Three flying prototypes of Textron Aviation’s Cessna Denali are coming together in a Wichita factory ahead of a scheduled first flight in 2019, the manufacturer says.

All major pieces of the single-engined, nine-seat turboprop, including the nose, fuselage, wings and tail cone, are being fabricated.

Meanwhile, Textron Aviation engineers are continuing to run ground test articles through a battery of static and fatigue tests, the company says. The initial flight test articles of some components are also being built and tested.

As Textron Aviation’s answer to the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher TBM900, the $4.8 million Denali is scheduled to enter service in 2020 featuring a GE Aviation Catalyst turboprop engine.

The Denali is making progress as Textron Aviation nears the end of a decade-long wave of development activity. Two years after introducing the Cessna Citation Latitude, the super-midsize Citation Longitude is nearing certification with the US Federal Aviation Administration, the company says. Development of the large cabin Citation Hemisphere remains suspended while Textron Aviation awaits the results of Safran Aircraft Engines' ongoing review of the Silvercrest engine.

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Source: Flight Daily News