The Beechcraft King Air turboprop fleet has surpassed 60 million flight hours, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. More than 7,000 King Airs are currently flying in 127 countries around the world, including all branches of the U.S. military. “We greatly value the global experience of our customers and use it to drive major and minor product improvements in the King Air line,” said company executive vice president of sales and marketing Shawn Vick.
Beechcraft Super King Air
The Beechcraft King Air turboprop fleet has surpassed 60 million flight hours, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. More than 7,000 King Airs are in operation in 127 countries, including all branches of the U.S. military.
Raisbeck/Hartzell swept-blade “turbofan propellers” entered service this month on a King Air B200. This aircraft is also the first installation of the Epic Platinum Performance Package with the new swept-blade props.
Hawker Beechcraft, which is displaying a King Air 350i this week at Aero India in Bangalore, continues to lead the turboprop market segment in India. Citing JetNet data, the company said 82 percent of the new turboprop business aircraft delivered into India from 2002 to 2011 were King Airs, while 83 percent of the total fleet of registered business turboprops in the country are King Airs. It has also cornered the turboprop market for state and federal organizations in India, with these operators flying more than 20 King Airs in the country.
Seattle-based performance modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propeller have unveiled a new swept-blade propeller for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air series. The newly certified propeller is the result of three years of development, according to the companies, which describe it as the first business aviation turbine propeller using practical swept-wing theory as an integral part of its design. The propellers have aluminum blades and hubs.
The King Air 350i is now Beechcraft’s biggest airplane, but the 350ER version takes the turboprop twin a few steps further, adding enough extra fuel to stay aloft for up to 12 hours in loiter mode or power along at more than 260 knots for nearly 2,300 nm, all while carrying one pilot and six passengers and with NBAA IFR reserves. Maximum range is as far as 2,650 nm.
Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has dismissed a pilot who failed a drug test after reportedly passing out for 13 minutes while in command of a Beechcraft King Air 200 carrying a patient and nurse to Brisbane. The nurse eventually woke the pilot, who subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine. The pilot is believed to be the first RFDS pilot ever dismissed over a drug-related issue.
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.
This week at the NBAA Convention, Hawker Beechcraft delivered the 7,000th King Air, an aircraft line that has been in continuous production since 1964. The milestone aircraft, a King Air 350i, was delivered to Herman & Kittle Properties of Indianapolis. “The King Air is still king. We delivered the 5,000th King Air in 1996, the 6,000th in 2005 and now we’ve reached 7,000,” said Hawker Beechcraft executive vice president Shawn Vick.
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.