Flying across the country typically involves 8+ hours and a stop to refuel. This New Year’s Eve Tamarack Aerospace Group Founder and CEO Nick Guida took a recently modified King Air 200 nonstop from the home base of Sandpoint, Idaho, to Bridgewater, Virginia.
Tamarack Aerospace Group has developed Performance SMARTWING™ Technology to transform the capability of ISR aircraft and improve the operational advantage, safety, and overall mission readiness. In partnership with Dynamic Aviation, a King Air 200 was recently modified with this revolutionary technology and embarked on a coast-to-coast flight.
The flight departed on a cold, dark North Idaho morning, at 3:50am PST with temperatures ranging in the low teens and ice making a strong presence. Guida described take off as feeling much different than a standard King Air flight, as the plane was able to get to altitude far more quickly and efficiently. “It jumped off the runway”, he stated. This is one of the notable benefits of SMARTWING™ technology- improved takeoff with reduced time to climb.
Guida flew at long range cruise at 400pph for approximately three hours. As is typically the case with any kind of travel, not everything went smoothly. During this time, he was required to fly with an oxygen mask because of cabin pressure loss at the higher altitude. However, once he switched to normal cruise at 500pph and changed altitude, this was alleviated. When flying near Chicago, a slight tailwind helped with speed. As he flew over the mountains for landing, it was noticeably bumpier, and it was noted the ATLAS technology was certainly doing its job. The load-alleviating SMARTWING™ technology includes active turbulence canceling and acts as a shock absorber for the wings, so the turbulence likely would’ve been greater without SMARTWING™. Using load sensors and two camber surfaces that can respond in fractions of a second, they automatically control wing bending during turbulence.
During landing, Guida noticed that the speed was far slower and felt much more stable than previously, and only half the runway was necessary for landing. Overall, it was said the flight was much more comfortable.
The King Air 200 is utilized for several reasons. The fuel economy on the turbo prop plane is more fuel efficient than jets, has no noise restrictions, and is certified for flying into icy conditions. It also has the reputation of being far more stable and comfortable. The average fuel burn depends on a variety of factors, but on average at 24,000 ft- 620 lbs./hr. The average altitude on this flight was 27,000 ft with an average fuel burn of 400lbs per hour, with the pilot landing with reserves of 800lbs. This is a noticeably lower average fuel burn per hour and overall than the usual King Air 200 flight.
Flying nonstop across the country is quite notable as well. This King Air 200 with SMARTWING™ technology was able to fly 6 hours and 13 minutes straight and landed with additional fuel. The King Air 200 on average can fly 1,500 nautical miles, and in this case, the total mileage was 1,730 nautical miles total. The extra hours and miles traveled is indeed remarkable, and an obvious advantage for military reconnaissance aircraft. Tamarack is proud to have kicked off 2022 with this exciting venture as we continue to revolutionize aviation.