Nextant Aerospace has secured US certification for the new integrated single-lever power control system in the G90XT twin-engined turboprop, and hopes to gain European approval in the "next 90 to 120 days".
The validation is the final hurdle in the remanufactured Beechcraft King Air C90's certification campaign, and Nextant will now begin a US demonstration tour to drum up sales of the six-seat aircraft.
The company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, says the G90XT is the first business turboprop to feature single-lever power control technology, combined with a complete electronic engine control system.
"From the launch of this programme [in 2013], our goal was to bring a level of technology to the King Air platform that has been missing for decades," notes Nextant executive vice-president Jay Heublein.
He says that while the King Air is the "most successful platform in the history of business aviation", it has not benefited from the "significant advances in technology" that its counterparts in the jet market have. "This has been primarily driven by a lack of competition in the space," says Heublein. "But fortunately for King Air operators, they now have a new choice."
Launched in partnership with GE Aviation, the G90XT also features the latter's H75-100 turboprops, a Garmin G1000 avionics suite, digital pressurisation and environmental cooling system, redesigned cockpit and refurbished interior.
Nathan Marker, Nextant's vice-president of flight operations, says the G90XT "brings a level of simplicity which will drive overall safety to the turboprop market which operators will benefit from for years to come."
The aircraft is priced at $2.8 million, although Nextant is offering an engine and avionics retrofit programme to C90 owners for $2.4 million.