Deliveries of turbine business aircraft in the first half of this year were up slightly, reflecting a stagnant U.S. economy. Total deliveries, which had jumped from 397 in the first half of 1999 to 502 in the same period last year, showed a smaller gain this year (14 percent vs 26 percent), with 572 deliveries in the first half. Part of the gain can be attributed to Piper’s re-entry into the turbine fold.
Beechcraft King Air
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the same period last year.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its third-quarter shipment and billings report, showing good news for business aviation OEMs that already have record backlogs. As the industry adapts to a market where for the first time, more aircraft orders come from outside the U.S.
Garmin received FAA STC approval to install G1000 avionics retrofits in the Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90A/GT. The $350,000 retrofit (uninstalled) results in a weight saving of approximately 100 pounds. Notably, this is Garmin’s first G1000 retrofit STC, and it paves the way for future G1000 retrofit installations such as the King Air 200 and B200, a program Garmin announced in September at the NBAA Convention.
Troy Eaden learned to fly just three years ago, but these days you’ll find him in the front office of the first Raytheon Premier I to be delivered. He took possession of his new airplane in late June, bolstering a tradition of ownership that began with the new Bonanza A36 he bought right after qualifying as a pilot and continued when he traded the piston single for a Jaguar Edition King Air C90B.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90, Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 20, 2007–No one was killed when the King Air, on final for Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, lost power and crashed into a utility pole in a shopping center parking lot a half mile from the runway. The airplane was destroyed.
Banyan Air Service is offering a 10-percent reduction on major inspections for King Airs and Citations through the end of this month. The company is located on Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, is FAA and EASA approved, and holds Argentine, Brazilian and Venezuelan government maintenance approvals. It is also a factory-authorized Beech, Commander and Pilatus service center.
In contrast to its primary competitors, Raytheon Aircraft posted an increase in deliveries of its turbine business airplanes. In the third quarter, Raytheon shipped 39 Hawkers, Beechjets, Premier Is and King Airs, compared with 32 in the same period last year. In the nine months ending September 30, Raytheon delivered 105 jets and turboprops vs 99 last year.
During its 50-year history the Twin Commander line of business aircraft has occupied a special niche. Today, just as when the original purpose-built corporate and executive transport, the $45,000 Aero Commander Model 520, entered the market in January 1952, a high percentage of these aircraft–even the turbine-powered models–are flown not by full-time professional pilots but by their owners.
Seagull Aviation is working on another STC for the installation of the 750-shp Czech Walter engine and Avia propeller on various King Airs. This STC will apply to the King Air A100, F90 and 99. Dan Sigl, president of Seagull Aviation, said he anticipates receiving the STC in late spring. Installed price is between $500,000 and $525,000 and Seagull said it will help owners sell their old engines.