November 19, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) has said one of its modified King Air 350ER (extended range) turboprop twins made a nonstop trans-Atlantic crossing. The airplane was one of four ordered by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence; they will be used as part of the future Military Flying Training System program.
The airplane flew from Wichita, Kan., to St. John’s, Newfoundland, refueled, and then flew on to Bournemouth International Airport. Total distance and time for the trip was 4,000-plus nautical miles and 12 hours, HBC said. The U.K.-bound airplanes are fitted with an underbelly radome pod capable of accommodating a number of different maritime surveillance radars.
The ER version of the King Air 350 has increased payload and extra fuel capacity, enabling a maximum range of 2,300 nm, and an endurance “beyond 10 hours,” HBC said. Plain-Jane 350s have max cruise speeds of 300 knots to 310 knots, payloads of up to 1,900 pounds, and can fly as far as 1,850 nm nonstop. Civilian King Air 350s, which typically have nine cabin seats, sell for approximately $7 million.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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