Saudi Arabia orders 5 King Airs for weather modification missions 

A Beechcraft King Air 260 parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Textron Aviation
By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Reporting from Wichita, Kansas, Textron Aviation announced that it has been awarded a contract by AcMet International LLC, (AvMet), headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota for five King Air aircraft.

The Saudi Arabian contract states it intends to procure one Beechcraft King Air 360CHW (Cargo Door, Heavy Weight) and four Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft for weather modification operations.

Textron’s legendary Beechcraft will fully support the cloud-seeding program for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology.

The King Air is one of the most well known products designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation and has become one of the iconic aircraft available for sale in the turboprop segment. 

King Air – A Proven Machine 

King Air continues to be chosen globally for selected missions to be chosen for a wide range of special mission roles around the world due to its reputation for its built quality, capability, performance, and reliability. The King Air, in fact, is built for multi-mission capabilities. 

Vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation Bob Gibbs commented on the latest sale to Saudi Arabia: “We’re honored AvMet has chosen a fleet of Beechcraft King Air aircraft to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology cloud seeding program,”


“The King Air continues to be selected for a wide range of special mission roles around the world due to the aircraft’s capabilities and reliability.”

AvMet, in conjunction with its close partners Weather Modification International (WMI) and Fargo Jet Center (FJC), are working to equip the four King Air 260 aircraft recently sold to Saudi Arabia with a Cloud Water Inertial Probe (CWIP), Data Logger with aircraft tracking, and cloud seeding equipment.

This will mean that the King Air 360CHW will be fully role equipped, with a comprehensive research laboratory, and an instrument package for evaluating and observing cloud physics and aerosols.

Location of Modification

The purchased aircraft will be modified at WME’s base in Fargo, along with sister company Fargo Jet Center LLC (FJC). FJC’s Part 145 Repair Station, which is a certified and authorized service center for the Beechcraft King Air.

FJC in conjunction with WMI, will work to certify the Federal Aviation Administration approved Supplemental Type Certificate modifications for cloud seeding and atmospheric research equipment on the King Air.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will receive one of the best and the latest technologies in cloud seeding and atmospheric sciences instrumentation prepared by Textron Aviation, WMI, and FJC. 

A Real All Rounder 

The Beechcraft twin turboprop offers endless special mission possibilities. The aircraft is synonymous with operating in various conditions demanded by government, military, and commercial end-users.

Textron Aviation is known to be able to provide swift and fast inter-reconfigurability for its aircraft, earning itself a positive reputation.

Moreover, Textron’s Aviation provides the highest performance and flight profiles required and demanded by its customers, including difficult and demanding flights of special missions.

Every aircraft produced by Textron offers unrivalled quality and reliability with economical flight operating costs. 

In this context, the aircraft will help future generations of Saudis in researching meteorological patterns above their hometown, and they will not regret selecting the Beechcraft Twin Turbo Prop in achieving such missions.

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