An updated version of the Beech Premier that Hawker Beechcraft says is "worthy of being called a Hawker" was one of several surprise small aircraft announcements at this year's National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta. The Hawker 200 will be a little faster, have a little more range and fly a little higher than its predecessor, Hawker Beechcraft VP of sales Shawn Vick told a Monday news conference. The aircraft will also have an updated interior. He said 95 percent of bizjet flights are shorter than 1,000 miles and carry three or fewer passengers and he said the 200 fits that niche while offering greater performance and comfort than competitors. The aircraft will sell for $7.55 million. Certification is scheduled for late 2012 and deliveries will start in 2013. Vick also announced a new short-field King Air model he said will open up 1,100 more airports to the venerable turboprop twin.
With engine induction enhancements, composite winglets and props, Vick said the sea-level takeoff distance of the King Air 250 is just 2111 feet (over a 50-foot object) and it's about 1,000 feet longer at 5,000 feet. Meanwhile, company CEO Bill Boisture said the company is making up, in part, for the downturn in the GA market with more emphasis on its military and government business. He said the attack version of the Texan-II trainer has performed almost flawlessly in recent tests and the recon and surveillance version of the King Air 350 continues to find new markets.