The first three aircraft in Beechcraft’s Hawker 400XPR upgrade program are undergoing final airframe modifications, the Wichita aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The first customer aircraft had a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system installed last year as part of the upgrade, and it recently returned to Beechcraft for additional modifications, including the installation of winglets and Williams FJ44-4A-32 engines. The second and third aircraft are also receiving new engines and winglets. They are expected to be finished in the first half of this year.
Travel Management Company completed activation of the Aircell ATG 2000 onboard system on its charter fleet of 37 Hawker 400XPs, providing wireless high-speed Internet service from a passenger smartphone or tablet via Aircell’s Gogo Biz.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based operator claims to be “the largest charter operator and owner of Hawker 400XPs and 800/850XPs in the country.” The fleet of 30 Hawker 800/850XPs was previously equipped with a mix of Aircell’s ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 packages and Gogo Biz, also allowing a wireless connection via smartphone or tablet.
BBA Aviation’s Ontic (Booth No. N3505) is growing. The company, which specializes in transitioning legacy parts manufacturing and distribution from OEMs to its own aftermarket production, has expanded both physically and through its range of products and services. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony September 25 it opened a new MRO facility in Singapore’s popular Seletar Aerospace Park, co-located with BBA Aviation’s Dallas Airmotive, which has established a Singapore Regional Turbine Center.
Constant Aviation has been awarded an Aircell dealership at its Las Vegas location. “With the expansion of our Las Vegas location at the end of last year, we wanted to provide our customers with the same service as our other locations. As the demand grows for in-flight Wi-Fi options, we knew the addition of an Aircell dealership for the new location was imperative,” said Derek Morris, avionics modification manager at Constant Aviation.
Beechcraft, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is now focused on its piston and turboprop products, expects to sell its mothballed jet division in the coming months. According to CEO Bill Boisture, the company has already completed disposition of its remaining inventory of approximately 20 new and pre-owned Hawker 4000 and Premier IA jets, a move he said went “better than planned,” though he declined to offer details about the revenue derived from their sale.
Aviation Partners has issued a Service Bulletin for the Hawker Beechcraft/BAE 125 Series 800A/B, C-29A, Hawker 800 and Hawker 800XP. The Service Bulletin provides instructions to reduce the maximum permissible altitude to FL340 from FL410. The altitude limitation is implemented by an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and placards installed on the instrument panel.
Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.
Constant Aviation has been named one of the top five highest-performing Aircell dealers. Constant Aviation’s Wi-Fi STCs include the Hawker 800A/XP, 850XP, 900XP, the Citation X, the Phenom 300, the Legacy 600 and the EMB-135LR. STCs on the Beechjet 400A/XP and executive-configured Boeing 737 are in the final stages of FAA approval.
The emergence from bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft last week not only marked the beginning of the new Beechcraft Corp., but also signaled the end of the Hawker business jet line. Choosing to focus instead on its turboprop products, government contracts and aircraft service, the Wichita-based manufacturer has shut down all jet production and sold its remaining inventory of new and in-production Hawker 4000s and Premier IAs.
Fractional share provider Flight Options’ business is growing at a healthy clip, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company announced yesterday. “We’re definitely seeing a significant increase in hours flown and customer utilization,” said Matt Doyle, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re seeing folks are much more comfortable using their hours. On the business side, they’re using their airplanes to meet customers and clients and expand their business. On the personal side more folks are flying.”
Pre-owned Hawker 700/800/900s are currently “significantly undervalued,” Brian Proctor of business jet broker and consultancy Mente Group said today at the NBAA Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal conference in Bonita Springs, Fla. He contends that prices of these aircraft could potentially double (from current values, depending on the specific model) soon after Hawker Beechcraft exits bankruptcy later this month.
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