• Review: Carenado Beechcraft King Air C90B

    Review: Carenado Beechcraft King Air C90B

    By Peter J. Carlson

    First flown on September 9, 1963, the Beechcraft King Air 90 (model 65-90) was a pressurized turboprop development of the Beechcraft Queen Air, which was a development of the Twin Bonanza. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engines, the resulting airplane was a fast, reliable, and versatile business transport. Soon, Beechcraft developed the King Air into the 100, and the Super King Air line: the 200, 250, 300, and 350 models. It has, over the years, proven a very successful and reliable design that has served for almost half a century. Today, Hawker Beechcraft (who declared bankruptcy in early May) still produce the King Air in the C90GTx, 250, and 350i models, with no signs of stopping. To date, Beechcraft have built nearly 7,000 King Airs of all types, an amazing number when compared to Piper Cheyenne, Cessna 414, 421, and 441, all of which have exited production. It is interesting to note that the Boeing 737 first flew in 1967, and there have been more 737s built that King Airs, which is a very interesting thing to think about, considering the size and complexity of an aircraft like the Boeing 737.

    The Aircraft

    Modeled is the King Air C90B model, which is essentially a C90A with slight changes; manufactured between 1992 and 2005. Two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21 turbine engines, producing 550 shaft-horsepower each, power it. The B model features an increased MTOW of 10,100 lbs, and fully reversible four-bladed propellers (as opposed to three-bladed ones).

    The King Air has been successful for many reasons (not necessarily in this order). First, the Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine turned out to be a very successful and reliable engine. Second, the King Air's construction quality was better than Cessna or Piper; as is true with all Beechcraft airplanes (leave the Duchess and Musketeer perhaps). The King Air is also a very stable airplane, nice to fly, and has an excellent safety record. For these reasons, the King Air has survived for almost 50 years because it, as Beech's Baron and Bonanza still are, is an excellent example of enduring aviation design, showing that pencil and paper can create a machine as good or better than anything that our modern technology delivers.

    Copyright © 2011 Peter J. Carlson, All Right Reserved: A brand-new C90GTx seen at EAA AirVenture 2001


    First Impressions

    When I saw that this product had been released, I immediately chose to drop a line to my contact at Carenado, to get my hands on a copy for review; within half an hour I received an email from Carenado, with my download link and product code - I promptly unzipped and installed the product. Having just installed the new Orbx Ketchikan International Airport, I placed the King Air there, and proceeded to my first flight. I did have one lame knock on Carenado for naming each of the default planes 'Carenado' as its manufacturer, as opposed to 'Beechcraft' which swallowed five minutes of searching through my vast hangar before finding them, although changing the manufacturer is quite simple. I do have a nice ability to figure out the systems of an airplane quite quickly, so I was able to orient myself in the cockpit and get the systems functioning, although unfortunately, there is no pilot's manual or checklist available by the stroke of a key, as we see in older Carenado products, which is a shame in my opinion. Nevertheless, it was quite straightforward, and I had my engines doing a fuel consumption check before you could say 'Wichita Mid-Continent Airport' three times fast with a lisp (don't ask).


    1. garcons32's Avatar
      garcons32 -
      i want it
    1. uptownsmoker's Avatar
      uptownsmoker -
      Agree w the review, it is another great carenado product, but I recently purchased Real Air Duke Turbo and it blows away all other Beechcraft sims...definitely the best I have flown.
    1. tweedy's Avatar
      tweedy -
      I agree with previous comments. Real Air Duke Turbo will take some beating. Nevertheless still looks a fine product (again) by Carenado and worthy of being added to anyone's collection.
    1. N928J's Avatar
      N928J -
      Totally agree with the review, however, Carenado could make the textures a bit neater....
    1. mangoes's Avatar
      mangoes -
      Good review, taxiing the aircraft can be a challenge sometimes, Carenado seem to be slipping a bit on the VC textures and the sharpness of the gauge readouts, hopefully this will be fixed with the release of the upcoming B200 Kingair.
    1. EGCC's Avatar
      EGCC -
      A nice airplane with lovely textures but the flight dynamics don't create the stable platform that the King Air is reputed to be.
      Other Carenado products ( especially the P46T ) feel similar.
    1. Schnell14's Avatar
      Schnell14 -
      I have about a half dozen of Carenado's products, and enjoy using their C-185 regularly. I have now put in several hours with the C-90, and the visual model appearance is great, inside and out, as usual for Carenado. However, I think they have reached the limit of their capabilities, and did only a fair (at best) job on the virtual cockpit.

      IMHO the C-90 is not even in the same class as the RealAir Turbine Duke. Crenado stated at the begining that the C-90 was their most ambitious product to date. I think they over-reached.
    1. bytes's Avatar
      bytes -
      There is no Beta sound at all when the throttle is in the Beta or Ground Fine position. The Beta sound is the sweet sound that makes a turboprop King of the Air.
    1. Billbixby's Avatar
      Billbixby -
      I like the Beechcraft King air that is in the game by default. I like flying it. I know a lot of people say it's terrible. I am definitely going to buy this add on aircraft in about a week and a half when some money I'm expecting comes in. Looking forward to it!!! Man if Microsoft was smart they would have stuck with FSX and came out with add ons like these 3rd party companies are. They would have made a fortune. I've spent at least 160 in addons on a 30 dollar game....
    1. Billbixby's Avatar
      Billbixby -
      Just downloaded it last night. Very happy with my purchase. This plane is great. It's hard to NOT find a switch that doesn't do something. Great add on Carenado....
    1. juan30005's Avatar
      juan30005 -
      como lo bajo: Piloto:
    1. Tupelov115's Avatar
      Tupelov115 -
      The only thing that bothers me is the lack of dials on the PIC HSI, I fly a C90A at my local flight school and it has the majority of the avionics offered with the carenado C90B and yet it has the same style of digital HSI but with dials, such a shame to not have the on the carenado c90 but still an absolutly amazing aircraft
    1. jgspangler's Avatar
      jgspangler -
      One important question re the Carenado C-90B: Almost all FS2004 turboprop aircraft have trouble taxiing smoothly with "stop and go" being the rule. (also refered to the as "the ketchup bottle throttle" problem because you either get too much or too little throttle.) Did this model have that same problem? I have some time in real world C-90s and have been looking for one I can actually taxi in FS9 !
      thanks [email protected]
    1. noisebe's Avatar
      noisebe -

      It's a superb plane but I can't find the heading cursor ILS on the dashboard.
      Here is a picture to ilustrate.

      Can someone help me?
      Thank you,

    1. sohl's Avatar
      sohl -
      It has the worst "sound" package ever! (Despite everything else being awesome).This sounds like it's coming apart! Horrible to listen to.

      Sorry to say it, but the default King Air sounds are way better and smoother (and the default King Air isn't that bad - at least you don't need a Cray computer to run it at decent fps )
      C'mon Carenado - yes, you produce stunning great eye candy but perhaps include a "light" version of each of the HD models too
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