On September 20 Raytheon Aircraft received Part 23 commuter category certification of a King Air 350, a milestone in the company’s plan eventually to offer a Model 350ER, a special-missions version of the twin turboprop. This new aircraft has been modified with a heavyweight landing gear, as well as several airframe mods, permitting it to operate at an mtow of 16,500 pounds, an increase of 1,500 pounds over a standard 350.
Raytheon Premier I, Rockland, Maine, Sept. 14, 2005–The landing gear of the Premier I, registered to JIK, of Mission Lakes, Wilmington, Del., collapsed into the right wing during a hard landing at Rockland. No injuries were reported.
Cutter Aviation-Dallas is using the high-end car dealership as a model on which to base its facility, a strategy that is working well, said Andy Biery, general manager of the company’s operation at Dallas Executive Airport (RBD). Biery said the facility is designed to maximize customer interaction with key Cutter personnel, including service managers and parts and sales representatives.
Raytheon Aircraft has named Superior Aircraft Maintenance, of Medford, Ore., the most recent addition to its global network of authorized service centers. Superior Aircraft Maintenance has a factory-trained team capable of providing full maintenance services for all Bonanzas, Barons and King Airs.
The number of business jets registered in Middle Eastern countries has grown by about one-fifth over the past 10 years. By the standards of other still-emerging markets such as Europe (which had 45-percent growth during the same period), the Middle East’s 18-percent fleet growth is not exactly earth-shattering.
The FAA also awarded Raytheon Aircraft Services the agency’s highest award for maintenance excellence. In addition to the service centers’ recognition, 278 employees each earned the recognition of an FAA award.
At its EBACE press conference, Raytheon Aircraft took the wraps off two improved jets, the Hawker 800XPi and Beechcraft Premier IA. The newly designated models feature upgraded cockpits, redesigned interiors and a compendium of other enhancements that customers have long been asking Raytheon to incorporate into the designs. These improvements come at a cost.
The bull is back, or at least it appears to be. After watching business aviation limp along for the past three years, executives at Textron, General Dynamics and Raytheon are now optimistic that the industry is on the rebound.
Deliveries of new turbine business airplanes in the first half of this year increased slightly over the same period last year, but not all manufacturers reported improved numbers, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
OEMs shipped 240 business jets in the first half–just six more than in the first six months last year. Turboprop deliveries, however, increased to 83 from 69 year-over-year.
Fractional provider NetJets has ordered 50 AirCell ST 3100 Iridium satellite communication systems for its fleet of Hawker 400XP light business jets. The satellite phones will be installed in the 400XPs before retail delivery at Raytheon Aircraft Services in San Antonio, in the coming months, according to AirCell, which began marketing Iridium services in 2002.