Bearing in mind the Hawker Beechcraft mantra—“It’s the cabin, stupid”—the company announced on Oct. 5 a new King Air, the 350i.
The 350i, which the company says should be certified and ready for delivery in 2010, will have a newly designed cabin and an advanced Rockwell Collins “Venue” infotainment system.
The cabin can be configured to seat six, seven, or eight passengers. In a six-passenger club seating arrangement, the aft-facing seats will have double ottomans. The eight-seat setup uses the 350’s traditional double-club seating. The 350i’s seats have been redesigned for more legroom and can be ordered with optional seatwarmers. The headliner, sidewalls, and side ledges have also been restyled. An aft lavatory is an option.
The Venue system lets passengers watch AirShow inflight services and experience all manner of digital entertainment, such as playing music from iPods or MP3 players, watching DVDs (a Blu-Ray player is optional), and even running XBOXs. Venue comes with 15-inch video monitors, and iPhones can be docked to the system. The 350i is the launch airplane for the Venue.
The 350i also includes new soundproofing. Cabin noise levels are now 78 dB, compared to the 350’s 82 dB. The sound reduction is accomplished by using noise-damping material and vibration absorbers. In effect, the cabin shell “floats” on vibration absorbers, a company official said.
Price of the 350i is set at $6.5 million.