In contrast to its primary competitors, Raytheon Aircraft posted an increase in deliveries of its turbine business airplanes. In the third quarter, Raytheon shipped 39 Hawkers, Beechjets, Premier Is and King Airs, compared with 32 in the same period last year. In the nine months ending September 30, Raytheon delivered 105 jets and turboprops vs 99 last year.
Beechcraft King Air
During its 50-year history the Twin Commander line of business aircraft has occupied a special niche. Today, just as when the original purpose-built corporate and executive transport, the $45,000 Aero Commander Model 520, entered the market in January 1952, a high percentage of these aircraft–even the turbine-powered models–are flown not by full-time professional pilots but by their owners.
Seagull Aviation is working on another STC for the installation of the 750-shp Czech Walter engine and Avia propeller on various King Airs. This STC will apply to the King Air A100, F90 and 99. Dan Sigl, president of Seagull Aviation, said he anticipates receiving the STC in late spring. Installed price is between $500,000 and $525,000 and Seagull said it will help owners sell their old engines.
Aviation Fabricators (AvFab) of Clinton, Mo., recently gained an STC and PMA for its aft jump seat kits for King Air 100 and 200 series airplanes. AvFab said the fold-up seats not only improve the utility of the King Air cabin, but the list price of $14,800 a pair (unupholstered) is approximately half of Raytheon’s list price. In addition, the new product is available for immediate delivery.
An aeromedical Beechcraft King Air C90 en route from Chinle, Ariz., to Alamosa, Colo., crashed late Thursday night in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, killing pilot Ric Miller, flight paramedic Dana Dedman and flight nurse Ronnie Helton. No patients were aboard the twin turboprop when it crashed in the mountainous and rugged terrain.
When Pilatus unveiled the PC-12 turboprop single at the 1989 NBAA Convention in Atlanta, the Swiss company envisioned it as a utility airplane geared for small-package express deliveries, and the corporate and special-use markets. In other words, it saw it as being in direct competition with Cessna’s Caravan.
Honeywell and Meggitt Avionics are partnering to certify an avionics upgrade package for the King Air C90. The standard retrofit package will comprise a Bendix/King three-axis KFC 250 flight control system and Meggitt’s Magic EFIS, which includes an air data/attitude and heading reference system and primary flight and navigational displays. The price is expected to be $125,000 plus installation.
OurPlane of London, Ontario, Canada, which has been marketing fractional shares in piston airplanes since 1998, recently introduced fractional programs for the King Air C90B and Pilatus PC-12. The company announced it is teaming with FlightExec to expand the King Air and PC-12 programs in Canada. FlightExec is an aircraft management/charter firm also based in London, Ontario. OurPlane has 15 aircraft at eight locations in North America.
Iridium Satellite of Bethesda, Md., has added four North American air-ambulance operators to its subscriber rolls.
Air Methods has decided to install Sky Connect Tracker systems for Iridium-based automatic flight following as well as cockpit voice and data communications in its aircraft.
Mayo Aviation (Booth No. 7054) announced that it has been selected by Blackhawk Modification as a dealership and installation facility in the south Denver metropolitan area. This allows Mayo to upgrade King Airs, Conquests and Cheyennes with new Pratt & Whitney engines to improve speed and performance.