KA350 King Air

The KA350 King Air provides Air Force with a flexible light transport capability, used for training and development of aircrew, and transport of passengers within Australia and the immediate region.

Eight aircraft are operated by No. 38 Squadron at RAAF Base Townsville. They are equipped to transport eight passengers, and can also provide surveillance. This fleet was established following withdrawal of the Caribou aircraft in 2009, prior to the introduction of the C-27J Spartan.

Another eight King Airs are operated by No. 32 Squadron at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria. These are used primarily for navigation training of air combat officers and maritime aviation warfare officers. They can also be used for transport duties, with capacity for seven passengers.

About the Aircraft

The King Air is a modern twin-engine turboprop, with a crew of two pilots and a range of over 2000 km.

They have been used to support Australian Defence Force operations overseas in East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Review of KA350 King Air Fleet

As the introduction of the C-27J Spartan progresses, Air Force is reviewing its King Air Fleet, including the future requirement for Number 38 Squadron in Townsville.

As part of this review, Air Force is considering consolidating its King Air fleet at RAAF Base East Sale, which would result in greater efficiencies in support costs, as well as workforce and training benefits. Current leasing arrangements for a number of aircraft are due to be reviewed in 2018 with a decision on the fleet arrangement.

Specifications

Manufacturer Beechcraft
Role Multi role light transport, low-level tactical and maritime navigation trainer
Crew Two pilots
Engine Two Pratt and Whitney PT6A-60A turboprops driving 4-blade propellers (1,050 horsepower each)
Airframe Length: 14.2 m, height: 4.4 m
Wingspan 17.7 m
Weight 6,894 kg (basic operations), 1,600 kg payload
Cruise Speed 570 km/h
Range 3,400 km
Ceiling 35,000 feet
Capacity Up to eight passengers