Textron Aviation announced at the Singapore show that it had received an order from the Southeast Division of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) for two Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft. The delivery of aircraft that will be specially modified for freight transport is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year. The new turboprops will replace the King Air B200 aircraft used by the organization for patient transfer as well as air ambulance. The RFDS organization currently operates more than 35 aircraft from Textron Aviation, including a fleet of 18 King Airs in the southeast section. “The organization’s commitment to Textron Aviation is a testament to the reliability, value and performance of our aircraft.” said Jessica Pruss, Sales and Marketing Director for the Asia-Pacific region, adding “We look forward to continuing to support the RFDS medical evacuation mission with the King Air 350”. The two new King Air 350s are expected to come with a 11-seat high-density seating configuration. This configuration allows the RFDS to transport passengers from rural and remote communities to their regional health facilities. The organization plans to take advantage of the King Air 350’s flexibility by transforming it into an air ambulance according to the needs of each mission. Other modifications include an additional cargo door to facilitate loading and unloading of patients, as well as a heavy landing gear allowing it to withstand a higher maximum take-off mass. In this configuration, the aircraft can operate with full fuel and a maximum payload of more than 1,100 kg giving it a range of more than 2,500 km.
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