The NTSB is examing the structural integrity of the all-composite tail of the Airbus A300-600 that crashed November 12 after liftoff from New York JFK Airport. During an encounter with wake turbulence, the tail of the twin-engine airliner tore away virtually intact. Today’s business jets use a wide variety of composite parts, including Raytheon Aircraft, whose Premier I has an all-composite fuselage.
After announcing the launch of the Premier II on Monday, Hawker Beechcraft yesterday revealed it has firm orders for 40 aircraft and lesser commitments for another 30 of the upgraded version of the Premier IA. Firm orders are held by nonrefundable deposits. The Premier II features more powerful 3,050-pound Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, longer range (1,500 nm versus 1,150 nm) and a faster top speed (465 knots at 33,000 feet).
Hawker Beechcraft announced the long-awaited upgrade of the Premier light jet yesterday evening, highlighting improvements in range, time to climb, maximum altitude, payload and top speed. The company will continue producing the Premier IA after the Premier II is certified in the first quarter of 2010 and begins deliveries in the second quarter.
This afternoon at EBACE Hawker Beechcraft announced the $7.365 million (2010 $) Premier II, a long-awaited performance-enhanced version of the Premier IA. Driving the Premier II upgrade are 3,050-pound-thrust Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, which replace the 2,300-pound-thrust FJ44-2As on the IA, blended winglets and splayed ventral fins, but no fuselage stretch.
One of the most thorough corporate management shakeups in recent memory has left Raytheon Aircraft Co. (RAC) insiders and outsiders scribbling notes to keep track of who went where and why.
With the February cash acquisition of Premier Air Center, CompletionAir’s founders and three unidentified investors have captured a major piece of the business aviation market at St. Louis Regional Airport (ALN) in East Alton, Ill.
“I hate calling problems on airplanes ‘squawks,’” Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft Co., said last month. “Squawk–it just sounds bad. But even more I hate how we’ve been taking it for granted that the customer is going to find squawks when he takes delivery of his airplane. To me that’s just an indication of poor quality.”
Raytheon Aircraft reported an operating loss of $41 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $4 million in the first quarter a year ago. The Wichita-based company also recorded sales of $494 million in the first quarter, down 22 percent from $637 million in the same period a year ago.
Wichita-based Raytheon Travel Air and Cleveland-based Flight Options on March 20 completed their planned merger, first announced December 20, creating the second-largest fractional aircraft provider. Under the joint venture, Flight Options holds a 50.1-percent stake in the new company, while Raytheon Co. retains a 49.9-percent share.
Top Raytheon Aircraft officials declined to comment directly on a recent Wall Street Journal article claiming the company has “suffered more setbacks than it has let on publicly, including rising costs, production problems and canceled orders” for its new Premier I.