace its aging fleet of C-12 and C-26 fixed-wing aircraft; the King Air CER is said to be a contender.

Raytheon UK has been awarded an eleven-year support contract for the Beechcraft Shadow R1 (King Air 350CER) surveillance platform operated by the Royal Air Force (out of Waddington, Lincolnshire).

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (311mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Beechcraft King Air C90GTi's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
In the Cockpit...
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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