The combination of two 80-year-old Wichita aircraft manufacturers–Cessna and Beechcraft–under the new Textron Aviation umbrella marks its NBAA Convention debut here in Orlando. With 21 airplanes in production between the two factories, which are about 10 miles apart in Wichita, and a full-service network that is rapidly becoming capable of handling all of the Beechcraft and Cessna turbine models, Textron Aviation (Booth 220) and its president and CEO Scott Ernest continue to invest in new products as the integration of the two companies solidifies.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into service for one of business aviation’s most enigmatic aircraft, the star-crossed Beech Starship, which was intended as a replacement for the King Air. As the first aircraft with an all-composite fuselage, the twin-turboprop pusher with radical canard forward design underwent a lengthy development and certification process before finally entering service.
Nextant Aerospace, producer of the remanufactured 400XTi (based on the Hawker 400A/XP) and G90XT (based on the Beechcraft King Air C90), announced today that Aerie Aviação will be its exclusive sales agent for Brazil. The company will work alongside Nextant’s existing Central and South American representative, GFM Aviation. The region offers considerable opportunities for Nextant, as it already has a large population of ageing Hawker 400s and King Air C90s.
The results of this year’s AIN Product Support Survey are in, and some big changes have upended last year’s rankings.
The new Textron Aviation is here at Farnborough (Outdoor Exhibit L2) to show a portfolio of current production aircraft that are available in special mission configurations. The company is displaying a special mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER among other aircraft.
In March, Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron acquired the parent company of Beechcraft for $1.4 billion. It then combined Beechcraft and the former Hawker with its own Cessna Aircraft subsidiary to create Textron Aviation, offering a range of single-engine piston, turboprop and jet aircraft.
Textron Aviation announced yesterday at the Farnborough International airshow that its entire range of Beechcraft and Cessna products is now available in special-mission configuration. All 20 current-production aircraft “fit numerous mission profiles, including aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection, aerial surveillance, training and utility transport,” the company said.
The FAA approved an STC developed by AeroMech for a Garmin G950 upgrade to the Beechcraft 1900D. AeroMech subsidiary AMI Aviation Services will install the upgraded avionics, or it can be accomplished by qualified Garmin dealers. The G950 system replaces the 1900D’s original Rockwell Collins EFIS 84 avionics and other instruments with the three-display G950 (one 15-inch MFD and two 10.4-inch PFDs), removing about 270 pounds from the airplane’s empty weight.
The pilot of a Beechcraft King Air B200 reported engine problems shortly before the aircraft crashed onto a sandbar in southwestern Uruguay on May 27. Five of the nine people on board, including the pilot, were killed. The cause has not yet been determined.
Iraq Gate, the first business jet operator based in Iraq, is celebrating its first anniversary. Operating five aircraft–one Bombardier CRJ-200, three Hawker 800XPs and one Beechcraft King Air B200–for charter services, it also offers flight planning and ground handling. Abu Ghazaleh is the CEO and general manager of the holding company, Jordan-based International Wings Group.
Cessna Aircraft announced several expansions in its network of seven European company-owned service centers, including new OEM line service support stations at London Luton Airport and Cannes Mandelieu Airport and a third to open this summer in Geneva, Switzerland. They will provide line maintenance, defect rectification and AOG support for Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker aircraft. Company-owned facilities in Zurich, Switzerland and Düsseldorf, Germany, currently provide maintenance, modification and upgrade services.