Air Archipels of Tahiti in French Polynesia has ordered the first cargo door King Air 260 from Textron Aviation. Its order includes 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.
“Air Archipels operations require a difficult to achieve compromise between high speed and accessibility on short runways,” explains Manate Vivish, CEO for Air Tahiti, the parent company of Air Archipels. “We are glad that the King Air 260 delivers these unique capabilities. By investing in a renewed fleet Air Archipels is choosing to offer the highest standard of reactivity, safety and comfort in its operations.”
“We're honoured 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,” adds Bob Gibbs, VP of special mission sales for Textron. “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. Its new King Air 260C will be configured for the air ambulance mission incorporating a LifePort medical interior.
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 pressurisation 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 optimised for presenting an accurate picture of surrounding weather.