As Hawker Beechcraft moves toward its resurrection as Beechcraft Corp. after exiting bankruptcy protection in the spring, it has not ignored research and development. Today at the NBAA Convention, Hawker Beechcraft executive vice president of customers Shawn Vick announced plans for three new turboprops, one of which will be a single-engine model and another a twin; the third is yet to be defined.
Kestrel Aircraft has tapped Cox to supply an electro-mechanical ice protection system for its single-engine turboprop, the companies announced today at the NBAA Convention. The system allows “effective ice removal” without the need for de-icing boots or an anti-icing fluid system. According to Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier, the electro-mechanical system “allows for effective ice removal while retaining a laminar flow.” The single-engine Kestrel is expected to be in service by 2016.
Hawker Beechcraft is moving ahead with restructuring during Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and in a press conference here yesterday HBC chairman Bill Boisture made it clear the new Beechcraft Corp. that emerges in the first quarter of next year will focus on the turboprop and piston aircraft lines.
After years of rumors about development of a fast, low-wing, single-engine turboprop, Cessna unveiled an aircraft interior mock-up in July to solicit prospective customer interest and opinion, gathering more than 350 detailed surveys during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. While Cessna has not decided if it will move forward with the aircraft, spokesman Andy Woodward said the company was “very encouraged” by the positive feedback the concept has received to date.
Blackhawk Modifications (Booth No. 4112) is pursuing a new supplemental type certificate (STC) related to its XP42A upgrade package for the Cessna 208B Caravan.
A recently approved $30 million federal tax credit package will help Kestrel Aircraft (Booth No. 5585) bolster its presence in Superior, Wis., as the company develops a new single-engine turboprop.
Business aircraft flying activity in the U.S. hit a slump last month, falling 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released late Tuesday by aviation services company Argus. Activity was down across the board in both the operator and aircraft categories.
According to data released yesterday by business aviation market information firm JetNet, pre-owned business jet and turboprop inventories trickled downward in August from a year ago. “While the pre-owned market continues to show improvement, all market metrics have been slow to recover,” the company said, “though are much improved compared to the lows recorded over the past three years.”
Piper Aircraft delivered its 500th Meridian turboprop single last week. The milestone aircraft was handed over to SouthEast Piper for delivery to the aircraft’s undisclosed Florida-based owner. “The delivery of the 500th Piper Meridian, since first delivery in 2000, emphasizes its enduring value proposition even during recent periods of economic uncertainty around the world,” said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott. “Single-engine Piper turboprops are growing in popularity as replacements for less economical twin-engine jets and turboprops.”
Airbus Military says it hopes to resume, in November, the remaining 140 hours of function and reliability flight-testing that is required before its A400M airlifter can be granted a full type certificate. The flights with MSN6, the first production-representative aircraft, were suspended in July because of the repeated detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the TP400 engines.