Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said this week his company is making good progress on its Beechcraft Premier II program, but will hold off on an entry-into-service date for the new jet until late 2012 or early 2013, in hopes that the economy will improve by then. "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," Boisture said in a news release. "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 company has successfully test-flown the aircraft's new engines on a modified Premier IA and the first Premier II fuselage is now on the assembly line.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the progress on the Premier II program to date," said Boisture. First flight of the prototype is expected to take place in December. The company will continue to evaluate the best timing for the Premier II's entry into service. The twin-turbofan, swept-wing light jet will feature an advanced composite fuselage and new winglets.