Transforming the Future of King Air

Making a welcome return to in-person activities, NBAA 2021 was packed with exciting industry news, stellar presentations, and a handful of groundbreaking aerospace surprises.

NBAA 2021 at the new Las Vegas Convention Center

With a clear focus on sustainability, the shimmering exhibition hall of the new Las Vegas Convention center was the perfect platform to elevate the already fantastic event. Dazzling displays showcased the industry's commitment and vision for a cleaner, greener future. Additionally, but not surprisingly, private flight was on heavy display — a timely reaction to the post-covid era, which has seen a surge in demand for more streamlined, curated travel experiences.

And while some aviation companies were quick to repackage old technology — others came prepared to reveal fresh, compelling ideas.

One such announcement came via Tamarack Aerospace, showing a beautiful Beechcraft King Air 200 that they've equipped with Performance SMARTWING™ technology.

Differing from the Active Winglet technology currently found on over 150 CitationJet aircraft, Performance SMARTWING™ technology incorporates key advantages meant to address the specific demands of the military and surveillance market. One such advantage is the dual load alleviation control surfaces engineered to ensure redundancy in complex, mission-critical scenarios.

King Air Transformed with Tamarack Performance SMARTWINGS™  

In a recently published Flying article, Tamarack founder and CEO Nick Guida stated,

"Operators were reporting some benefits in climb because if you put an endplate to an existing wing, you're going to get an [effective] aspect ratio increase," Guida said.

"The question is, can you use it at the lift coefficients that you normally operate?

" Typically, at low lift coefficients, you're not going to get a benefit from winglets because the induced drag term is much lower…if you have low lift coefficients, most of the drag is from form drag rather than induced drag."

The development phase of Tamarack's King Air Performance SMARTWING™ technology has required robust testing. To truly tap into the most comprehensive King Air expertise, Tamarack has teamed up with Dynamic Aviation . Here's what AOPA, observed,

"The Performance SMARTWING™, is currently in a flight test program installed on a B200 King Air carrying the C–12 military designation… Dynamic Aviation acquires King Airs and other aircraft, then leases them to the military. The SMARTWING™ King Air is being reviewed by U.S. military and defense organizations."

In the same AOPA article, the writer notes that "Although Dynamic Aviation is the first to apply the new wing modification, the intent is to expand certification to the civilian market, offering it to owners of King Air 200-series and King Air 350 models as well. Tamarack anticipates certification by the end of 2022."

Clearly, the future of aviation sustainability involves much more than SAF and Electric — both of which are still many years away from realistically making an impact within the industry.

Meanwhile, Tamarack seems to have cemented themselves as the go-to wing technology experts, with their technology already accounting for up to 33% fuel savings on Active Winglet equipped CitationJets. Their new Performance SMARTWING™ technology is generating real industry excitement, as potential buyers in both the military and civilian sectors have already shown interest. Still in the early stages of testing and certification, with a King Air 300 reported to also be in development, additional news and updates on their new King Air Performance SMARTWING™ technology provides yet another reason to look forward to NBAA 2022!

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