One of a kind - Beechcraft King Air 200 re-engined with JT-15D fanjets

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One of a kind - Beechcraft King Air 200 re-engined with JT-15D fanjets


Post by Raffles » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:48 pm

I first saw this years ago. IIRC my dad got us a series of magazines which came out on a weekly basis, the complete collection was an encyclopedia of aviation. If they haven't been stolen, the complete set should still be at my dad's house.

From Avbuyer :
Further Development

A fifth King Air model was announced a year later – the B100. This would be the first- and ultimately the only production King Air to be powered by an engine other than the Pratt & Whitney PT6A. The B100 featured a Garrett AiResearch TPE-331 turboprop.

Beech’s intentions with the B100 were again two-fold: They wanted to expand the King Air family’s range in the market; and they wanted to reduce their dependence on a single supplier for their best-selling product.

The B100 made its first flight on March 20- 1975.

Eight days earlier- on March 12- Beech Aircraft began flight tests on still another new model of the King Air. This one had Pratt & Whitney engines- but they weren’t PT6 turboprops; they were JT-15D fanjets.

Between March 1975 and September 1977- Beech conducted 103 test flights of the jet powered King Air it called PD 290. The PD stood for Preliminary Design. The airframe was essentially a Model 200- with jet engines mounted where the turboprops would have been.

The NACA 23000-series airfoil used on the King Air was designed for optimal performance in the low- to mid-airspeed ranges- and with jet power it produced a lot of drag. As a result- the jet-powered King Air proved disappointingly slow.

With turboprops outselling jets in the market by a rate of 7 to 3 at that time- Beech management elected to leave the jet market to other manufacturers and instead concentrate their efforts on the turboprop airplane for sale market.
Imagebeech pd290 by David Ross, on Flickr

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Re: One of a kind - Beechcraft King Air 200 re-engined with JT-15D fanjets


Post by Bell 407 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:16 am

Very interesting. Thanks for the post :champion:

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