Announces successful engine test flight, customer survey award and revised launch date
WICHITA, Kan. (Aug. 31, 2009) – Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) today announced significant progress on its Beechcraft Premier II program with the first successful test flight of the aircraft’s new engines on a modified Premier IA and the entry of the first Premier II fuselage on the assembly line. In addition, for the third consecutive year, the Premier ranked #1 for quality aircraft service and support in a Professional Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support survey. HBC also announced this week its intentions to adjust the aircraft’s entry-into-service date in response to the challenging economic environment.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress on the Premier II program to date, as well as our continued success supporting our Premier customers,” said Bill Boisture, HBC Chairman and CEO. “While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment. Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into- service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market.”
The Premier II program continues to progress, with HBC remaining focused on making its commitment for first prototype flight to take place in December 2009. The company will continue to evaluate the best timing for the Premier II entry-into-service, but expects this to now occur in late 2012 or early 2013.
The new light business jet evolves from the highly successful Premier IA and will feature higher cruise speeds, 20 percent longer range with four passengers and increased payload, while still offering the largest cabin and most technologically advanced single-pilot business jet in theworld. The Premier II’s performance, cabin and technology will provide the ideal light jet choice for pilot owners and business operators.
The Premier II will be a twin turbofan, swept wing, light jet aircraft featuring a high-strength, advanced composite fuselage that allows for a medium-jet sized cabin at light jet costs. New winglets and the new powerful and highly efficient Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, each producing 3,000 pounds of thrust, will allow the Premier II to climb unrestricted to 45,000 feet and fly a 1,500 nm (2,778 km) mission with one pilot and four passengers (800 lbs payload). Additionally, the higher thrust engines will increase maximum cruise speed to 465 knots (861 km/hr) at 33,000 feet and improve high/hot take-off operations.
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.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
This release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including statements that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intend, expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s assumptions and assessments in light of past experience and trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other relevant factors. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ significantly from those envisaged by our forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described or implied in the forward- looking statements are general business and economic conditions, production delays resulting from lack of regulatory certifications and other factors, competition in our existing and future markets, lack of market acceptance of our products and services, the substantial leverage and debt service resulting from our indebtedness, loss or retirement of key executives and other risks disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.