King Air Plane Types and Models Guide

Founded in 1932, Beechcraft is considered one of the “big three” manufacturers in general aviation and one of the oldest airplane manufacturers in the world. The company has a long and rich history of producing iconic aircraft, the most famous being the single-engine, v-tail Bonanza.

Introduced in 1964, the Beechcraft King Air is a pressurized, twin-engine turboprop utility aircraft with tricycle landing gear. The empennage differs based on the model. KingAirs have a conventional tail, while Super King Airs sport a t-tail.

It is the second most famous Beechcraft aircraft and has been in production for 59 years. During this time, Beechcraft has delivered over 7,700 King Airs, and the fleet has put in over 62 million flight hours.

Over the last 59 years, Beechcraft has produced two main lines of the iconic aircraft. The original King Air was introduced in 1964 and produced until 2021, and the larger Super King Air was released to the public in 1974 and is currently in production. The Super King Air moniker hasn’t officially been used since 1996. However, people still use the name to differentiate between the two models.

Since its introduction, the King Air has spawned more than 30 variants, while the Super King Air has over 20. This guide will cover the significant variants and give you everything there is to know about the Beechcraft King Air.

Keep reading this King Air Plane Types and Models Guide for further info.

King Air Models

Model 90

Development and Prototypes

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide

The first iteration of the King Air was the Model 90. Development began in 1961 under the name Model 120. Beechcraft began experimental flights by equipping a Queen Air with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-6 turboprop engines in May 1963. The flights were successful, and a month later, the company announced the King Air and started accepting orders.

The proof-of-concept for the King Air was a highly modified Queen Air with the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-6 engines, named the Model 87. 

The prototype’s maiden flight, the Model 65-90, occurred on 24th January 1964. Beechcraft aimed to have the aircraft certified and start deliveries by the end of the 3rd quarter. On 8th October 1964, the first production model was delivered to customers. The aircraft proved successful from the get-go garnering 150 orders by the end of the month.

Model 65-A90 – First Generation and Evolutions

Beechcraft would continue to upgrade the Model 90s design as time progressed steadily. The Model 65-A90 was equipped with more powerful PT6A-20 engines, this was followed by the Model B90 in 1968, which featured a host of changes and is considered the first true variant. The Model B90 had a higher maximum takeoff weight of 9,650 lb (4,377 kg), a new pressurization system, improved instrumentation, a longer wingspan, and new ailerons.

The next upgrade to the Model 90 platform came in 1971. The new Model C90 name remained until 2021 when Beechcraft discontinued the Model 90 King Air. Beechcraft produced eight variants of the Model C90. The first-ever Model C90 featured more powerful 550 hp (404 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20A engines and a new cabin pressurization system adopted from the larger Model 100.

In 1972, the Model E90 was introduced. The only significant change between the C90 and the E90 was the E90s use of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-28 engines. The E90 was followed by the Model C90-1.

Model C90-1 – Second Generation and Evolutions

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide Beechcraft King Air C90

The Model C90-1 was first produced in 1982 and was equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 engines and a new cabin pressurization system that increased the pressure differential and reduced the cabin altitude even more. Further increasing comfort for passengers.

While the Model C90-1 was released, Beechcraft was working on the Model F90 prototype. The F90 was essentially an E90 with the empennage of a Super King Air 200, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135 engines mated to four-bladed Hartzell propellers. The new engines produced 750 hp (560 kW) each and greatly improved the performance of the aircraft. 

The F90 was followed by the F90-1 in 1983. The engines were changed once again, with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A engines replacing the PT6A-135s on the F90. The engine cowlings were also redesigned to improve aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency and performance. Additional upgrades included a hydraulic landing gear system and a new electrical system. The F90-1 was a commercial failure and sold only 33 units until it was discontinued two years later. 

The Model C90A was next in line and retained the F-90s engines, and heating and pressurization systems, but it did away with the hydraulic landing gear. Instead, the company opted to improve the mechanical landing gear of the C90-1. 

The C90A was followed by two variants: the C90B and C90SE. When Beechcraft released the Model C90B in 1993, it featured a stiffer, more aerodynamic airframe, a new four-bladed Hartzell propeller with synchrophasing, and a brand-new Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS). 

