Textron Aviation Special Mission Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft join the U.S Forest Service’s aviation fleet supporting wildland fire management

Beechcraft King Air 260 for the U.S. Forest Service Wildfire Mapping Mission

Textron Aviation announced it has delivered two Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service. The aircraft will perform wildfire mapping missions. 

The Beechcraft King Air 260 is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.

We are honoured the U.S. Forest Service has added the King Air 260 to its fleet,”  said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “Whether for the wildfire detection and mapping, resource management, aerial supervision module/lead plane or air attack, the King Air continues to demonstrate its leadership in this mission. Customer faith in our legendary products and trust in our company and our team are at the core of our enduring relationship with U.S Forest Service.”

The King Air 260 aircraft have been modified for the installation of the latest infrared (IR) sensing technology, the Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Earthwatch Airborne Sensor, along with legacy U.S. Forest Service sensors, that can accurately map wildfires, even at night and through smoke. This information is critical for firefighters to have when the exact extent of a fire is not known due to darkness, smoke, size of the fire, rapid spread, or complex terrain. IR mapping aircraft can also be used to detect new fires started by lightning when they are very small.

When government, military and commercial customers want airborne solutions for critical missions, they turn to Textron Aviation.  The company’s aviation solutions provide the high performance and flight characteristics required to address the unique challenges of special mission operations. With unparalleled quality, versatility and low operating costs, Textron Aviation products are preferred for air ambulance, ISR, utility transport, aerial survey, flight inspection, training and a number of other special operations.

More than 7,700 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 58 years, serving roles in all branches of the U.S. military and flying both commercial and special mission roles around the world.

Leave a Comment