I suppose it was bound to happen at some point. My side view aircraft template collection has finally reached the point where I’ve got all the major stuff covered, and it’s time to turn my focus on smaller aircraft types. Since I’ve already received several requests for side view templates of the Beechcraft King Air B200 already, I’m going to start with that.
I have to be honest though. I don’t have nearly the same amount of interest in smaller prop-driven aircraft types as I do in bigger stuff such as the 747 and A380. As an illustrator and designer known for airliner art and aircraft templates, am I allowed to admit something as crazy as that?
Whether or not it makes you think less of me and my credentials as a true AvGeek, I’m sticking to it. Yes, I love creating side profile illustrations of aircraft, but…it was hard for me to get excited about the Beechcraft B200.
Side view templates of the Beechcraft B200 King Air
One of the more difficult things about creating technical side-profile drawings of smaller aircraft is the amount of extra details that need to be included. I talked a lot about this in my post about my Cessna Grand Caravan templates, but the point is this: just because the aircraft is smaller doesn’t mean that it’s easier to illustrate.
As you can see in the illustrations above, the B200 is a fantastically-detailed aircraft with loads of neat little nooks and crannies. I think it was the front landing gear structure which caused me to curse the loudest. It’s a massively complex piece of equipment which took a lot of time to get right – to the point where I was actually dreaming about it the night after. Yikes.
What exactly is a Beechcraft Super King Air?
Good question, and to be honest, that’s exactly what I was asking myself as I sat down to illustrate this thing. However, this is a very popular aircraft and it wasn’t difficult to uncover lots of good information about its history on the Internet. Here is a brief summary of what the B200 is:
- The B200 (officially referred to as a “Super King Air”) is a larger variant of the standard Beechcraft King Air.
- The standard King Air models are comprised of the -90 and -100 series, while the “Super King Air” designation is given to the -200 and -300 series. The aircraft templates shown above are the -200 model.
- However, just to make things more complicated, the “Super” name was dropped in 1996. But everyone still says “Super King Air” anyway. Makes total sense, right?
- Although designed with commercial and military purposes in mind, it has been more popular with government and military operations all over the world.
- The B200 features the same fuselage as the -100 model, but uses an all-new T-tail design. This helped to increase the overall length by 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m) over its predecessor.
- Larger and more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41 engines were added, for a roughly 20% increase in overall performance.
A brief history of the Beechcraft B200
One of the most interesting things I discovered about the B200 as I was doing the research for these illustrations was it’s crazy-long production run. The evolution of the -100 model started way back in 1969, with the launch of the first aircraft in 1972. And it’s still being produced to this day.
As a matter of fact, this is the longest production run of any turboprop aircraft in its class.
I can’t think of many other aircraft type with such a long production history. The Boeing 737 comes close, but that doesn’t really count because the Original Series is nothing like the current MAX series.
Anyway, here are some more interesting tidbits I discovered about the history of the King Air B200:
- The very first King Air B200 flew on October 27, 1972
- It achieved its civil certification a year later (December 1973), and the delivery of the very first aircraft took place in February 1974.
- There are 21 variants of the Beechcraft B200. Most of these variants are visually similar. The most notable differences are large cargo doors, added windows, winglets, and over-wing exits on some models.
- As expected, the avionics of the newest variants are much more advanced than the original versions. For example, the -360 and -360R (introduced in August 2020) feature upgraded technology such as automatic pressurization and auto throttles, along with an all new interior.
Finally, a quick (and very important) disclaimer about these templates
Because of how long the B200 has been in production, it has been heavily modified and updated over time. Therefore, nearly every picture I found of a Super King Air on the Internet looks slightly different from one another (which means that finding consistent reference materials for these drawings was a nightmare).
Some have a slightly different engine design than others. The size of the flaps for the main landing gear differ, as does the aerodynamic slat on the underside of the rear of the fuselage.
Long story short, I discovered that there are million ways to draw a King Air B200, and I just chose to base my illustrations on reference material that seemed to jive the most with most of the rest of the reference material.
Aircraft template design is far from an absolute and scientific process, but I hope you still find these templates useful nonetheless. Have fun with these!