Raisbeck Engineering has started FAA certification flight-testing of its new Hartzell composite five-blade swept propeller mod for the Beechcraft King Air 350 series. The Raisbeck/Hartzell team completed all ground and flight vibration and governor output pressure testing early last week before clearing the aircraft for flight-testing, which is expected to be completed by month-end. The new King Air 350 propellers will be formally introduced at the NBAA Convention next month in Orlando, Fla., where more details and preliminary performance improvements will be released.
Beechcraft King Air
Rockwell Collins has expanded its Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrade to include Pro Line II-equipped King Air 350s. The retrofit delivers a NextGen-capable avionics system with three interchangeable 14-inch touchscreen flight displays, the company said. Capabilities include synthetic vision; geo-referenced e-charts with own-ship position display; touch-interactive graphical maps; and localizer performance with vertical navigation approach capability. Rockwell Collins is collaborating with Landmark Aviation to STC the upgrade in the first half of next year.
Nextant Aerospace is back at JetExpo again this year with its 400XTi remanufactured business jet on the static display. Regional sales agent FortAero ordered two 400XTi aircraft at last year’s JetExpo event, and reports good results in charter operations since then.
Textron Aviation is now offering the ProAdvantage product support program for Beechcraft King Airs, the company announced yesterday at LABACE 2014. ProAdvantage, previously available only for Cessna Citation customers, offers programs that provide life-cycle maintenance and parts support for airframes and avionics, engines and auxiliary power units. ProAdvantage includes ProParts, ProTech and ProPropeller. ProParts, the “cornerstone” of this package, provides coverage for maintenance and parts such as wheels and tires, avionics, brakes, motors, actuators, gauges and light bulbs.
Textron Aviation announced that its Cessna Citation M2, which is making its LABACE show debut here this week, has gained certification in Brazil and Argentina, “paving the way for deliveries to begin.” The new M2 jet received its U.S. FAA type certificate in December 2013 and the equivalent approval from Europe’s EASA in June. So far this year, Textron has delivered 31 of the type.
Engine modification firm Blackhawk announced a deal with maintenance program provider Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) at EAA AirVenture 2014 yesterday that will give customers the option of upgrading to new Blackhawk conversions in place of standard overhauls. Under the deal, JSSI will contribute to the value of the overhaul while customers would make up the difference in price.
As aircraft membership club Wheels Up celebrates its first anniversary next Friday, founder and CEO Kenny Dichter said the company has expanded in line with initial projections and he predicted even more growth in the coming year. “We currently have 28 airplanes, nearly 600 members and are on target for meeting and exceeding our business objectives. In a short time, we are a major player in the private aviation industry,” he said.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.
The pilot of a Beechcraft King Air B200 reported engine problems shortly before the aircraft crashed onto a sandbar in southwestern Uruguay on May 27. Five of the nine people on board, including the pilot, were killed. The cause has not yet been determined.
Kings of the Air is completing the restoration of the first King Air, S/N LJ-1, for a flight around the world, the fledgling nonprofit group announced today–the 50th anniversary of the King Air’s FAA certification.
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