Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) has announced the recent completion of the first non-stop transatlantic flight of its Beechcraft King Air. This significant milestone was achieved by the first of four modified King Air 350ER twin-engine turboprop aircraft traveling to the United Kingdom (UK) for delivery to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as part of the future Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS) program.
The aircraft flew from Wichita, Kan., to Bournemouth International Airport in the UK with only a single stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The two legs of the 4,000-plus nautical-mile journey were achieved in less than 12 hours.
“We were delighted to achieve two significant events in one day – the delivery of the first new aircraft for the UK Military Flying Training System and the first non-stop transatlantic flight for the King Air,” said Jim Maslowski, president, U.S. and International Government Business. “The non-stop transatlantic flight is a clear demonstration of the 350ER’s capabilities, opening new opportunities for the successful King Air family – the world’s best selling turboprop line of all time.”
The King Air 350ER aircraft that accomplished this landmark transatlantic flight was configured with a large underbelly radome capable of accommodating a number of different maritime surveillance radars. The radome and EO/IR fairing installations are FAA- and EASA-certified and part of the off-the-shelf modifications developed by HBC for special mission applications around the world.
The King Air 350ER is an extended range version of the highly versatile King Air 350, benefiting from increased payload and fuel to enhance range capability to more than 2,300 nautical miles and endurance beyond 10 hours. This, combined with unrivalled cost and performance metrics, allows the aircraft to fulfill a range of military and civilian special mission roles.