The King Air 200 was certificated in 1973. Still in production, the current models of the 200 are the B200, B200SE and, with the addition of a 52-inch square cargo door, the B200C and B200CSE. The 200 series is one of the most popular turbine aircraft ever, with nearly 2,000 built. Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41s power the early Model 200s, while PT6A-42s are found in B200s. The differences between the 200 and B200, besides the engines, are that the 200s have electrically operated gear while the B200 has hydraulic gear. Also, with 30 years of continuous production, models see evolutionary improvement over time.
The Beechcraft King Air series has its roots in the Twin Bonanza of 1951. That aircraft model was enlarged and re-engined to become the Model 65 Queen Air. The Queen Air design changed to incorporate a swept tail and pressurization. With the addition of Pratt & Whitney turboprop engines, the Queen Air became the Model 90 King Air. The King Air 90 led to the stretched King Air 100, which in turn had a T-Tail added to become the King Air 200.
The B200SE is a special edition B200 with fewer options, more basic avionics and a reduced base price over the B200—essentially a price leader.
The B200GT was introduced at EBACE 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is an upgraded B200 and has the more powerful PT6A-52 engine installed, which increases the maximum cruise speed by 20 knots to 305 knots. The PT6A-52 was created by mating the turbine section of the PT-6A-60 engine found on the King Air 350 with the existing gearbox found on the B200's PT-6A-42 engine. The result is an engine that has improved climb and cruise performance. This new engine also eliminates the 10,000 foot takeoff field altitude limitation currently found on the B200.
The 200s seat six and include aft-lavatories. The cabin is not round and is shaped more like a loaf of bread, which gives passengers more shoulder room. The King Air 200/B200 is a stable, reliable and versatile aircraft. While there are other aircraft that are faster, bigger, or less expensive, the 200 series King Airs offer an ideal combination of all three.