EBACE: Hawker Beechcraft makes product upgrades

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Continuing its tradition of offering aftermarket upgrades and modifications across its family of business jets and turboprops, Hawker Beechcraft Services launched two new performance enhancement programmes at the show today to extend the life, sustain the appeal and increase the resale value of the aircraft for its global network of customers.

The first offering is a winglet retrofit programme for the Hawker 750 - a $295,000 modification that will provide an incremental performance improvement in time to climb, range and fuel consumption for the 67 Hawker 750 owners, said HBS vice-president for strategic aftermarket integration Brian Howell.

"The enhancement gives a 5% improvement in time to climb and a 4% or about 185km [100nm] increase in range," he added. The upgrade is also in line with Hawker's strategy to equip its models with winglets where possible, Howell said. Winglets are now fitted on five in-production/development types and will be available on four aftermarket aircraft.

A member of the King Air twin turboprop family has also been singled out for modification. The $350,000 B200GT upgrade package - dubbed the 200GTR - incorporates BLR Aerospace composite winglets, a Raisbeck Engineering Ram air recovery system and Hartzell four-blade composite propellers.

"The upgrade makes the aircraft a King Air 250 [scheduled for certification and service entry in the second half of the year]," said Howell. "It can take-off from a 2,100ft [640m] runway giving it access to 1,100 more airports worldwide than the B200GT", he said, adding that it provides additional safety margin and operational flexibility on longer fields.

The upgrade will initially apply to the 125 B200GT owners, but HBS plans to widen the upgrade at a later date to include the 2,000-strong B2000 fleet. Meanwhile, the company said it is planning to win US and European certification in June and July respectively for its 800XPR upgrade that incorporates new Honeywell TFE731-50R and winglets.

The airframer has also opened the orderbook for the 400XPR. The $2.64 million revamp includes a Rockwell Pro Line 21 cockpit, Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines (in place of Pratt & Whitney Canada JT-15D-5 turbofans) and new winglets. Certification is set for 2012.