Avionics and engineering specialist Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) has secured the first US supplemental type certificate (STC) for an integrated autothrottle on a Beechcraft King Air.
The approval for the ThrustSense system comes two years after the Pilatus PC-12 became the first – and until now, only – platform to receive validation for the full-regime autothrottle.
This latest STC is for the B200 variant of the twin-engined turboprop family, with approval for the 300 series expected to follow shortly.
Exton, Pennsylvania-based IS&S says that in the take-off to landing phases of flight, including go-around, ThrustSense allows the pilot to automatically control the power setting of the engines. The autothrottle computes and controls appropriate power levels, thereby reducing pilot workload. It also provides “FADEC-like engine protection” for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop powerplants.
The system is priced at $68,000, and installation takes around four days.
IS&S says it has received “strong interest” in ThrustSense from King Air owners, and the potential market for the retrofit is huge. “There is a fleet of 3,600 B200s and 300s, and the upgrade is available for all of them,” it says.