Fifty years after delivering its very first engine to Beechcraft, Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrated another milestone yesterday by delivering to Beechcraft at EAA AirVenture the 80,000th PT6 turboprop, in this case a -60A variant that powers the King Air 350i. “As we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this iconic engine,” said P&WC president John Saabas, “we are proud to share this important moment with Beechcraft, which was the first customer to select the PT6.” The PT6 has since become the most popular engine in all aviation market segments.
Beechcraft King Air
Kenny Dichter, founder of jet-card innovator Marquis Jet, is re-entering the private aviation market with the launch of Wheels Up, a new private members club. The new company is set to place an $800 million order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i twin turboprops, with deliveries of the eight-passenger aircraft due to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, running through 2018.
Beechcraft said it recorded a 75-percent increase in second-quarter aircraft deliveries over the same period a year ago. The company delivered 56 commercial and military aircraft, compared with 32 in last year’s second quarter. This year’s second-quarter total includes 12 King Air 350i/ERs, seven King Air 250s and five King Air C90GTxs. In the first half of this year, Beechcraft delivered 115 airplanes versus 69 in the same period last year, for an increase of 66 percent.
Ontario, Canada-based Flying Colours has been appointed a Raisbeck Engineering authorized sales and installation center for the company’s King Air product line. Under the terms of the agreement, Flying Colours is able to offer King Air maintenance, refurbishments, modifications and paint work in addition to full completions.
Flying Colours has a long affiliation with Beechcraft dating back to the 1980s. Its team includes 18 licensed technicians who have been working on Beech products since the company’s founding more than 25 years ago.
Boeing and the U.S. Army completed the first flight of an enhanced medium-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance system (Emarss) aircraft in late May. The modified Beechcraft King Air 350ER is the first of four Emarss engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft that Boeing is developing for the Army.
Farnborough, UK-based Gama Support Services has been named a Beechcraft authorized service center. Under the terms of the agreement the MRO is authorized to provide maintenance support and certification for the King Air, Bonanza and Baron series. It also provides for AOG service for all Beechcraft types; Gama’s in-house quick-reaction team for urgent operational support to Beechcraft operators worldwide; avionics support for Garmin and Rockwell Collins; and Hawker Beechcraft Support Plus program and warranty claims processing.
Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities are now authorized installation centers for the CenTex Halo 250 gross weight increase modification for the Beechcraft King Air 200. The conversion adds 920 pounds of payload capacity by increasing the mtow of 200-series King Airs to 13,420 pounds from 12,500.
CenTex Aerospace of Waco, Texas, developed the modification and received FAA certification last October.
KingAirNation (KAN), the year-old website devoted to Beechcraft King Air series turboprops and those who love them, launched a section on its site for European members of KAN seeking Euro-centric King Air news. Labeled “KAN Europe,” it is now live on the KingAirNation site.
“We have been planning this for a while, and it is still going to be somewhat of a work in progress while we aggregate more European King Air news,” said KAN founder Danny Carpenter, “but we could not be happier for being able to roll out a new feature our members have been asking for.”
Blackhawk Modifications president Jim Allmon announced the appointment of two new regional sales managers. Kevin Swash has responsibility for Southeast Asia and Oceania, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Australia and Indonesia in the fields of engineering and business development. Bill Cadow has been appointed to cover the eastern U.S., having formerly worked in various sales fields for Hawker Beechcraft.
Since Luma Technologies received approval for its Lumatech LED caution/warning panels for Beechcraft King Air 200, 300, 350 and 1900D models, the company has been receiving significant interest in the product. The panels hold supplemental type certificate/parts manufacturer approval certification.