The US Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Marine and Aviation Operations has taken delivery of a Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop. The aircraft joins a King Air 350CER delivered to NOAA in May 2009. The agency's first King Air has flown coastal mapping and aerial survey missions and critical emergency response missions including photographic survey after earthquakes, oil spills and numerous blizzards, tornados, floods and hurricanes.
“We are honoured that the King Air 350CER continues to be the aircraft of choice to fill a variety of critical mission needs for NOAA,” says Bob Gibbs, Textron Aviation VP of special mission sales. “The aircraft's custom sensor port modification, combined with its extended range performance features, makes it a powerful and reliable platform to carry out the agency's unique missions during critical times.”
The King Air 350CER can collect critical information while remaining airborne for up to eight hours. The dual-sensor port modification allows simultaneous data collection from multiple onboard sensors. Optical grade glass plates in the sensor ports allow the cabin to remain pressurised, or the optical plates can be removed and the aircraft can be operated unpressurised.
NOAA's fleet of manned aircraft is operated, managed and maintained by the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), part of the agency's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, located at Lakeland Linder Regional airport in Florida.
The King Air 350CER aircraft is an extended range version of the King Air 350i twin engine turboprop aircraft configured with an optional cargo door, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power it, and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilots with touchscreen controls.
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 US military and flying commercial and special mission roles around the world.