The C90 Special Edition was introduced in 1994 a more affordable, stripped version of the King Air. The C90SE retained the old three-bladed propeller and lacked the propeller synchrophasing system and the EFIS of the higher trim. It also has a standard interior in comparison to the high-end model. Beechcraft would produce these models until 2005 when it unveiled the newest iteration of the aircraft.

Model C90T – Final General and Evolutions

At the 2005 Oshkosh Airshow, Beechcraft introduced the King Air Model C90T. The C90T featured many minor performance and useability improvements and one major upgrade, in the form of the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A engines. The engines were derated to produce 550 shp (410 kW) similar to previous models. De-rating the engine allowed it to run cooler, improving performance, reliability, and longevity. The performance gains were significant enough to keep the aircraft competitive against smaller light jets. 

Two years later, the company introduced another variant, the Model C90GTi. This model was essentially the same as the C90GT but was equipped with a brand new Rockwell Collins Proline 21 avionics suite. 

The final iteration of the Model 90 came in the form of the 2015 C90GTx. The model had minor upgrades that made it slightly faster, fly further, and burn less fuel. Beechcraft ceased production of the C90GTx and C90GTi in March 2021 and ended the Model 90 line. 

Model C90GTx Specifications

Exterior Dimensions
Length35 ft 6 in (11.1 m)
Height14 ft 3 in (4.34 m)
Wingspan53 ft 8 in (16.33 m)
Wing Area523 ft² (48.5 m²)
Cabin Dimensions
Length12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Height4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Width4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Baggage Space48 ft³ (1.36 m³)
Cabin Volume227 ft³ (6.43 m³)
Maximum Take-Off Weight10,485 lb (4,756 kg)
Maximum Landing Weight9,832 lb (4,460 kg)
Basic Operating Weight7,265 lb (3,295 kg)
Useful Load3,280 lb (1,487 kg)
Maximum Fuel Weight 2,573 lb (1,167 kg)
Maximum Payload2,113 lb (958 kg)
Maximum Payload with Full Fuel707 lb (320 kg)
Maximum Range1,260 nm (2,333 km)
Normal Range1,152 nm (2,133 km)
Maximum Cruise Speed272 kts (503 kmph)
Takeoff Distance (MTOW)1,984 ft (604 m)
Landing Distance (MLW)2,100 ft (640 m)
Service Ceiling30,000 ft (9,144 m)
Maximum Power (each)550 shp (410 kW)
Wing Loading 35.75 lb/ft² (1.50 kg/m²)
Power Loading9.58 lb/ft² (0.40 kg/m²)
Flight Crew1
Maximum Passengers8
Flight DeckRockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion
Engine(s) x 2Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-135A

Model 100

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air Model 100

The King Air Model 100 was first flown on March 17th, 1969, and was introduced in May. The Model 100 is a stretched variant of the Model 90 and featured two extra windows. The extra space caused the MTOW to increase by 1,300 lb (590 kg) to a total of 10,600 lb (4,810 kg). The rest of the components including the engines, wings, and empennage were taken from the Model 90’s predecessor, the Model 99.

During its three-year production run, the Model 100 only sold 88 units. Its replacement, the Model A100, was released in 1972 and came with a slew of upgrades, which included new four-bladed Hartzell propellers, and an increase in fuel capacity of 94 US Gal (360 L). The changes resulted in a 900 lb (408 kg) weight increase, which brought the MTOW to 11,500 lb (5,220 kg). The King Air Model A100 was in production until 1979

The B100 was the next model in the 100 lineup and was introduced in 1976. It was the first in the Model 100 lineup to benefit from an engine upgrade. Beechcraft opted to fit the B100 with Garrett AiResearch TPE-331 engines, a departure from the Pratt & Whiney engines that are on every other model that Beechcraft produced at the time. The new engines produced 715 shp (533 kW). The modifications to the B100 resulted in the aircraft having an increased MTOW of 11,800 ln (5,350 kg).

In 1983, Beechcraft discontinued the Model 100 and instead focused on developing the Model 200.

