WICHITA, Kan. (April 29, 2008) - Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) delivers the first of two Beechcraft King Air B200GT aircraft to Serco Defence, Science and Technology for service in the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (RAF) as a multi-engine pilot trainer. The second King Air B200GT will be delivered this summer and both aircraft will join Number 45 Squadron at RAF Cranwell. These aircraft will strengthen the existing fleet of seven Beechcraft King Air B200s in service with the RAF, bringing the total to nine King Airs.
"The King Air B200 fleet at Cranwell has been incredibly successful, both in the speed in which the aircraft entered service to replace the obsolete Jetstream, and the way in which it is providing cost-effective multi-engine pilot training for the military today," said Air Commodore Brian Newby, Director Flying Training at 22 Group. "As our requirement for multi-engine pilots has changed in response to a rapidly evolving strategic environment, we look forward to supplementing our existing fleet with these additional two new aircraft."
The original Beechcraft King Air order was placed in 2003 when Serco announced it was awarded the prestigious £60 million Multi-Activity Contract for RAF Cranwell incorporating the Multi-Engine Pilot Training Interim Solution. The new aircraft are essential to meet an increase in the demand for military multi-engine pilots within the U.K. Ministry of Defence, along with a growing need for a modern, glass cockpit experience.
Air Commodore Newby formally accepted the aircraft on behalf of the RAF today during a special delivery ceremony at Hawker Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kan. Also in attendance were Squadron Leader Jad Reece, Officer Commanding Number 45 Squadron and his B200GT project officer, Flight Lieutenant Andrew Linsley. Representing Serco at the ceremony was David Griffiths, the overall Service Contract Manager at Cranwell.
The B200GT is the latest evolution of the highly successful Beechcraft King Air B200-series of aircraft, boasting a state-of-the-art glass, paperless cockpit and new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-52 engines that provide higher cruise speeds and faster climb rates.
"Because of its proven operational flexibility, the King Air B200GT is an excellent fit for the U.K. Ministry of Defence's needs including maritime surveillance and pilot training," said Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. "The aircraft is used in special mission roles around the world because of its combination of high performance and low operating costs."
Current Beechcraft King Air models include the King Air C90GTi, King Air B200GT, King Air 350 and King Air 350ER. The King Air series is the best-selling business turboprop lineup in the world and with continuous product enhancements, nearly 7,000 Beechcraft King Airs have been produced since 1964.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special-mission and trainer aircraft - designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company's headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan., Little Rock, Ark. and Chester, England, U.K. The company leads the industry with a global network of over 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers.
Source: U.K. Royal Air Force Expands Beechcraft King Air Fleet
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