Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announced significant progress on its Beechcraft Premier II program with the first successful test flight of the aircraft’s new engines on a modified Premier IA and the entry of the first Premier II fuselage on the assembly line. In addition, for the third consecutive year, the Premier ranked №1 for quality aircraft service and support in a Professional Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support survey. HBC also announced this week its intentions to adjust the aircraft’s entry-into-service date in response to the challenging economic environment.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress on the Premier II program to date, as well as our continued success supporting our Premier customers,” said Bill Boisture, HBC Chairman and CEO. “While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment. Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into-service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market.”
The Premier II program continues to progress, with HBC remaining focused on making its commitment for first prototype flight to take place in December 2009. The company will continue to evaluate the best timing for the Premier II entry-into-service, but expects this to now occur in late 2012 or early 2013.
The new light business jet evolves from the highly successful Premier IA and will feature higher cruise speeds, 20 percent longer range with four passengers and increased payload, while still offering the largest cabin and most technologically advanced single-pilot business jet in the world. The Premier II’s performance, cabin and technology will provide the ideal light jet choice for pilot owners and business operators.
The Premier II will be a twin turbofan, swept wing, light jet aircraft featuring a high-strength, advanced composite fuselage that allows for a medium-jet sized cabin at light jet costs. New winglets and the new powerful and highly efficient Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, each producing 3,000 pounds of thrust, will allow the Premier II to climb unrestricted to 45,000 feet and fly a 1,500 nm (2,778 km) mission with one pilot and four passengers (800 lbs payload). Additionally, the higher thrust engines will increase maximum cruise speed to 465 knots (861 km/hr) at 33,000 feet and improve high/hot take-off operations.