Model B100 Specifications

Exterior Dimensions
Length35 ft 6 in (11.1 m)
Height15 ft 5 in (
Wingspan45 ft 11 in ( 
Cabin Dimensions
Length12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Height4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Width4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Baggage Space54 ft³ (1.53 m³)
Cabin Volume303 ft³ (8.58 m³)
Maximum Take-Off Weight11800 lb 
Maximum Landing Weight11210 Lb
Basic Operating Weight8060 Lb
Basic Empty Weight7092 Lb
Useful Payload4161 Lb
Maximum Payload with Full Fuel391 Lb
Fuel Capacity470 gal Lb
Maximum Range1,005 nmi (1,861 km)
Rate of Climb2,200 fpm (11.7 m/s)
Maximum Cruise Speed250 kts (463 kmph)
Takeoff Distance (MTOW)1,729 ft (530 m)
Landing Distance (MLW)2,138 ft (651 m)
Service Ceiling31,000 ft (9,448 m)
Maximum Power (each)680 hp (500 kW)
Wing Loading 35.75 lb/ft² (1.50 kg/m²)
Power Loading9.58 lb/ft² (0.40 kg/m²)
Flight Crew1
Maximum Passengers7
Flight DeckAnalog Cluster
Engine(s) x 2Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-6-252B

Model 200

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air Model 200

The Model 200 first flew in October 1972 after rigorous testing and was introduced to the public in 1974. It was developed from the Model 100 and shared the same fuselage. However, the fuselage was upgraded to increase structural rigidity to enable high levels of cabin pressurization. 

Beechcraft’s first Super King Air had new wings which increased the wing span and fuel capacity, by 4 ft 3 in (1.29 m) and 60 US gal (230 L), respectively. The Model 200 also featured a new T-tail empennage which increased the overall length by 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m), and more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-41 engines rated at 850 shp (630 kW). The changes resulted in the Model 200 having an MTOW of 12,500 (5,670 kg). 

The United States Army was the first customer of the Super King Air. Three units were delivered to the armed forces in 1972, a year before it received its civilian certification and two years before the first civilian delivery occurred. 

Four years after the development of the Model 200, Beechcraft introduced the first variant. The Model 200T, an aerial surveillance aircraft, had minor changes to the fuselage to accommodate the cameras and other equipment. The rear windows were dome-shaped to increase ground visibility. Finally, two wing tip tanks were fitted to increase the total fuel capacity by 100 US gal (380 L). 

In 1979, Beechcraft introduced the Model 200C, which was built from the ground up to accommodate a second cargo door on the left side of the fuselage. The 200C was primarily used as an air ambulance.

Model B200 – First Evolution

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air Model B200

The first true upgrade to the Model 200 was the Model B200, which was introduced in 1981 and featured some quality-of-life upgrades, such as a better cabin pressurization system and changes to the cockpit layout, as well as upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 engines. The new engines produced the same 850 shp (630 kW) but provided better fuel efficiency to improve range. 

Beechcraft proceeded to release new 200T and 200C models based on the Model B200 chassis. The new B200C featured hydraulic doors which made its operation faster and easier. These models were sold mostly to the military.

At the same time the B200C was released, the propellers of the B200 were also changed from a 3-bladed Hartzell unit to a McCauley model with the same number of blades. The propeller configuration would change in 1992 when Beechcraft removed the option of the 3-bladed McCauley model. Customers had the choice of either 4-bladed Hartzell or McCauley models, or the 3-bladed Hartzell model. 

Three years later, the B200 received another big upgrade, an Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS). The model was sold as the B200SE Super King Air and would be the last model to carry the Super King Air moniker. The B200’s EFIS was upgraded in 2003 to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 suite.

In 1996, Beechcraft officially dropped the “Super” from the larger King Air line, leaving the Model 200 and 300 to be marketed simply as the King Air. However, people still refer to the larger models as the Super King Airs even today. 

Model B200GT – Second Evolution

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air B200GT

The next update to the Model 200 would come in 2007 when Beechcraft released the Model 200GT. The B200GT featured brand-new bespoke engines designed by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52. These engines still produced 850 shp (630 kW), but pilots could utilize every ounce at higher altitudes than before. The MTOW also increased to 12,500 lb (5,700 kg). 

Beechcraft continued to release the cargo model and released a newer model in 2007. The latest iteration was named the B200CGT. Another special edition B200 was announced in 2014, the King Air 250SEP (Extra Payload). The 250EP featured an MTOW increase of 920 lb (417 kg), to 13,420 lbs (6,090 kg). 

Model 260 – The Most Recent Iteration

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air Model 260

The next update to the Model 200 came in December 2020, when Beechcraft introduced the King Air 260. The model featured upgraded avionics, IS&S autothrottles, and multi-scan weather radar. Cabin improvements included a new digital pressurization system that can be controlled by pilots. 

