WICHITA, Kan. (Jan. 28, 2021) – Textron Aviation announced today it was awarded a contract by Air Archipels of Tahiti (French Polynesia) for one Beechcraft King Air 260 and one cargo door equipped King Air 260C aircraft. The aircraft are planned to be delivered to Air Archipels in the second half of 2021. Air Archipels currently operates a fleet of Beechcraft Super King Air B200s in French Polynesia. The first cargo door King Air 260 was ordered by Air Archipels and it will be the first to enter service.
The Beechcraft King Air 260 and 260C are designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
“We’re honored that Air Archipels has chosen to continue to stay with the King Airs in support of its critical emergency service operational needs in French Polynesia,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “The King Air is the world leader in turboprop special missions because of the aircraft’s unmatched capabilities and reliability. Continuing to be the supplier of choice for emergency services in French Polynesia is a testament to the King Air’s performance when each minute matters.”
Air Archipels carries out 3,000 hours of flight per year, most of which are for medical emergency evacuations. Their new King Air 260C will be configured for the air ambulance mission incorporating a LifePort medical interior.
“Air Archipels operations require a difficult to achieve compromise between high speed and accessibility on short runways. We are glad that the King Air 260 delivers these unique capabilities. By investing in a renewed fleet Air Archipels chooses to offer the highest standard of reactivity, safety, and comfort in their operations,” said Manate Vivish, CEO for Air Tahiti, the parent company of Air Archipels.
About the King Air 260 and 260C
The King Air 260C aircraft is a version of the King Air 260 twin-engine turboprop aircraft configured with an optional cargo door, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-52 engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 260C aircraft, and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls. The King Air 260 turboprop’s standard IS&S Thrustsense Autothrottle system reduces pilot workload through all phases of flight and features protections for engine overtemp and overtorque scenarios. Controlled through the Flight Management System, the King Air 260 turboprop’s new digital pressurization system makes cabin pressure manual control a thing of the past. Additionally, the updated King Air 260 turboprop’s multi-scan weather radar is fully automated and optimized for presenting an accurate picture of surrounding weather.
Endless Special Missions Possibilities
When government, military and commercial customers want airborne solutions for critical missions, they turn to Textron Aviation. The company’s aviation solutions provide the high performance and flight characteristics required to address the unique challenges of special missions operations. With unparalleled quality, versatility and low operating costs, Textron Aviation products are preferred for air ambulance, ISR, utility transport, aerial survey, flight inspection, training and a number of other special operations.
King Air leadership
Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 56 years, serving roles in all branches of the U.S. military and flying both commercial and special mission roles around the world.