But the reduced maximum propeller rpm would have added to takeoff runway requirements if Beech had not made some operational changes. Though the new propellers and operating rpm are very efficient at climb and cruise, they cannot match the static thrust of the high rpm props for takeoff. So, for the first time a C90 King Air uses flaps for takeoff. With the first notch of flaps down, the new C90GT uses the same amount of runway for a sea level takeoff as the C90B. At higher elevation airports, particularly on hot days, the GT uses many hundreds of feet less for takeoff because of the new derated engines ability to continue to deliver maximum power under hot or high takeoff conditions.
Automatic propeller feathering has been available on the C90 King Airs, but was an option and not part of the airplane's required equipment as it is on the larger King Airs. For the C90GT autofeather is now standard, as is rudder bias. If an engine quits on or shortly after takeoff, the autofeather system automatically brings the dead engine propeller to feather and the rudder bias steps on the opposite rudder to keep the airplane flying straight. The rudder bias system uses bleed air pressure from the operating engine to push the rudder in the proper direction. It's a very simple system with no electronics or complicated parts. You will need to add a little foot pressure to the pedal on the good engine side yourself, but in those critical seconds after an engine failure, the C90GT with rudder bias and autofeather takes care of itself while the pilot concentrates on airspeed control. I am lucky to have the chance to fly many business jets of all sizes, and whenever I get back into a King Air cockpit I'm always pleasantly surprised by the room, particularly the headroom. King Air's have more cockpit headroom than all light jets, and even many of medium size. Pilots on the tall side will really appreciate the headroom, but pilots of any size can find a seating position that gives good visibility over the nose and to the sides. I'm 6 feet 2 inches tall, and I raise the seat in the King Air from its lowest setting, something I never do in the light jets, or even some medium-sized ones.
You won't confuse the C90GT cockpit with any brand new design turbine airplane because this King Air still has toggle switches, gauges for various systems, and only basic electronic flight instruments. But there is no denying the big airplane feel of the C90GT. The windshields are heated electrically instead of with engine bleed air and there are wipers to clear rain. The control wheels and power levers have a confidence inspiring heftiness. And you sit up high looking down on lesser airplanes, including many jets.
Passengers appreciate this same sense of size and sturdiness when they climb the airstair. There is room for a private potty in the rear of the cabin, and baggage space is internal so your stuff can be reached in flight. Beech has upgraded the C90GT cabin furnishings, including using the chairs from the top of the line King Air 350. Beech experimented with a recommended propeller 1700-rpm cruise setting, which did quiet the cockpit a little. However, when the sound level was "mapped" inside the passenger cabin, the level was higher at 1700 rpm because the noise damping had been designed to be most effective at 1900 rpm.