May 20, 2013

Beechcraft Commences Winglet Flight Testing on Hawker 400XPR Upgrade Program

GENEVA, Switzerland (May 20, 2013) – Beechcraft Corporation today announced the start of flight tests for the winglet component of its Hawker 400XPR upgrade program. Conforming flight tests with the winglets began this month as the program continues its certification and flight testing efforts.

The Hawker 400XPR upgrade package offers several factory approved airframe modifications to significantly improve performance, operating cost and resale value. The upgrade combines the superior aerodynamics of genuine Hawker winglets and the increased power of the Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines along with optional Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ avionics and a number of system enhancements. Importantly, the XPR enhancements are the exclusive factory-designed, engineered and supported upgrades available for the Hawker/Beechjet 400.

The Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system upgrade is certified and the first customer aircraft has been delivered from Hawker Beechcraft Services in Atlanta. The Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engine certification and Hawker winglet certification are on track for completion in the third quarter of the year and Hawker 400XPR deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter.

“We’ve been beating performance estimates in flight testing, and we’re in the final certification phase for the 400XPR,” said Brian Howell, Hawker Beechcraft vice president, Aftermarket Sales and Business. “The popularity of this upgrade is evident – all 2013 slots for the 400XPR upgrade are sold out – and we’re eager to get the 400XPR in the hands of our anticipating customers.”

The 400XPR factory-completed aircraft is superior in performance and efficiency when compared to both new aircraft offerings from other OEMs, as well as individual alterations from aircraft operators like Nextant and Flight Options. The more powerful Williams International FJ44-4A engines enable the Hawker 400XPR to climb directly to FL450 in only 19 minutes at max takeoff weight, whereas the Nextant and Flight Options modification (which uses the smaller -3A engine) requires some 70 minutes at lower altitudes before it can step climb to realize the greater efficiencies without sacrificing speed.

“The effort we’ve put into developing the Hawker winglets and pairing them with the right engine has helped set this upgrade apart from competitive options,” Howell said. “Customers choosing the Hawker XPR upgrade are doing so foremost for the performance, efficiency and value enhancements, but they are also looking forward to the distinctive ramp presence the winglets provide. And they are choosing the XPR knowing the upgrade is supported by our worldwide network of factory and authorized service centers.”

The company’s static exhibit this week at the 2013 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, includes a winglet display adjacent to Beechcraft’s full lineup of turboprop and piston business aircraft.

Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., the Global Customer Support organization is dedicated to improving the value of both Hawker and Beechcraft aircraft by employing products and services to simplify aircraft ownership, reduce operating cost and increase resale value. GCS is comprised of five functional groups that include Support Plus (cost predictability/warranty programs), Hawker Beechcraft Parts & Distribution (genuine factory parts), Hawker Beechcraft Services (factory-owned service centers), Technical Support (Field Support Representatives, Hot Line specialists and Technical Publications) and Global Mission Support (government business and special mission maintenance / training support).

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About Beechcraft Corporation

Beechcraft Corporation designs, builds and supports versatile and globally renowned aircraft, including the King Air turboprops, piston-engine Baron and Bonanza, and the T-6 trainer and AT-6 light attack military aircraft. Its 5,400 highly skilled employees are focused on continuously improving the company’s products and services which are sold to individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. In business since 1932, Beechcraft has built more than 54,000 aircraft and more than 36,000 continue flying today. It leads the industry with a global network of more than 90 factory-owned and authorized service centers. The company’s headquarters and major manufacturing facilities are located in Wichita, Kan. For more information, visit beechcraft.com or follow us on Twitter @Beechcraft.