Performance was improved with more range and a higher top speed. The Model 260 remains the latest King Air 200 and costs $7.78 million in 2023. 

Model 260 Specifications

Exterior Dimensions
Length43 ft 10 in (13.4 m)
Height14 ft 10 in (4.5 m)
Wingspan57 ft 11 in (17.65 m)
Wing Area310 ft² (28.8 m²)
Cabin Dimensions
Length16 ft 8 in (5.1 m)
Height57 in (1.4 m)
Width54 in (1.37 m)
Baggage Space55.3 ft³ (1.57 m³)
Maximum Ramp Weight12,590 lb (5,711 kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
Maximum Landing Weight12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
Useable Fuel Weight3,645 lb (1,653 kg)
Useable Fuel Volume544 gal (2,059 l)
Useful Load3,760 lb (1,706 kg)
Maximum Payload2,170 lb (984 kg)
Basic Empty Weight8,830 lb (4,005 kg)
Maximum Range1,720 nm (3,185 km)
Maximum Cruise Speed310 ktas (574 km/h)
Takeoff Distance (MTOW)2,111 ft (643 m)
Landing Distance (MLW)2,845 ft (867 m)
Service Ceiling35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Maximum Climb Rate2,437 fpm (743 mpm)
Maximum Power (each Engine)850 shp (630 kW)
Flight Crew1
Maximum Passengers9
Flight DeckRockwell Collins Pro Line 21
Engine(s) x 2Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52
Propeller4-bladed, Composite Hartzell Propeller

Model 1900

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide King Air Model 1900

The Model 1900 had its maiden flight on September 3rd, 1982. It was developed at a time when regional airliners were rising in popularity. Beechcraft wanted to step into the market and compete against Swearington’s Metro and British Aerospace’s Jetstream.

The King Air 1900 was Beechcraft’s third attempt at a regional airliner and the company’s first pressurized regional airliner. The Model 1900 was essentially a stretched variant of the Super King Air Model 200 and shared many of its components.

The aircraft was produced from 1982 to 2002, during this period over 695 units were made, which makes it the best-selling 19-seater airliner in history. Beechcraft ended production in 2002 after regional air travel became even more popular and airlines wanted larger 50-90 seat jets.

1900D Specifications

Exterior Dimensions
Length57 ft 8 in (17.62 m)
Height15 ft 5 in (4.72 m)
Wingspan57 ft 9 in (17.64 m)
Wing Area310 ft² (28.8 m²)
Maximum Gross Weight17,227 lb (7,814 kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight17,120 lb (7,764 kg)
Useable Fuel Weight4,458 lb (2,022 kg)
Basic Empty Weight10,874 lb (4,932 kg)
Maximum Range382 nmi (707 km)
Ferry Range1,245 nmi (2,306 km)
Service Ceiling25,000 ft (7,620 m)
Maximum Climb Rate2,615 ft/min (13.28 m/s)
Maximum Power (each Engine)1,279 shp (955 kW)
Flight Crew1/2
Maximum Passengers19
Flight DeckRockwell Collins EFIS-84
Engine(s) x 2Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67D 
Propeller4-bladed, Composite Hartzell Propeller

Model 300

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide Beechcraft King Air 300

The Model 300 was born because of the popularity of the Model 200. The airframe of the B200 was modified, and new cowlings were designed to incorporate larger and more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A engines that produced 1,050 hp (780 kW).

The MTOW was increased to 14,000 lb (6,400 kg), however, Beechcraft simultaneously produced a lightweight model (300LW) which allowed the aircraft to be certified in certain countries that prevented this type of aircraft from having a higher MTOW than 12,500 lbs (5,700 kg). Therefore the lightweight model had an MTOW of 12,500 lb (5,700 kg).

The prototype Model 300 first took flight on September 3rd, 1983 and customers received their aircraft in the following year. Beechcraft produced the Model 300 for seven years, after which it was replaced.

