Textron Aviation Special Mission Beechcraft King Air 260 Aircraft Join the U.S Forest Service’s Avia

Overwatch Imaging TK-9 payload utilized as aircraft's key multispectral imaging system

One of two Beechcraft King Air 260s delivered to the U.S. Forest Service equipped with wildfire detection technology. (Photo: Textron Aviation)
One of two Beechcraft King Air 260s delivered to the U.S. Forest Service equipped with wildfire detection technology. (Photo: Textron Aviation)

Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Multispectral Imaging Payload
Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Multispectral Imaging Payload


Textron Aviation has delivered two Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service. The aircraft will perform wildfire mapping missions. The Beechcraft King Air 260 is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company.


The King Air 260 aircraft have been modified for the installation of the latest infrared (IR) sensing technology, the Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Earthwatch Airborne Sensor, along with legacy U.S. Forest Service sensors, that can accurately map wildfires, even at night and through smoke. This information is critical for firefighters to have when the exact extent of a fire is not known due to darkness, smoke, size of the fire, rapid spread, or complex terrain. IR mapping aircraft can also be used to detect new fires started by lightning when they are very small.


Same fire, different story: Multispectral imagery from Overwatch Imaging's TK-9 payload, featuring SWIR, NIR, VIsual, MWIR and LWIR sensor technology
Same fire, different story: Multispectral imagery from Overwatch Imaging's TK-9 payload, featuring SWIR, NIR, VIsual, MWIR and LWIR sensor technology

“We are honored the U.S. Forest Service has added the King Air 260 to its fleet,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “Whether for the wildfire detection and mapping, resource management, aerial supervision module/lead plane or air attack, the King Air continues to demonstrate its leadership in this mission. Customer faith in our legendary products and trust in our company and our team are at the core of our enduring relationship with U.S Forest Service.”

166 views0 comments