Raytheon now has two aircraft in its flight test programme for the Premier I business jet. A second aircraft has made its maiden flight from the company's headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.

The second jet's first flight lasted 90min. The aircraft, which will be joined by third and fourth jets soon, will be used for engine and system integration testing in a certification programme that is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

The first Premier I, which began flight testing in December, has clocked up more than 115h.

"The aircraft is coming in slightly lighter than predicted," says Duncan Koerbel, director of the Premier 1 business unit. "That's rare in a new aircraft programme and it validates all the work our integrated design team put into this jet."

The six-seater Premier I is the first composite-fuselage business jet. More than 160 orders have been placed to date, with what Raytheon describes as a "significant percentage" coming from European customers.

Source: Flight Daily News