WICHITA, Kan., (Sept. 20, 2005) – Raytheon Aircraft Company is pleased to announce the commuter category certification of a heavy-weight Beechcraft King Air 350. This new aircraft has been modified to incorporate heavy-weight landing gear, as well as several other airframe modifications, permitting it to operate at a maximum gross takeoff weight of 16,500 pounds, an increase of 1,500 pounds over a standard Beechcraft King Air 350.
“This certification represents the achievement of a significant milestone in developing and certifying the Beechcraft King Air 350ER which Raytheon unveiled at the Paris Air Show earlier this summer,” said John Brauneis, vice president of contracts and special mission aircraft. “Our next step is to complete the development and certification of the nacelle fuel tanks which, when added to a heavy-weight Beechcraft King Air 350, will yield a Beechcraft King Air 350ER.”
Aimed specifically at the special mission market, the Beechcraft King Air 350ER will have the capacity for extended endurance, flying out 100 nautical miles, performing a low altitude surveillance mission for up to 8 hours and flying back 100 nautical miles, and still land with over 45 minutes of fuel on board.
“When fully certified, the Beechcraft King Air 350ER will surpass anything in its class in payload and endurance. It will provide the proven reliability of the King Air and unparalleled cost-effectiveness over a wide variety of military and civilian special missions,” added Brauneis. Certification of the King Air 350ER is still slated for the summer of 2006.
In 2004, Raytheon Aircraft Company recognized the 40th anniversary of Beechcraft King Air continuous production – and celebrated by delivering the 6,000th Beechcraft King Air. Over that same period of time, Raytheon Aircraft Company has been producing missionized aircraft to meet the unique requirements of its government and military customers, and has delivered over 3,000 special mission aircraft around the world.
Raytheon Aircraft Company designs, manufactures, markets and supports Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft for the world’s commercial and military markets.