The Beechcraft Super King Air 200 is a twin-turboprop transport and utility aircraft. It is part of the King Air series, a family of aircraft that has been in continuous production since 1964, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft. The King Air line has outlasted all of its previous competitors, and as of 2006 is one of only two twin-turboprop business airplanes in production.
Demand for a King Air with a greater capacity than the earlier models led to the development of the Super King Air 200. New features included a distinctive T-tail, more powerful engines, greater wing area and span, increased cabin pressurization, greater fuel capacity and higher operating weights compared to the Model 100. The aircraft was certificated in December 1973 with PT-6A-41 engines rated at 850 shp. The improved B200 model, with PT-6A-42 engines, entered production in 1981 and is still being produced today. It has a comfortable and roomy “squared-oval” pressurized cabin. The flight deck seats a crew of two and is fitted with dual controls although it can be flown by a single pilot.
The Super King Air 200 first flew on October 27, 1972. In 1996, “Super” was dropped from the name and the aircraft became known as the King Air B200. Since first entering service in 1981, over 2,150 B200s have been delivered. It went on to be the most successful aircraft in its class, overtaking rivals such as the Cessna Conquest and the Piper Cheyenne.
The US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all fly the B200 today. The designation varies from service to service, but most are called C-12 Huron or UC-12. The military versions include navaid calibration, maritime patrol and resource exploration. These aircraft perform a range of missions from electronic surveillance to VIP transport. Other operators include Greece, the UK, Israel and Australia.