Beech Model 200 Super King Air / C-12


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Beech Model 200 Super King Air / C-12

On 27 October 1972, Beech flew the prototype of a new and improved member of the King Air family which has become known as the Beech Model 200 Super King Air. It differs from King Air 100s by having greater wing span, the conventional tail unit replaced by a T-tail, and increased fuel capacity for more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41 turboprop engines. These changes make it possible for the improved version to operate at a higher gross weight. First deliveries of Super King Airs were made in early 1974, and the better capability of this aircraft resulted in the company receiving contracts for the supply and support of 34 examples modified for service with the US Army. These are powered by 559kW PT6A-38 turboprop engines, and were allocated the designation C-12A subsequent military orders for the C-12A have to date included 27 and 30 for the US Army and USAF respectively. Other service variants are the UC-12B (66 ordered) for the US Navy/Marine Corps, powered by 634kW PT6A-41 turboprops; the C-12C (14) for the US Army with PT6A-41 engines; the generally similar C-12D (27) for the US Army, but with an added cargo door; and the special-mission RU-21J (three) bristling externally with antennae and equipped for the requirements of the US Army's 'Cefly Lancer' programme. More recent variants are the RC-12D 'Guardrail V electronic reconnaissance platform, C-12E upgraded transport for the USAF, C-12F transport for USAF and UC-12F for the Navy, RC-12H reconnaissance variant and UC-12M utility transport.

The cargo door developed for the US Army's C-12D has been available as an option for civil production since 1979, and in April 1981 Beech introduced a new version, identified as the Super King Air B200. It differs by having PT6A-42 turboprop engines which offer improved cruising performance.


Super King Air Model 200T: designation of two specially-equipped aircraft for the French Institut Geographique National for high-altitude photographic and weather observation duties;

Super King Air Maritime Patrol 200T: maritime patrol/multi-mission aircraft, with new outboard wing panels to provide for installation of wingtip fuel tanks, strengthened landing gear, hatch for dropping survival equipment, bubble observation window in aft cabin, and search radar with a 360 scan underfuselage radome; orders include 13 for Japan Maritime Safety Agency, and one for Uruguayan navy;

Super King Air B200C: version of civil B200 with a cargo door as standard;

Super King Air B200CT: version of civil B200 with a cargo door and removable wingtip fuel tank provisions as standard;

Super King Air B200T: version of the civil B200 with removable wingtip fuel tank provisions as standard;

Super King Air 300: improved version with PT6A-60A turboprops each rated at 783kW and corresponding increase in take-off weight. The 300LW is a lightened version optimised for European operations;

1300 Commuter: King Air B200 version for commuter airlines. Accommodates up to 13 passengers with an optional belly luggage pack.

Beech Model 200 Super King Air / C-12

 MODELSuper King Air B200
 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Canada PT6A-42 turboprops, 634kW
  Take-off weight5670 kg12500 lb
  Empty weight3419 kg7538 lb
  Wingspan16.61 m55 ft 6 in
  Length13.34 m44 ft 9 in
  Height4.57 m15 ft 0 in
  Wing area28.15 m2303.00 sq ft
  Max. speed545 km/h339 mph
  Cruise speed523 km/h325 mph
  Ceiling10670 m35000 ft
  Range3756 km2334 miles

Beech Model 200 Super King Air / C-12A three-view drawing (818 x 1152)

Don Lewis, e-mail, 30.03.2022 19:16

The text needs to be changed to show that the U.S. Army received the first three Beech Model 200 Super King Air aircraft for military use in August, 19 74; #21058, #21059, and #21060. They were mission configured as RU-21Js in the Cefly Lancer program. I flew the first delivered aircraft (#21058) from the Beech Factory to Naval Air Station Lakehurst, NJ for U.S. Army electronic testbed configurations.


Mike Billow, e-mail, 01.05.2011 03:54

I'm happy to add that on September 15, 2002 co-pilot Gunner Kyle and myself set the FAI International; National Aeronautic Class C-1.f Group II Altitude with a 1000 kg payload of 34,501ft (10,516m) in C-12T3 84-0489 at the Reno Championship Air Races. What a great airplane!


R.W. Little, e-mail, 26.04.2011 15:11

I've flown many KingAirs during my career. If the yaw damper is inopt, you are in for a more squirelier ride
and a lower altitude. Beech should have improved this


Dennis R. Deptula, e-mail, 25.04.2011 14:53

I had an engine failure after takeoff in a King Air 300. The aircraft proved to be safe and efficient and I flew it single pilot for two of the six years and those were the most enjoyable years of my flying career.


Bob Marsh, e-mail, 31.01.2011 06:57

I flew this A /C in the Military for about 5,000 hrs. It is probaly one of the best a /c ever built. It was designated the C-12. Both A /c in the above picture are Army Aircraft.


Bob Stream, e-mail, 10.12.2010 01:18

Great aircraft, Any one ever heard of TOM CLEMENTS,
Please advise.


Leigh Dechaine, e-mail, 29.11.2010 05:27

I did the conversions for the CATPASS mods from 1987 to 1997. Great versatile aircraft that had a niche market for expanded uses. . . . still does.


Bob Pustell, 01.11.2010 04:01

I was initial cadre in the USAF C-12A program, one of four pilots picked to set up the AF training school for the airplane. We checked out at the factory and then set up our operation. Nice flying plane, honest and strong. The program started as a joint Army /Air Force buy of about 30 planes each. For the Army, it was to be the queen of their fleet, for the AF it was kind of tiny little stepchild but needed for some particular missions. Interesting trivia (not verified with documents but heard from sources at both Beech and Air Force) was that the contest to build the C-12A actually should have gone to Cessna for the Citation. That plane actually met the specs better, but the Air Force brass could not stand the thought of the Army having a jet so they steered the bid to Beech. I enjoyed my time in the airplane.


Bob Leonard, e-mail, 26.10.2010 01:59

Flew the B-200 in Africa doing bush operations into sandy soft strips. Used the larger tires on main gear and this worked well though one time did get it stuck badly in the parking area. Took 3 hours and a big truck to CAREFULLY pull it out of the sand box I had taxied into. Passengers like the aircraft because we could climb above the rough air during the summer months. Used FL250 - 280 mostly. The PT-6-42 is almost bullet proof. Great engine with little trouble. The B-200 is a great flying aircraft with smooth controls.


Harold Walter, 22.01.2010 18:23

The Model 200 has excellent handling characteristics. It meets the desirable handling qualities specified by Beech when it was built.


Tony Russell, e-mail, 26.10.2008 03:40

I worked for a company that bought BL-3, and BL-16 which were 200C aircraft and BL-44, a B200C, all new. It was my understanding that the U.S. Navy provided the R&D and funding for the cargo door 200s.


Taco, e-mail, 23.07.2008 22:41

Nice aircraft to jump from too...fastest ride personally was 7 minutes to 14.5kft with 14 skydivers beats the skydivers to the ground without fail. I took an observer ride to enjoy the split-s as the last skydiver exits.


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