Market Research Defining New Beech Turboprop
Hawker Beechcraft, set to become simply Beechcraft Corp. when it emerges from U.S. bankruptcy protection in late February, has confirmed the allotment of funding for research and development of new turboprop and piston single-engine aircraft. Late last month, the company announced it would shut down its business jet lines to focus on its more successful turboprops and piston-powered aircraft.
Further, at the NBAA Convention on October 29, it revealed that it is developing an 11-passenger turboprop single derived from the Premier IA twinjet composite fuselage. The airplane is projected to have an NBAA IFR range of 1,750 nm and a high-speed cruise of 302 knots at FL250.
“As is the case with most product development, funding will come from the sale of new aircraft, and in this case is also aided by reduction of overhead and costs associated with producing the jet aircraft,” a Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman told AIN. She added that an estimate of the cost required to bring the new turboprop single to market has yet to be determined, “as we are currently in the market research phase.” The company confirmed that the new airplane will be part of the King Air brand, but a model name and/or number has yet to be determined.