A Beechcraft Premier I bizjet flew halfway across
the country on a business trip, established a new speed record and
symbolically landed on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier -– all in
The business trip carried Raytheon Aircraft Chief Operating
Officer Bob Horowitz from Wichita (KS) to Norfolk (VA). The
Beechcraft Premier I flew out of Wichita, crossed a navigational
fix at 4:45 a.m. (CST), then raced across the Eastern U.S. skies.
At exactly 6:36 a.m. (CST), it crossed the Norfolk navigational
fix. Total trip time: 1 hour, 51 minutes. Average speed for the
1,152-mile trip: a blazing 639 miles per hour.
"The flight was an opportunity to convert our
published performance numbers into an enduring record, one that
would underline what it means to be the best-performing entry jet
in the world," said Horowitz, who is also president of the
Beechcraft Division. "We also wanted a special way to thank the
Navy for the opportunity to visit the U.S.S. Theodore
Roosevelt (CVN 71), which launched the first strike in
Operation Enduring Freedom."
Upon arriving on the aircraft carrier on a Navy C2 flown by Cdr.
Andy Alford, Commanding Officer of Logistics Support Squadron 40,
Horowitz presented the carrier’s commanding officer, Capt.
Richard O’Hanlon, a composite picture -– specially
created with computer magic for the visit -– of the
Beechcraft Premier I landing on an aircraft carrier, tailhook
extended, ready to catch the third wire.
"Captain O’Hanlon loved the picture," Horowitz said. "He
was especially pleased that the picture was accompanied by a card
from all 8,500 Beechcrafters around the world to the men and women
of the Theodore Roosevelt, expressing support for the
TR’s impending deployment."
Raytheon Aircraft has submitted the trip statistics to the
National Aeronautic Association -- the national authority for
overseeing and certifying aviation records -- in the category Class
C-I.E (6,164-13,338 lbs.) Group III (jet engine).
Feature-Packed and Fast
Raytheon notes, "The Beechcraft Premier I offers unmatched
guaranteed performance with a maximum speed of 451 KTAS (835 km/h).
With full fuel, a pilot and three passengers, the Premier I has a
1,450-nm range. The Premier I is powered by two Williams/Rolls
FJ44-2A engines. The entire aircraft is built with fewer parts than
competitive jets for higher maintainability and reliability."