GE is close to having its 800-shp H80 turboprop flying on certified aircraft, thus throwing the gauntlet to the ubiquitous Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A engine. The first H80-equipped Ayres Thrush 510G cropduster was to be delivered in June. Smyrna Air Center is flight-testing an H80-powered King Air C90, aiming for STC in the third quarter of 2012.
Beechcraft King Air
For King Air G1000 upgraders, a new option is replacement of the old-style incandescent-lighted caution warning panels with a Luma Technologies LED-based panel. Luma and its sister company Advanced Quality Certifications Group received FAA supplemental type certification for the LED panels on the King Air 200, 300, 350 and 350i in May. The company is adding an STC for the C90 in the first quarter of next year. For the King Air line, airplanes that qualify for the LED panels include those with classic avionics, Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 and the recently certified Garmin G1000 upgrades.
For the first three months of the year, general aviation aircraft deliveries experienced a modest decline of 2.1 percent compared with the first quarter of last year, while overall industry billings shrank by 8 percent, to $3.39 billion, according to statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
JA Air Center is offering a zero-downtime program for King Air operators upgrading to the Garmin G1000 avionics suite. According to the company, it is the only authorized dealer specifically approved for the G1000 retrofit installation program and the only one to offer the zero-downtime option. Brad Zeman, the company’s president, said, “You fly in your qualified King Air 90/200/300/350 in the morning and we’ll loan you our King Air C90 equipped with a Garmin G1000 panel while your aircraft is being worked on.
Hawker Beechcraft secured orders for 11 aircraft–including three Hawker 4000s, a Hawker 400XPR, six King Air 350i turboprops and a King Air 250–worth more than $120 million during EBACE 2012 last week.
Hawker Beechcraft inked an order for six Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops from Hawker Pacific yesterday at EBACE. The deal with Hawker Pacific, a business aircraft sales and support firm in the Asia Pacific region, will support Hawker Beechcraft’s growing commercial and special missions operations across Australia and Southeast Asia. The six deliveries will be phased over the next three years, with the first delivery taking place later this year, three deliveries in 2013 and the final two aircraft being delivered in 2014.
Blackhawk (Stand 483) has closed a deal for another XP42 (PT6A-42) King Air aircraft upgrade here at EBACE 2012. The modification company is one of the largest non-OEM buyers of new Pratt & Whitney turboprop engines in the world. The lucky King Air scheduled for a facelift and performance boost is BB-748, operated by Halsted Aviation of Zimbabwe.
Jordan’s Arab Wings has become the first Middle East operator to fly Bombardier’s Global 5000 aircraft with its new Vision flight deck suite.
The King Air 250 received EASA certification, Hawker Beechcraft announced yesterday. The twin turboprop received FAA certification last June, followed by Brazil National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) approval in November. Hawker Beechcraft plans to start deliveries of the King Air 250 in Europe “soon.” The upgraded King Air features composite winglets and propellers, as well as engine induction modifications that contribute to its performance gains.
Beech King Air 300 and 350 owners and operators will soon be able to refurbish their airplanes’ instrument panels with a modern Garmin G1000 avionics suite. Garmin expects to receive the supplemental type certificate (STC) for the G1000 installation in the King Air 300 and 350 soon. G1000 upgrades are already available for the C90 and B200.