ANN Tours Hawker Beechcraft's All-Composite Light Business Jet
In September of 1995, Raytheon Aircraft announced their first business jet, the Premier 1, featuring the latest in composite technology and swept aluminum wing design for greater speed. Finally, in March of 2001, after completing over 700 flight hours, the Premier received its official certification, including a single pilot approval, by the FAA. The Premier 1 marked the first clean-sheet business jet certified by Raytheon Aircraft, and the first new airplane certified by Raytheon in more than a decade.
The Premier 1 also represented the first FAA certified business jet with composite fuselage. Used for its superior strength, the composite design reduces overall weight by an estimated 20% compared to conventional alloy construction, resulting in an extremely light basic operating weight (3,627kg). Additionally, the elimination of internal frames increases the available cabin volume by nearly 15%, making the Premier’s cabin one of the largest among comparable light jets.
In October of 2005, Raytheon announced the certification of the Premier 1A. The aircraft debuts a totally redesigned interior with restyled cabin chairs and all-new contoured cabin headliner for increased passenger comfort and space. In addition, the Premier 1A’s dual-controlled cockpit features the upgraded Rockwell Collins IFIS-5000 Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) with three multi-function LCD displays, electronic charts, and enhanced map overlays. Other Premier 1A upgrades include an ‘acoustical liner’ for reduced cabin noise, a pilot ‘lift dump on demand control’ for better landing performance, and an improved anti-skid braking system.
After the completed sale of Raytheon Aircraft to GS Capital Partners in 2007, the Premier line became a part of the newly formed Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. On May 19, 2008, Hawker Beechcraft announced the launch of the Beechcraft Premier II, continuing the evolution in all-composite technology.
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