Model 300

Exterior Dimensions
Length43 ft 10 in (13.36 m)
Height14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Wingspan54 ft 6 in (16.61 m)
Cabin Dimensions
Length16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
Height4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Width4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Baggage Space54 ft³ (5.01 m³)
Cabin Volume303 ft³ (28.15 m³)
Maximum Take-Off Weight14,000 lb (6,400 kg)
Maximum Landing Weight14,000 lb (6,400 kg)
Operating Weight8,930 lb (4,050 kg)
Useable Fuel Weight3,611 lb (1,637 kg)
Payload with Full Fuel1,559 lb (707 kg)
Maximum Payload2,570 lb (1,165 kg)
Basic Empty Weight8,488 lb (3,850 kg)
Maximum Range1,570 nmi (2,907 km)
Maximum Cruise Speed320 kts (592 kmph)
Balanced Field Length (MTOW)3,950 ft (1,203 m)
Landing Distance (MLW)4,133 ft (1,259 m)
Service Ceiling35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Maximum Climb Rate2,844 fpm (14.44 m/s)
Maximum Power (each Engine)1,050 hp (780 kW)
Flight Crew1
Maximum Passengers7
Engine(s) x 2Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A

Model 350 and 360

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide Beechcraft King Air 360

In 1988, Beechcraft began designing the Model 300’s successor. The development process took two years during which the engineers lengthened the aircraft by 2.9 ft (0.88 m). The extra cabin length allowed Beechcraft to add two more windows on either side and fit double club seating.

Beechcraft also increased the wingspan by 3.4 ft (1.0 m) and added winglets. These served to offset the effect the increased weight would have on performance. The King Air 350 was the heaviest model yet, with an MTOW of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg). The 350 was introduced in 1990 with another two models.

The first was a lightweight model 350LW was released alongside the main model to circumvent the certification laws in some countries, while the second was a cargo version with a large cargo door on the port side of the aircraft. The lightweight model was dropped in 1994 after the main model was certified at its MTOW for operations. 

In November 2007, Beechcraft released the King Air 350ER (Extended Range) variant of the Model B300. The 350ER is considered the equivalent to the T variants of the Model 200. The 350ER was equipped with fuel tanks in the engine nacelles to increase its range and had a belly pod to house surveillance equipment if necessary. 

The 350ER was 1,500 lb (680 kg) heavier than the B300 model. To cope with the weight, Beechcraft gave this variant new landing gear, which also added more ground clearance for the belly pod. 

Model 350i – The VLJ Competitor

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide Beechcraft King Air 350i

The popularity of very lightweight jets (VLJ) started to affect the King Air’s sales, so Beechcraft released the Model 350i in October 2008. This model featured a heavily redesigned interior to compete with the more recently designed VLJs on the market. The 350i came in two extra variants, the 350iC and 350iCER. 

Beechcraft’s marketing campaign for the King Air 350i revolved around comfort. The extra insulation reduced the noise level to 78 dB from the previous model’s 82 dB. The double-club seats were made more comfortable, and amenities such as in-seat controls cabin controls, pull-out tables, and high-definition infotainment screens.

The King Air might not be as far as its VLJ counterparts, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in fuel savings. The King Air 350i is only around 20 percent slower than the typical VLJ and burns close to 900 lb (410 kg) less fuel. For customers who have a need for speed, Beechcraft introduced the Blackhawk package. 

The Blackhawk package replaces the basic engines with more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines that produce 1,200 shp ( kW). The 150 hp (kW) will cost you $1.8 million, but it also comes with a new 5-blade Harztel propeller made of composite materials.

Amid the pandemic, Beechcraft was working on the most recent iterations of the King Air, the model 360 and 360ER. The models were introduced in September of 2021, nearly a year after it was certified by the FAA. Not a lot has been changed from the 350 aside from some quality-of-life improvements.

Model 360 Specifications

Exterior Dimensions
Length46 ft 8 in (14.2 m)
Height14 ft 4 in (4.4 m)
Wingspan57 ft 11 in (17.65 m)
Wing Area310 ft² (28.8 m²)
Wheel Base16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
Wheel Tread17 ft 2 in (5.23 m)
Cabin Dimensions
Length19 ft 6 in (5.9 m)
Height57 in (1.4 m)
Width54 in (1.37 m)
Baggage Space55.3 ft³ (1.57 m³)
Maximum Ramp Weight16,600 lb (7,530 kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight16,500 lb (7,484 kg)
Maximum Landing Weight15,675 lb (7,110 kg)
Useable Fuel Weight5,192 lb (2,355 kg)
Useable Fuel Volume775 gal (2,934 l)
Useful Load7,174 lb (3,254 kg)
Maximum Payload3,574 lb (1,621 kg)
Basic Empty Weight9,426 lb (4,276 kg)
Baggage Weight55 lb (249 kg)
Full Fuel Payload1,982 lb (899 kg)
Maximum Range2,539 nm (4,702 km)
Maximum Cruise Speed303 ktas (561 km/h)
Takeoff Field Length (MTOW)4,057 ft (1,237 m)
Landing Distance (MLW)2,981 ft (909 m)
Service Ceiling35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Maximum Climb Rate2,400 fpm (732 mpm)
Maximum Limit Speed245 kias (454 km/h)
Stall Speed80 kcas (148 km/h)
Maximum Power (each Engine)1,050 shp (772 kW)
Flight Crew1
Maximum Passengers14
Flight DeckRockwell Collins Pro Line 21
Engine(s) x 2Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A
Propeller4-bladed, Aluminum Hartzell Propeller

