Textron Aviation’s new Beechcraft Denali will be fitted with an auto-land system which is designed to land a plane if the pilot becomes incapacitated.
Textron confirmed on May 8, 2023, it will introduce the Garmin Emergency Autoland system which first gained certification from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in 2020, followed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
A passenger can activate the Emergency Autoland system by pressing a dedicated button in the cockpit.
Once activated, the system immediately takes control of the aircraft and informs Air Traffic Control of the emergency.
It then calculates a flight path to the most suitable airport or runway, while avoiding terrain and adverse weather, initiates a stabilized approach and automatically lands the aircraft, bringing it to a stop before shutting down the engine.
“The Autoland system is an excellent addition to the Beechcraft Denali and the G3000 avionics suite, and we’ve included it in the program as a direct response to continued conversations with our customers,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Sales and Flight Operations. “The feature makes the Denali even more desirable to a wider audience as it adds yet another element of assurance and peace of mind for pilots and passengers.”
Textron Aviation is aligning the Beechcraft Denali aircraft certification timing, which is expected in 2025, to the certification timeline for the new Avio Aero catalyst engine
The Denali is the first aircraft powered by the new, more efficient engine.
“We continue to experience great progress with the Denali development program, and we believe the aircraft will be a game changer in the single-engine, high-performance turboprop segment,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering. “Our customers are excited for the Emergency Autoland feature on the Denali and, while our goal is to achieve type certification as quickly as possible, it is of greatest importance to assure that every detail is completed with the highest quality.”
The Denali flight test certification program features three flight test articles. The three flight test aircraft have surpassed 1,300 flight hours.
The Beechcraft Denali is designed to have a range of 1,600 nautical miles at high-speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers and will be able to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Athens.