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 aircrafts.
Citing its intention to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the standalone Beechcraft Corp., Hawker Beechcraft notified employees yesterday that it will begin the process of closing Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio. The Wichita-based OEM also affirmed that approximately 240 employees will be affected at these locations.
AMI Aviation Services is taking orders for an STC and parts manufacturer approval (PMA) kit with optional installation services to retrofit the Beechcraft 1900D with Garmin G950 glass-panel avionics. According to AMI, the G950 avionics will modernize the aging 1900D cockpit and offer operators life-cycle cost benefits, including greater reliability, reduced weight, simplified fleet-wide training and a flexible architecture designed to accommodate future technology.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) has named Horizontal De Aviación at Aeropuerto Internacional el Dorado in Bogotá, Colombia, an authorized service center to support the Beechcraft King Air line. “The Colombian aviation market is one of the fastest growing Beechcraft aviation segments in Latin America,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft senior vice president of Global Customer Support.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine retrofit program. The 3,600-pound-thrust engine retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.
New turboprop sales continue their slow, steady climb out of the cellar. For the first six months of this year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports sales of the segment are up 10.5 percent compared with the same period one year ago, with 243 delivered. Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans lead the pack, as usual.
Hawker Beechcraft signed orders for nine aircraft–one King Air 350i, two King Air 250s, two King Air C90GTx and four Baron G58s–worth more than $34 million today at the NBAA Convention. The orders were placed by four Beechcraft distributors in Latin America–Aerolineas in Mexico; Aviaservice in Colombia, Caribbean and Venezuela; Aviasur in Chile; and Beechcraft de Guatemala. Business aircraft financier AirFinance is providing funding for the orders. Deliveries will begin in the second quarter and conclude by the end of next year.
This week at the NBAA Convention, Hawker Beechcraft delivered the 7,000th King Air, an aircraft line that has been in continuous production since 1964. The milestone aircraft, a King Air 350i, was delivered to Herman & Kittle Properties of Indianapolis. “The King Air is still king. We delivered the 5,000th King Air in 1996, the 6,000th in 2005 and now we’ve reached 7,000,” said Hawker Beechcraft executive vice president Shawn Vick.
A comprehensive deal was signed here at NBAA for the first Blackhawk XP52 replacement engine modification of a Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200 equipped with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The 3,500-hour aircraft is owned by LJ Aviation of Latrobe, Penn., which purchased it new in 2006.
The twin turboprop will also receive Raisbeck Engineering’s (Booth No. 2266) Epic Gold performance package, BLR winglets and LED lighting. The modifications will be performed by Hawker Beechcraft Services (Booth No. 2598) in Wichita.
Business aviation service provider Gama Group (Booth No. 2843) has entered an exclusive agreement through its subsidiary Gama Support Services with Professional Aviation Associates to hold consignment stock for Europe-based Hawker Beechcraft aircraft. The agreement significantly expands the range of stock that Gama Support Services holds for Hawker Beechcraft products, according to Gama Group.