New turboprop sales continue their slow, steady climb out of the cellar. For the first six months of this year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports sales of the segment are up 10.5 percent compared with the same period one year ago, with 243 delivered. Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans lead the pack, as usual.
Beechcraft King Air
Elliott Aviation (Booth No. 1706) announced at NBAA’12 yesterday that it has received an STC for installation of Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics’s new MD302 Standby Attitude Module (SAM). The compact 1.6-pound unit provides attitude, altitude, airspeed and slip information. Elliott plans to offer the compact $10,600 unit to buyers of its Garmin G1000 upgrade for King Air turboprops. The installation should go smoothly as Elliott also announced at the show the completion of its 75th King Air G1000 installation.
Hawker Beechcraft signed orders for nine aircraft–one King Air 350i, two King Air 250s, two King Air C90GTx and four Baron G58s–worth more than $34 million today at the NBAA Convention. The orders were placed by four Beechcraft distributors in Latin America–Aerolineas in Mexico; Aviaservice in Colombia, Caribbean and Venezuela; Aviasur in Chile; and Beechcraft de Guatemala. Business aircraft financier AirFinance is providing funding for the orders. Deliveries will begin in the second quarter and conclude by the end of next year.
A comprehensive deal was signed here at NBAA for the first Blackhawk XP52 replacement engine modification of a Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200 equipped with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The 3,500-hour aircraft is owned by LJ Aviation of Latrobe, Penn., which purchased it new in 2006.
The twin turboprop will also receive Raisbeck Engineering’s (Booth No. 2266) Epic Gold performance package, BLR winglets and LED lighting. The modifications will be performed by Hawker Beechcraft Services (Booth No. 2598) in Wichita.
FlyRight, the Concord, N.C.-based Part 142 King Air training provider, will begin providing both King Air 200 and 300 type ratings to Part 91 and Part 135 operators next year both the U.S. and elsewhere. King Air 300-series training will include sessions in the company’s new 350 simulator to be installed at Concord. The King Air 350 simulator features Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics with three displays, including both left- and right-side primary flight displays. FlyRight (Booth No. 3367) says that its recently approved King Air 200 type-rating program makes it the only U.S.
BLR Aerospace announced that it has delivered its 500th winglet system. The buyer of the 500th system is the FAA, which is also the company’s largest customer. In May the FAA ordered BLR Aerospace LED-light-equipped winglets for its fleet of 18 Beechcraft King Air 300s. The FAA’s first winglet-modified King Air 300 is already flying, and the FAA is currently installing the winglets on its third King Air 300. The FAA King Air 300s are used to flight check navaids, airport lighting and IFR approaches.
Astronics is forging ahead after purchasing enhanced vision system (EVS) maker Max-Viz in early August and recently signed an installation agreement with Hawker Beechcraft. Under the agreement, Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support will have the opportunity to install Max-Viz infrared EVS in any King Air equipped with an MFD that can display video images, according to Astronics president and CEO Peter Gundermann.
The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive–2012-CE-026-AD–for 35 Hawker Beechcraft C90GTi King Air twin turboprops. This AD was prompted by reports of incorrect gauge wires used in certain wiring bundles for the cockpit electrical power for backlighting and instrument panel components. This AD requires replacing the incorrect wiring bundles, inspecting associated wiring bundles and components for heat damage, and taking all necessary corrective actions. The new AD becomes effective Nov. 27, 2012.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support and Rockwell Collins have started flight testing on a touch-screen primary flight display upgrade for Pro Line 21-equipped King Airs. The Pro Line Fusion system with touch-screen and cursor-controlled flight displays will make its debut as an aftermarket option for these aircraft. Certification for the initial King Air application is expected by the end of 2013, with entry into service to follow in early 2014.
CenTex Aerospace received FAA STC approval for its Halo 250 conversion for King Air 200s today. The conversion raises the mtow for 200-series King Airs from 12,500 to 13,420 pounds and moves the turboprop twin into the commuter category. Included in the Halo 250 conversion are new safety systems that provide improved stall warning in icing conditions, aural over-speed warning, elevator out-of-trim warning, engine fire extinguisher capability, emergency cabin lighting and illuminated escape path floor markings.