Celebrations Slated For Completion Of 100th Wing As Well
More than 250 Raytheon
Aircraft employees associated with the Beechcraft Premier I
celebrated the completion of the program’s 100th composite
fuselage in Wichita (KS) recently. In a ceremony held in the
company’s Plant Three Composite Center of Excellence,
employees marked the milestone with festivities that included pop,
cookies, speeches and a group send-off of the fuselage to Plant
Four, where it will soon join the Beechcraft Premier I assembly
line. A similar celebration will be held at the company’s
Salina (KS) facility upon the completion of the 100th wing.
Jim Funk, Director – Composite Operations, told the
gathering that they are participants in a significant portion of
the company’s history, and in a larger sense, general
aviation history. "This is the first FAA-certified business jet
with a full composite fuselage," he said. “Your efforts, your
innovation, made this happen. When all business jets are made
from composites, historians will point to Beechcraft airplanes as
Bill Patterson, Director – Premier I program, added,
“It’s fitting in this 100th year of flight that we
produce the 100th example of the fastest, roomiest and most
sophisticated entry-level jets in the world.”
The milestone Premier I has added
historical significance as part of another 100th anniversary.
Olive Ann Beech, co-founder of Beech Aircraft Corp. in 1932, and
who ran the company until 1980, was born on Sept. 25, 1903.
The 100th Premier I will feature stylized Beechcraft
“B” logos on the headrests, and a commemorative decal
near the cabin door in honor of Mrs. Beech’s 100th
The 100th Beechcraft Premier I also has several enhancements
from the original design, including a sound abatement package that
brings cabin sound levels equal to or less than competitive
aircraft. The Premier I composite fuselage, which is less
than one inch thick, allows for a cabin space of 315 cubic feet and
height of 65 inches – 35 percent larger than competitive
aircraft. The fuselage contains no rivets, allowing the jet
to fly with less drag. It is lighter, stronger and less dense
than traditional metal fuselages. The epoxy resins are highly
resistant to water, fuel, oil, anti-freeze and most other solvents
used in the aviation business.
These attributes allow the Premier I to offer 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.