More than 2,000 King Air 200s have been delivered since the first one flew off of the production line, making it the most popular turbine-powered business airplane in history. The 200GT is the latest model in a venerable line of corporate and charter aircraft that pilots and passengers have enjoyed and depended on for decades.
Beechcraft has added over two thousand improvements to the King Air design over the years. The most valuable change recently to the model was switching the engines on the new B200GT, giving the turboprop more speed and higher climb rates.
The PT6 turboprop engine that the 200GT uses is divided into two main sections, one to generate the hot high-pressure gas stream and another that captures the energy in that gas to turn the propeller. The power producing part of the engine is not coupled directly to the propeller, and that is why it is called a “free turbine” design.
Pratt took the gas generator part of the PT6A-60A engine that powers the bigger King Air 350 with 1,050-shaft horsepower rating and mated it to the gearbox section of the Dash 42 engine in the previous model of the 200. The new engine, dubbed a PT6A-52, is still limited, or flat rated, to 850 shaft horsepower at the propeller, but the engine has the thermodynamic ability to produce well over 1,000 shaft horsepower.
The B200GT has some important improvements that were carry overs from the 350, including newly styled seats with …