NBAA Convention News

HBC Premier is now Hawker 200

 - October 18, 2010, 3:13 PM

Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) announced the rebranding of its Premier light jet as the Hawker 200 and introduced the King Air 250, a replacement for the King Air 200GT, at the NBAA Convention yesterday. The company also announced an upgrade program for the Hawker 400XP that will include new engines and other improvements.

The Premier/Hawker 200 rebranding is one result of extensive customer surveys and usage analysis Wichita-based HBC recently conducted. “Over the last 12 to 18 months the team at Hawker Beechcraft has endeavored to thoughtfully engage with the people who use our products,” said Shawn Vick, HBC’s executive vice president. “We’ve had more than 3,000 conversations through a variety of third-party, objective survey questions.”

HBC also analyzed 12 months of operating experience of light jets in the U.S. and found “the Hawker 200 can do the mission 95 percent of the time and go faster, higher, farther, in more comfort, with a larger cabin diameter, higher altitude and lower operating cost and lower purchase price than our competitors,” Vick said. “When we put that position against the competition, the message that came back from all corners of the world was, why is this is not a Hawker?”

Enhancements for the rebranded Hawker 200 will include new Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, winglets, increased gross takeoff weight and maximum altitude, multiscan weather radar, ADS-B out, 400-hour inspection intervals and a 10-year warranty on the airframe, which features a composite fuselage and metal wings. The Hawker 200 evolved from the Premier II program, according to HBC.

HBC is currently developing the Hawker 200 cabin configurations. (HBC introduced a flexible interior with its King Air 350 last year, and elements of that flexibility may be incorporated into the Hawker 200.) During the convention, Hawker Beechcraft is soliciting customer comments on various interior configurations; an outreach Vick calls “One of largest focus groups we’ve ever held at NBAA.” At its static display HBC is showing a full-scale mockup of the Hawker 200 interior.

The Hawker 200, scheduled to enter service in 2012, is priced at $7.55 million. The operating cost is estimated at $4.33 per mile.

Hawker 400XP Upgrade
The company also announced a high-performance retrofit upgrade for the Hawker 400XP, featuring winglets, new Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines and optional avionics and system enhancements. The Williams engines replace the original Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5Rs. Among the other performance improvements, the upgraded 400XP will be capable of climbing to FL370 at maximum weight in 12 minutes, seven minutes faster than the current 400XP.
HBC’s surveys also probed King Air customers’ preferences.

“Most people are satisfied with speed, range and cabin comfort; the answer that came back was, ‘We want an airplane that can get us into and out of more airports,’” said Vick.

As a result, the focus of the King Air 250 was to increase its short field and high-and-hot landing and takeoff capabilities. The King Air 250 incorporates three major changes over the King Air 200GT it replaces: new Hartzell composite propellers, composite winglets and a ram air recovery system to increase engine performance.

Hawker Beechcraft said the change answers the responses from surveyed customers. At gross weight at sea level on a standard day, the 250 will take off in 2,111 feet. At a 5,000-foot elevation on a standard day, that distance is 3,094 feet (both over a 50-foot obstacle). These represent an improved short-field performance of more than 450 and 700 feet, respectively. The King Air 250 will be priced at $5.79 million. HBC notes the 250 marks the 10th improvement in the product line since 2003.

Said Vick, “To put this in context, we’ve been listening closely to what people want relative to a light jet, relative to the King Air twin turboprop category airplane, and we’ve really endeavored to bring to them the things they’ve asked for.”

HBC also announced several other developments at NBAA:

The company introduced two broadband Wi-Fi solutions for in-service Hawker 4000 and 800XPs equipped with Honeywell avionics via STCs, both featuring Aircell ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 equipment.

A King Air Transformation package offers 15 popular upgrades to improve performance. They include new composite propellers, winglets and flight displays.HBC has made the static area its major NBAA display, showcasing all 10 of its aircraft and new livery for the fleet under the cover of its 36,000-sq-ft tent. HBC’s Global customer support staff retains a booth presence (No. 947) at the convention center.