Beechcraft King Air B200

Beechcraft King Air B200 ZK454
Beechcraft King Air B200 - ZK454
Design and Development

The Model 200 was originally conceived as the Model 101 in 1969, and was a development of the Model 100 King Air. The Model 200 had essentially the same fuselage as the Model 100, with changes to the rear fuselage to accommodate a new T-tail (in place of the 100's conventional tail with all-moving trimmable horizontal stabiliser) and structural changes to allow higher maximum pressurisation. Apart from the T-tail, other changes included Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-41 engines instead of the engines of the Model A100 then in production, and a wing of increased span and extra fuel capacity. Overall, the 200 was 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m) longer than the A100, with wingspan 4 ft 3 in (1.29 m) greater. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) was increased by 1,000 lb (450 kg).

After protracted development including extensive wind tunnel testing of the design the first prototype flew for the first time on 27th October 1972. A second prototype took to the air on 15th December the same year. Three production aircraft were also built in 1972 and delivered to the US Army. These three were designated Model A100-1s by Beechcraft and were given the military designation RU-21J. The 200 received civil certification in December 1973 and the first civil delivery took place in February 1974.

In 1976 Beechcraft developed the Model 200T, a version configured for aerial surveying or reconnaissance. The prototype was created by modifying a Model 200 aircraft, the modifications included changes to the belly aft of the wing to allow photography with a vertical camera, provision for a surveillance radar in a pod under the fuselage, dome-shaped windows on the sides of the rear fuselage to allow observation directly below the aircraft by occupants, and a 50 US gallon usable capacity fuel tank on each wingtip to increase the aircraft's range.

The next model to appear was the Model 200C in 1979. This version had a large cargo door on the LH side of the rear fuselage with an airstair door similar to the Model 200's door built into it. The door opening was 4 ft 4 in (1.33 m) high and 4 ft 4 in (1.33 m) wide, allowing a large range of items to be loaded into the cabin. The Model 200C found favour with many operators who fitted them out internally as Air Ambulances. The 200C was built from scratch rather than as a modification of the Model 200. The Model A200C military version was developed concurrently.

In 1981 a Model 200C was modified as the Model 200CT, fitted with the same wingtip fuel tanks as installed on Model 200Ts. There was only one 200CT, but it led to other aircraft after an updated version of the Model 200 entered production. This updated and improved version was the Model B200, which entered production in 1981. A total of 14 B200s were produced in 1989 and 1990 in a 13-seat high density configuration with a belly cargo pod; these were marketed by Beechcraft as a commuter airliner under the designation Model 1300. The B200 remains in production, with the B200C available for order.

Beechcraft King Air Beechcraft King Air Beechcraft King Air
Operational History

The Beech King Air B200 first entered RAF service in 2004. It is used as an advanced, multi-engine pilot trainer by No.45(R) Squadron, which is part of No.3 Flying Training School based at RAF Cranwell, in Lincolnshire.

On 13th June 2005 Beechcraft announced at the Paris Air Show that it was developing the King Air 350ER version of the B300, an equivalent to the earlier Model 200T and B200Ts of the 200 series. Changes include an increase of MTOW to 16,500 lb (7,430 kg), provision for surveillance equipment in a belly pod, the landing gear of the Beechcraft 1900 to handle the increased weight and provide ground clearance for the belly pod, and extra fuel capacity in the engine nacelles to increase range (because of the B300s winglets it was unfeasible to fit wingtip fuel tanks as found on the 200T and B200T). On 11th November 2007 Hawker Beechcraft announced that the 350ER had been certified by the FAA.

Four 350ERs equipped for ISTAR missions over Afghanistan have been ordered for the Royal Air Force. This variant is called the Shadow R.1 in RAF service.

Production Summary
A 100-13 (US Army)
A 20075 (US Army)
A 200C90 US Army and USMC)
A 200CT93 (US Army)
B 2007 (RAF)
B 200C47 (USAF)
B 200CT8 (Israeli AF)
B 200GT2 (RAF)
B 300-11 (Swiss AF)
Specifications(King Air B 200)
Length:43ft 9in (13.34 m)
Width:54ft 6in (16.61 m)
Height:15ft 0in (4.57 m)
Empty Weight:7,755 lbs (3,520 kgs)
MTOW:12,500 lbs (5,670 kg)
Max Speed:339 mph (294 knots, 545 km/h)
Max Range:2,075 mi (1,800 nm, 3,338 km)
Rate-of-Climb:2,450 ft/min (12.5 m/s)
Service Ceiling:35,000 ft (10,700 m)
Engine:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 turboprops, 850 shp (635 kW) each
Armament Standard:None
Armament Optional:None