Hawker Pacific has begun an extensive eight-week modification programme on the first Beechcraft King Air B200GT sold in the Asia-Pacific region.
The twin turboprop will be operated by Malaysia´s Hornbill Skyways in aerial survey, medevac and charter work in the Sarawak region of the country.
The modifications, which are being conducted at Hawker Pacific´s Sydney Bankstown maintenance, repair and overhaul centre, include the installation of medevac equipment and an aerial camera system.
"The first stage will involve installation of LifePort medevac equipment, with a patient loading system, for aero rescue and patient transport," says Tony Jones, senior vice-president aircraft sales and flight services group.
"In the second stage we will incorporate a Leica precision gyro-stabilised aerial camera system, installed through a hole in the belly of the aircraft," he adds.
It is an extensive modification, but the company has performed several camera hole and radar installations, as well as de-modifications, says Jones.
The aircraft is due to be operational in Sarawak by the end of July.
The Australian aircraft sales, service and product support company is the master dealer for Beechcraft in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Papua New Guinea and South-East Asia. It has two more B200GTs on order from the region for delivery this year - one to a corporate customer in Australia and the second to an Asian corporate customer.
In addition, it has orders for three standard King Air 200s for delivery this year to Australia´s Royal Flying Doctor Service. The special-mission King Airs will be equipped with cargo doors - with Hawker Pacific is one of only two companies qualified to install the doors.
Meanwhile, Hawker Pacific´s plans to establish a fixed-base operation at Shanghai´s Hongqiao International airport have slipped, with the facility not expected to be operational until the middle of next year. Construction will start in the third quarter of this year, with the project held up due to the complexities of finalising the design, says Jones. "We´re trying to make sure we are building the right complex for now and the future," he adds.
The company continues to explore options to enter the Indian market and is expected to announce additional FBO and MRO activities in the Asia-Pacific region in the near future. The company´s charter business is continuing to grow, meanwhile, with nine aircraft now under its management.
Hawker Pacific is also working with Australian fractional ownership start up JetGroup to get its Private Class service off the ground. Hawker Pacific will provide aircraft management and crew for the service and in June will demonstrate a Hawker 400XP to potential customers around the country.