Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air twin-turboprops continue to take the lion’s share of the Middle East turboprop business market, accounting for more than 70 percent of sales over the last three years. However, the type’s good endurance, configuration, capacious cabin and attractive operating economics have also made it a natural platform for a wide variety of special tasks, and many hundreds have been converted for special missions during the type’s long career.
Beechcraft King Air
AirClub, the world’s first corporate jet charter alliance, was announced yesterday at MEBA 2012 in Dubai. The alliance brings together eight of Europe’s business jet charter operators: ACM Air Charter, Air Alsie, Air Hamburg, Corporatejets, Flyinggroup, GlobeAir, Masterjet and PrivatAir. Between them they operate 106 aircraft, covering a wide spectrum of range and payload capabilities, from the Beechcraft King Air to a VIP Boeing 757.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) has named Horizontal De Aviación at Aeropuerto Internacional el Dorado in Bogotá, Colombia, an authorized service center to support the Beechcraft King Air line. “The Colombian aviation market is one of the fastest growing Beechcraft aviation segments in Latin America,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft senior vice president of Global Customer Support.
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.
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.