Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (HBC) announced at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas today that, together with Rockwell Collins, it has launched an aftermarket program to upgrade Pro Line Fusion displays to all fielded Pro Line 21-equipped Hawker and Beechcraft aircraft. The upgrade features large format, landscape, touch-control displays that come standard with the Synthetic Vision and visual flight management system, with a target price under $300,000 installed. HBC will initially offer upgrades to the King Air fleet followed by Hawkers and Premiers. Certification is expected before the end of 2013.
Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft, V-P, global customer support said, “In today’s world, touch screen technology is changing how we interact with our handheld devices. Making it available to our existing fleet of aircraft further enhances the value of those aircraft and the environment they operate in.”
The new Pro Line Fusion touch-control displays are globally networked with Rockwell’s’ Ascend Flight Information Solutions, meaning that users can update their onboard maintenance databases wirelessly.
Additionally, Safe Flight Corporation’s AutoPower Automatic Throttle System (ATS) is now available for retrofit on Hawkers equipped with Pro Line 21 avionics. The system provides precise engine target settings, using the airplane’s existing thrust levers. Any Hawker Beechcraft Services or West Star Aviation facility can install the system.
Possibly as a response to the newly-certified Nextant Aerospace 400XT model, HBC has also now certified a three-display Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 upgrade for the Hawker/Beechjet 400. The new system replaces the existing Pro Line 4 displays and upgrades the flight management system to FMS 6100. Operators now have access to electronic charts, XM weather/data, WAAS/LPV, ADS-B out, VHF datalink and an upgrade path for future airspace requirements. A two-year Corporate Aircraft Service Program (CASP) warranty on new and existing Rockwell Collins equipment is included with the upgrade.
Tannahill added, “The next step in certification of the Hawker 400XPR program, a four-display version will certify by early 2012 with new Williams FJ44-4 engines certifying by mid-2012. Excitement and orders for the airplane are building.” The OEM offers customized XPR upgrade packages for existing aircraft owners.
The airframer also said that it is to petition the FAA to allow FAR Part 135 charter operators of Hawker 800XP, 800XPR, 850XP and 900XP models to conduct extended over-water operations such as a routing between San Francisco to Hawaii, without requiring the agency’s Extended Twin-Engine Operations Standards approval. The company’s analysis determined that the models are capable of traveling half the distance between specified departure and destination airports in 180 minutes after the loss of power in one engine. At the point of power loss, Pilot Operating Manual (POM) procedures call for the aircraft to descend using a high-speed drift down procedure to the most favorable altitude and proceed to the nearest airport. The airframer expects the exemption to be granted and POM revisions available in early 2012.
HBC has also broken ground on a new 48,000 square foot, factory service center at the General Mariano Escobedo International Airport in Monterrey, Mexico. The facility, scheduled to open in the spring of 2012, will include a 13,400 square foot paint hangar in addition to a 24,000 square foot maintenance hangar and 10,700 square feet of office and customer hospitality space. This new center adds to HBC’s facility in Wilmington, DE and will also offer interior modifications.
The company’s static display at Henderson Executive Airport will feature most of its commercial products as well as the debut of the aftermarket upgraded Hawker 400XPR, which is “on track for certification by mid 2012”, according to Tannahill, and the company’s Special Missions demonstrator King Air 350ER.