Military and Special Variants

Except for the Model 1900, every other King Air has had a military variant or a special use variant. The reason is that the aircraft is

The Future

The King Air has been around for more than half a century and continues to dominate the competition. Over the last 56 years, Beechcraft has delivered nearly 8,000 units, while the fleet has amassed more than 62 million flight hours. 

Its popularity is owed to its versatility and performance. The widespread nature of the King Air means that old models can easily be retrofitted with parts from newer models to extend their useful life. There are plenty of modification and upgrade programs available on the market. In addition, spare parts are plentiful and can be purchased for reasonable prices, which makes the aircraft a favorite on the second-hand market.

Today, a top-of-the-line King Air 360 costs $9.255 million. and the extended range model costs $9.76 million, which is $505,000 more. Well-maintained second-hand models can be found for reasonable prices as well. 

The King Air is irreplaceable, Beechcraft learned that the hard way when it spent over $300 million developing its successor in the form of the Starship. The company only sold 53 units during its 12-year production run. There are multiple factors as to why it failed, but a significant reason was that the King Air kept outselling it.

Sooner than later Beechcraft will introduce a new iteration of the aircraft, which will improve performance, efficiency, and comfort. It’ll be more of the same and that’s fine, as the adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

King Air Plane Types and Models Guide FAQ

Question: Why is the King Air so popular?

Answer: The King Air is the world’s most popular twin-engined turboprop aircraft. It owes its popularity to a host of factors, the main ones being its runway performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability. Its short-haul performance is also unrivaled. 
Among business aircraft, it has the best occupancy-to-fuel efficiency ratio on the market, which makes it an attractive option for charter operators. 

Question: Why was the Model 200 discontinued?

Answer: The Model 200 was discontinued in 2020 due to the increased popularity of VLJs. The smaller model was being outperformed while carrying fewer or the same number of passengers. The larger model had a high occupancy was had stronger sales because of it, so Beechcraft axed production to focus on the profitable machine. 

Question: Will the King Air Become Obsolete in the Future?

Answer: It’s no secret that Very Light Jets and Light Jets are eating up the market share that King Air has always dominated. However, it is unlikely that the latter will ever be outdated. Turboprop engines have selective advantages that jet engines do not. Easier maintenance, and fuel efficiency, and are more robust for shorter flights.
The King Air is also more suited for utility operations such as medical transportation (it is the most popular air ambulance in the world). They can operate on shorter runways and fly slower than jet aircraft, allowing them to fly to otherwise inaccessible areas. 
So it’s unlikely that the King Air’s jet-engined competitors will replace it.

Related Read


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  • BCA table 2023 – turboprops. (n.d.). Infogram. Retrieved June 12, 2023, from
  • Casinader, T. (2023, April 1). Cessna conquest vs Beechcraft king air 200: King or conqueror? – Aviator insider.
  • George, F. (2019a, September 19). King air 350i: Fill the seats, fill the tanks, and feel the difference. Aviation Week Network.
  • George, F. (2019b, September 19). King air 350i: Fill the seats, fill the tanks, and feel the difference. Aviation Week Network.
  • Green, W. (1955). The Observer’s Book of Aircraft, Etc. (Fourth edition.). Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.
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  • McDaniel, M. (2018, July 27). The fastest king air: Blackhawk’s XP67A 350. King Air.
  • O’Connor, K. (2020, October 6). King air 360 earns an FAA type certificate. AVweb.
  • Sparks, K. (2017, August 29). History of the king air: A90-C90. Blog.
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  • WinAir. (2019, November 1). The insider’s guide to the Beechcraft king air aircraft. WinAir.
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