FARNBOROUGH: Hawker Beechcraft touts UK capabilities

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Hawker Beechcraft (chalet J3) reports rising interest in the Blackhawk engine upgrade it is offering for King Air 200 series aircraft from its UK facility in Chester - where it has also developed certificated air ambulance interiors for Hawker 700s, 800s and 900s.

Via the engine upgrade customers received two factory-new PT6A-61 powerplants under Pratt & Whitney warranty. Hawker Beechcraft says these engines "run cooler and more efficiently, providing increased power at altitude". More than 200 Blackhawk upgrades have been completed worldwide.

The Chester operation recently completed delivery of the first Hawker 900XP modified for easy switch between VIP and air ambulance configurations, to a customer in Saudi Arabia. It had been tasked with making the special-mission role change executable within one hour.

The conversion was, says Hawker Beechcraft, completed in just two months and approved by both the European Aviation Safety Authority and Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority.

The airframer says it has manufactured "nearly 40% of all airplanes currently registered to air ambulance operators around the global - almost twice as many as the next manufacturer".

kingair200

Picture: Airspace user apgphoto