Tue, May 12, 2009
Astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson Roars Into EBACE
The Beechcraft Premier IA has another record under its belt. The
most recent record was established on May 10 leading into this
year's EBACE event in Geneva, Switzerland. With astronaut Robert
"Hoot" Gibson at the yoke, the Beech completed a 627-statute mile
trip from Hawker Beechcraft's International Headquarters in
Chester, U.K. to Geneva in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 30 seconds. Gibson
blazed the course with an average speed of 511.9-mph.
"As was proven again this week, there is no competition for the
speed of the Premier IA," said Brad Hatt, president, Hawker
Beechcraft Commercial Aircraft. "In addition to its speed, the
Premier IA is popular in Europe and around the world for its
efficiency and medium-jet sized cabin that is available at a light
jet cost. Time is money and the Premier fulfills both through its
speed and efficiency."
With Gibson at the controls and aircraft owner Robert Kay of the
United Kingdom alongside, the Premier IA's speed record highlighted
the beginning of the week-long Hawker Beechcraft EBACE event. HBC
pilot Aaron Comber accompanied Gibson and Kay on the flight. HBC
submitted the trip statistics to the National Aeronautic
Association (NAA) - the national authority for overseeing and
certifying aviation records - in the category Class C-I.E
(6,164-13,228 lbs.) Group III (jet engine). The flight details will
be confirmed in the coming weeks by the NAA.
"I like to call the Premier IA a baby rocket ship," Gibson said.
"Its speed and handling qualities are exceptional. It is the type
of aircraft that pilots love to fly. Our thanks to Robert for
allowing the use of his aircraft for this speed record
In 2004, Gibson broke two records previously held by a Cessna
Citation when he flew a Premier I from Seattle, Wash., to Las
Vegas, Nev., covering the 866-statute mile trip in 1:44:09. He
followed that with another record trip from Las Vegas to Wichita,
Kan., completing the 995-statute mile distance in 1:49:12.
A mock-up of the new Premier - the Premier II - is also on display
at HBC's EBACE exhibit. Hoot Gibson will be on hand throughout the
show to tout the Premier IA and Premier II.
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