Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) announced yesterday at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas that, together with Rockwell Collins, it has launched an aftermarket program to offer new upgrade Pro Line Fusion displays avionics for to all fielded Pro Line 21-equipped Hawker and Beechcraft airplanes.
The Fusion upgrade features large-format, landscape-oriented, touchscreen displays that come standard with the synthetic vision and visual flight management system, with a target price of less than $300,000 installed. Hawker Beechcraft GCS will initially offer upgrades to the King Air fleet, followed by Hawkers and Premiers. Certification is expected before the end of 2013.
“In today’s world, touchscreen technology is changing how we interact with our handheld devices,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft v-p of global customer support. “Making it available to our existing fleet of aircraft further enhances the value of those aircraft and the environment they operate in.”
Hawker Beechcraft also announced that synthetic vision will be available on all Pro Line 21-equipped Hawker and Beechcraft platforms, with first customer delivers planned in late 2012. Features included with this upgrade include Rockwell Collins integrated flight information system (IFIS), enhanced vision video window and wall-to-wall ADI displays.
The new Pro Line Fusion touchscreen displays are will be globally networked with Rockwell Collins’s Ascend Flight Information Solutions, meaning that users can update their onboard navigation maintenance databases wirelessly and easily transmit information from the aircraft to ground-based systems such as maintenance-monitoring programs. Databases that can be updated include FMS, IFIS, TAWS and surface management system.
Additionally, Safe Flight’s AutoPower automatic throttle system 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.
HBC has also now certified a three-display Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 upgrade for the Hawker 400XP/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 WX inflight weather, WAAS/LPV, ADS-B OUT, VHF datalink and an upgrade path for future airspace requirements. A two-year corporate aircraft service program warranty on new and existing Rockwell Collins equipment is included with the upgrade.
Tannahill explained that the next step in the Hawker 400XPR certification program is a four-display Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics upgrade, and this will be certified by early 2012. That will be followed by certification in mid-2012 of the new Williams International FJ44-4 engine upgrade by mid-2012. “Excitement and orders for the airplane are building,” she said. The OEM will offer customized XPR upgrade packages for existing aircraft owners, including for the Hawker 800XPR engine and avionics mod program.
The airframer also said that it is petitioning the FAA to allow 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 and Hawaii, without requiring the agency’s extended twin-engine operations standards (ETOPS) approval. The company’s analysis has determined that these models are capable of traveling half the distance between specified departure and destination airports within the ETOPS-allowed 180 minutes after the loss of power in one engine.
According to Hawker Beechcraft, these new profiles that should be allowed by the exemption “support several over-water missions currently desired by Hawker [charter] operators.” Hawker Beechcraft expects the exemption to be granted and operating manual revisions available in early 2012.
Hawker Beechcraft has also broken ground on a new 48,000- sq-ft 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-sq-ft paint hangar in addition to a 24,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar and 10,700 sq ft of office and customer hospitality space. This new center adds to Hawker Beechcraft’s facility in Wilmington, Del., and will also offer interior modifications.
The company’s huge static display at Henderson Executive Airport features most of its commercial aircraft from the Hawker 4000 to the Bonanza A36 as well as the debut of the aftermarket upgraded Hawker 400XPR and the company’s special missions demonstrator King Air 350ER.