In the King Air 200 and B200 (perhaps other King Air models as well), the avionics electrical bus relays are normally closed. With the Avionics Master switch in the "OFF" position—which is electrically closed—when the Battery master switch is turned on, DC power is supplied through the closed Avionics Master switch to the avionics bus relay solenoids causing these relays to open and disconnect the avionics buses from DC electrical power. Subsequently selecting the Avionics Master switch to the "ON" position opens the switch which disconnects the DC power to the avionics bus relay solenoids, allowing the relays to default to the closed position thereby supplying DC power to the avionics buses. The checklist action item for the Avionics Master switch power failure is to pull the 5 amp Avionics Master circuit breaker, which electrically opens the avionics master switch circuit thereby restoring DC power to the avionics buses.
This system works, and works well, by all appearances. However, the design does seem to be somewhat counter-intuitive.
My question is, what is the purpose of designing the avionics master switching system normally closed?
Despite being counter-intuitive, I can understand that the electrical loads required by the avionics demand the use of relays, and that the design allows for the relay solenoids to be powered for a minimal time. I think this is the most reasonable explanation for the design, but I am looking for documented confirmation. Is there some other design consideration that I have overlooked? Does anyone know of a documented reason for this design?
NOTE: While you are welcome to speculate with me on this issue in the comments or chat room, I am not looking speculative answers. I am looking for an answer coming from persons familiar with the King Air electrical system and preferably backed up with documentation, such as the maintenance manual, or other sources that I have overlooked.