One result of the huge deal to sell up to 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i twin-turboprops to the new Wheels Up private charter membership company is that a comprehensive plan was required to support servicing of the airframes and engines. Thus both Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (HBGCS) and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) signed a long-term service agreement with Wheels Up here in Las Vegas on the eve of the show, covering support of the Wheels Up King Air 350i fleet and their PT6A-60A engines, respectively.
Beechcraft King Air
Beechcraft said today that it has received official recognition from the U.S. National Aeronautics Association for a record for a “Speed Over a Recognized Course,” set for a transcontinental flight by its special-mission King Air 350ER flying from San Diego, Calif. to Orlando, Fla., last October. The King Air flew the 1,853.97-nm route at an average speed of 331.08 miles per hour.
Today at NBAA 2013, aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace revealed its next project–a King Air C90 outfitted with GE H80 turboprop engines, Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, zero-timed components, winglets, strakes and new paint and interior. Initial deliveries of the G90XT, a $2 million to $3 million like-new turboprop twin with single-lever power controls, will start later next year.
Raisbeck Engineering (Booth No. C7326) is highlighting its new swept-blade propellers for all King Air C90-series turboprop twins here at NBAA 2013. Deliveries of the blades, which sweep on both the leading and trailing edges, will begin in January. Raisbeck has been delivering swept blades for the King Air 200 series since the beginning of this year.
As it seeks to prolong the legacy of its 50-year-old PT6 engine dynasty, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is laying plans to refresh the epic product range at the top, middle and lower ends. Speaking with AIN ahead of this week’s NBAA show, P&WC president John Saabas confirmed that the manufacturer intends to cap the PT6 portfolio with a 2,000-shp version of the turboprop but indicated it is not yet ready to target a specific launch date.
Elliott Aviation is pursuing STCs for Aircell’s new ATG 2000 broadband system in the Hawker 800/850/900, Phenom 300, King Air 350 and King Air B200/B200GT. It hopes to have the approval in hand by next year’s first quarter. The Aircell ATG 2000 is a cabin broadband wireless system aimed at midsize and light jets and turboprops. It allows passengers to connect to the Internet on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Euravia Engineering and Greenwich AeroGroup have entered into a partnership to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and PT6T turbine engines on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in the U.S. Through its MRO facilities (Atlantic Aero in Greensboro N.C., Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho), Greenwich AeroGroup will provide engine inventory and component storage, logistics and distribution services across the U.S. and also between the U.S. and the UK.
Raisbeck Engineering is now offering its swept-blade propellers for all King Air C90-series turboprop twins. Deliveries of the new blades, which sweep on both the leading and trailing edges, will begin in January. Blade quarter-chord sweep has been increased to 30 degrees at its outer diameter, and the propeller diameter has been lengthened by six inches, to 96 inches.
Membership-based private aviation start-up Wheels Up unveiled the exterior livery for its planned fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops. France’s Happy Design Studio devised the blue-and-white paint scheme for the New York-based company in just 15 days. Wheels Up placed firm orders and options on 105 King Air 350is last month and expects deliveries to begin next month.
Beechcraft appointed Delhi-based Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters as its sole distributor for India. The aircraft manufacturer, which previously handled the Indian market from Singapore, is also preparing to appoint an India-based executive. The new partnership with Arrow was launched on Monday along with a seven-day regional demonstrator tour to showcase the King Air 250 in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar. Some 70 King Airs are already flying in India, and Beechcraft says many of those operators are looking to upgrade their aircraft.