ATLANTA — Inside its large exhibit at the static display at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Hawker Beechcraft on Monday revealed the latest plane in its Hawker business jet lineup, the Hawker 200 light jet, and an upgraded King Air, the King Air 250.
The planes — along with the rest of the company's product line — are on display at the NBAA convention. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend this year's show.
The Hawker 200, which will carry up to eight people, evolved from the Premier II program, officials said. The updated version has more capabilities and features than the Premier II, the company said.
"We've spent the last 18 months gathering valuable input from light jet customers around the world," Hawker Beechcraft executive vice president Shawn Vick said.
Never miss a local story.
Not surprisingly, they said they wanted to go "fast, high and far" all in comfort and as efficiently as possible, he said.
"That made a lot of sense to us."
The aircraft was also renamed to reflect the company's lineup of Hawker business jets.
The $7.5 million plane will fly at 450 knots and 43,000 feet. It will feature new winglets, new Williams International engines, longer intervals between maintenance inspections and a composite airframe warranty of 10 years, up from five, the company said.
The Hawker 200's first flight was in March. Since then, it has logged more than 100 flight test hours. It's scheduled for certification in the third quarter of 2012 with first deliveries planned in the fourth quarter that year. The program is on schedule, the company said.
Hawker Beechcraft also introduced the King Air 250, which will replace the King Air B200GT, and includes additional field performance, Vick said.
The latest King Air has composite winglets to improve efficiency in flight, composite propellers for lighter weight and engine induction modifications for increased performance, he said.
One big change will be the capability to land on shorter runways than the previous model, Vick said. That will give King Air 250 customers access to 1,100 more airports, he said.
Certification for the King Air 250 program is expected later this year, with first deliveries planned in the second quarter of 2011.
The company also announced a major upgrade that's available for used Hawker 400A and 400SP models, called the 400XPR.
The $2.5 million upgrade is a new strategy for the company. The ability to get upgrades will keep owners and operators flying their airplanes longer. The upgrade will reduce operating costs and increase resale values, said Hawker Beechcraft vice president for customer support Christi Tannahill.
The upgrades include winglets and an engine upgrade along with options for an upgraded stylized interior and paint selections.
It also announced an 800XPR upgrade, with winglets, engine improvements, high-speed Internet and international swift broadband.