Fabrication of the first test articles for Cessna’s Denali single-engine turboprop has commenced.
The Denali was unveiled at Oshkosh last summer and since then, programme engineers have started fabrication of the first static and fatigue test articles.
Textron Aviation has begun fabrication of Denali door test articles, including the 53-inch wide by 59-inch tall aft cargo door.
“This is an exciting time in the Denali program as this aircraft is now coming to life through the production of the first test articles,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Engineering.
“The level of attention that goes into this phase of development results in a highly mature product in later stages of the development program, ultimately allowing us to deliver customers a best-in-class aircraft.”
Testing of the fuel system iron bird test article has also been initiated and this has already yielded valuable feedback for the development team, allowing them to fine-tune the system early in the process.
Additionally, testing is well underway on McCauley’s 105-inch, five-blade composite propeller, with propeller test runs at max RPM, vibration testing and bird strike testing, already having been successfully completed by programme engineers.
The clean-sheet Denali will be powered by GE’s advanced turboprop engine and the aircraft will offer a single-lever power and propeller control to ease pilot workload.