Hawker Beechcraft to launch Premier II at EBACE

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A more capable variant of Hawker Beechcraft's Premier light business jet family is expected to be launched at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition this month offering greater range, speed and altitude capability.

Dubbed the Premier II, the new model is an upgraded version of the six-seat Premier IA, itself a revamp of the original Premier I that entered service in 2001. According to documents obtained by Flight International, the Premier II will be fitted with winglets - which increase wingspan by 330mm (13in) to 13.89m - and feature two 3,000lb-thrust (13.4kN) Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, replacing the less powerful 2,290lb-thrust FJ44-2As of the Premier 1A. The new model will have a range of 2,780km (1,500nm) with a pilot and four passengers. Hawker Beechcraft quotes the range for the existing IA model with four passengers as 2,210km.

premier ii
 © Flight International/ Tim Bicheno-Brown

Maximum ceiling has been boosted by 4,000ft to 45,000ft, and maximum cruise speed is put at 465kt (861km/h). Operating weights have also increased (see table). The new model retains the Premier I's Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics.

Hawker Beechcraft declines to comment specifically on the Premier II, but says it plans an announcement at EBACE: "In the past year, we have brought five new aircraft to market and will continue to launch new products based on customer demand. EBACE is a great venue to announce new products, customer orders and business initiatives."

The Premier II will help to boost Hawker Beechcraft's share of the increasingly crowded light business jet market, which includes Cessna's growing Citation Jet family - CJ1+, CJ2+, CJ3 and CJ4, the Bravo, Bombardier's Learjet 40XR and a rising number of new entrants, such as the Embraer Phenom 300, Grob SPn and Sino Swearingen SJ30. To date more than 220 Premier aircraft have been delivered.

premier ii table
 © Flight International/ Tim Bicheno-Brown