EBACE: Beechcraft displays full line-up in Geneva

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Beechcraft [stand 7060] is displaying its full line-up of turboprop and piston-engined aircraft at EBACE, where the restructured company is re-iterating its commitment to develop new aircraft designs and upgrades as part of a top-to-tail review of its product line.

Beechcraft's focus on product development has been at the forefront of its strategy since emerging from bankruptcy in February. "We are now a well-capitalised company with a definitive plan for all our platforms," says Shawn Vick, Beechcraft executive vice-president, sales and marketing. "We are confident that there will be new product announcements from 2014 until the end of the decade."

Under evaluation are re-engined Jet A-fuelled versions of the G58 Baron piston twin and G36 Bonanza piston single - powered by turbo diesel or small turboprop engines - and a single-engined turboprop.

The latter product would mark the US airframer's first foray into this small, yet crowded, market sector, and Vick says Beechcraft is getting closer to defining its key features: "Reaching into our installed base of Beechcraft products, we believe a single-engined turboprop would be a natural evolution."

He adds that the company is asking its customers and other users what their level of interest would be if Beechcraft could offer an aircraft with the right performance and operational characteristics at a certain purchase price.

Beechcraft is also conducting a third-party blind survey to gather "candid feedback" on what operators are looking for in a single-engined turboprop relative to other offerings in this segment - including the Cessna Caravan, Daher-Socata TBM 850 and Pilatus PC-12NG.

"We have gathered ample evidence already which has given us a good understanding of this market segment," says Vick. "However, we will dedicate the rest of 2013 to this research before we make any decisions."

Beechcraft's static display includes the King Air 250, C90GTx, 350i, 350ER special mission demonstrator - currently on a global demonstration tour - the G58 and G36.