Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) has delivered the first special mission extended-range (ER) King Air 350 to the United States Air Force. The versatile King Air 350ER is part of the Beechcraft King Air family – the world’s best selling turboprop line of all time. The Air Force awarded the contract for 23 King Air 350ER turboprops, designated by the military as the MC-12W, to HBC last November. In total, the project has an estimated value of $171 million.
“This contract shows the strength of our special mission aircraft and our relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Jim Maslowski, president, U.S. and International Government Business. “We are proud to provide this crucial tool to our military for this important mission.”
Visiting HBC for the delivery were Lieutenant General David A. Deptula, Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Brigadier General Blair E. Hansen, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The remainder of the aircraft will be delivered by the end of July.
The King Air 350ER, a derivative of the King Air 350, provides extended range through the addition of nacelle fuel tanks, along with an increase in gross weight from 15,000 to 16,500 pounds and the incorporation of heavy-weight landing gear. Modified with military-required equipment, the MC-12W provides the Air Force with advanced technology and reliability.
The King Air 350ER is ideally suited for use in special missions as an airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform. The aircraft can provide more than eight hours of endurance and has the flexibility to loiter low and slow or cruise at 300 knots and 35,000 feet. Taking off at gross weight with full fuel and full payload, the King Air 350ER can fly out 100 nautical miles, perform a low altitude surveillance mission for 7 hours and 20 minutes, fly back 100 nautical miles, and still land with more than 45 minutes of fuel on board. No other aircraft in its class can come close to this performance.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.