Hawker Beechcraft has apparently overcome quality-control problems in the manufacture of the T-6A Texan II turboprop trainer. The U.S. Air Force recently awarded the company two follow-on contracts worth $550 million for an additional 137 aircraft.
T-6 Texan II
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has begun an “informal” investigation into Raytheon’s accounting practices, primarily related to the timing of revenue recognition at the company’s aircraft unit–and specifically its regional airliners.
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the same period last year.
As reported first in AINalerts on September 20, the U.S. Air Force and Navy’s suspension of deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer resulted from an unapproved change to the manufacturing process of the airplane’s wing spar, according to a Hawker Beechcraft spokesman.
As reported first in AINalerts on September 20, the U.S. Air Force and Navy’s suspension of deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer is due to an unapproved change to the manufacturing process of the airplane’s wing spar, according to a Hawker Beechcraft spokesman.
The U.S. Air Force’s T-6 program office has suspended deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer “pending investigation of contract delivery issues,” according to a spokesman at the Air Force Air Education & Training Command (AETC). The AETC currently operates 320 T-6As for Air Force specialized undergraduate pilot training, and the U.S.
Training pilots to fly combat jets is an expensive proposition. A proposal by European air chiefs to cut costs by combining forces has made only slow progress. However, two well established multinational training programs are readily available in North America. Meanwhile, “downloading” and “contractorization” are the prevailing buzzwords, as all air forces try to rationalize their flight training systems.
A fighter pilot is as expensive as the aircraft he or she flies. The current trend for containing costs is to concentrate as much of the training syllabus as possible on cost-efficient turboprop trainers, including a large part of the lead-in phase and weapon training, and to limit the use of high-performance jet trainers. Operating costs of jet trainers are estimated to be three to six times those of a turboprop.
Planners at the U.S. Central Air Forces Command have begun conducting an assessment of equipment requirements to boost the Iraqi air force’s counterinsurgency and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability. One option under consideration could involve light attack aircraft such as the Raytheon T-6A/B Texan II turboprop single.
Swiss airframer Pilatus is riding high on a sustained wave of success of its PC-12 pressurized single-engine executive/utility aircraft. At the same time, it is pushing hard for a first order for its new PC-21 turboprop trainer.
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