Raytheon Aircraft employees associated with the Beechcraft Premier I recently celebrated completion of the aircraft model’s 100th composite fuselage. Raytheon had delivered 59 Premier Is to date at press time, 11 of them in the first half of this year, and 38 more are planned for shipment by year-end.
It became apparent late last year that the management team led by chairman and CEO Kenn Ricci would be unable to raise the investment capital needed to continue fractional provider Flight Options in its then form. John Nahill, Raytheon Co.
Raytheon Aircraft Corp. (RAC), which lost millions of dollars last year, has placed on hold further development of the Hawker 450, a twin- engine light midsize business jet that had been tentatively scheduled to enter service in 2006. Development of the jet was announced at the NBAA Convention in 2000.
In a unique approach to corporate transportation, Englewood, Colo.-based Aviation Technology Group (ATG) has introduced a two-place executive jet called the Javelin, a full-scale mockup of which can be seen at Booth No. 1421.
The company has already accepted more than a dozen $25,000 refundable deposits–at least two here at NBAA ’02–for the $2.2 million aircraft. First deliveries are scheduled for the last quarter of 2005.
Williams International today will formally unveil its latest and most powerful turbofan, the 3,000-lb-thrust FJ44-3, a pair of which will power Cessna’s new CJ3. Williams has flown a development version of the new turbofan, on a CJ2 testbed.
Hawker Beechcraft this week received full FAA type approval, in addition to production certification, for its Hawker 4000 super-midsize business jet–a milestone it expected more than seven years ago when the jet was launched in 1996. A spokesman told AIN that shipments will begin “very soon,” and a formal delivery event for the undisclosed launch customer is now being planned.
As of press time, Raytheon Aircraft (RAC) chose not to comment on the effect on its Travel Air fractional-ownership program from the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A company spokesman did say that RAC had decided not to participate in the rescheduled NBAA Convention to be held in New Orleans on December 12, 13 and 14.
The Premier I and Hawker Horizon programs were already far behind schedule when Hansel Tookes, 53, became chairman and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft in August 2000. These programs were plagued by further delays under Tookes’ command, although the Premier I finally received certification on March 23 last year.
Hawker Beechcraft launched the Premier II update to the single-pilot Premier I on May 19 on the eve of the EBACE show in Geneva. The Premier II climbs to altitude more quickly, flies farther and carries a greater load than the airplane it replaces.
With the completion of its first run on October 31, Pratt & Whitney Canada initiated testing of its 2,500-lb-thrust PW625F engine demonstrator. The company plans to develop a family of turbofans for light business jets. P&WC claims the PW625F will provide optimum performance and “significantly reduced ownership costs.” The engine is aimed at the market now dominated by the Williams FJ44 series.