- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Beechcraft 390 Premier I
Beechcraft Premier I C-GYPV Business Jet
Beechcraft/Raytheon 390 Premier I
C-GYPV (s/n RB-16)
Penticton, BC Canada (CYYF)
October 19, 2007
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
Beechcraft Premier I N581SF Business Jet
Beechcraft/Raytheon 390 Premier I
N581SF (s/n RB-47)
Penticton, BC Canada (CYYF)
October 05, 2007
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Beechcraft Premier is the name given to a series of light jet aircraft made by the Beechcraft division of Hawker Beechcraft. The series consists of the Model 390 Premier I and the Premier II. The aircraft was designed to compete with the Cessna CitationJet series of aircraft. The Premier appears to be the fastest civilian aircraft to be certified for flight by a single pilot under IFR conditions (at night and in limited visibility weather conditions). It also has an exceptionally roomy cabin for a light jet aircraft: 13'6" (4,11 m) long x 5'6" (1,68 m) wide x 5'5" (1,65 m) tall, with folding table, four club type seats, two forward-facing seats, and a partitioned aft toilet.

Development

Design of the Premier I began early in 1994 under the designation PD-374 (PD for Preliminary Design), and development was authorized to continue early the following year. The aircraft was officially launched at the annual National Business Aviation Association Convention in September 1995 and construction of the first prototype commenced late in 1996. The Premier I prototype was "rolled out" on 19 August 1998 and its first flight was on 22 December 1998; four prototypes were used in the flight test program and its FAA Type Certificate was issued on 23 March 2001. On 22 September 2005, the upgraded Premier IA was certified.

Astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson with the Premier IA on 10 May 2009 set a new speed record for the 1,000km (545nm) trip from Hawker Beechcraft's international headquarters in Chester in the UK to Geneva in 1h 13min 30s, representing an average speed of 823.8km/h (445kt). Gibson, at the controls, was accompanied by aircraft owner Robert Kay and Hawker Beechcraft pilot Aaron Comber. The company has submitted the data to the National Aeronautic Association for verification.

Premier II
On 19 May 2008 Hawker Beechcraft announced the launch of the Premier II. Developed from the Premier IA, the new aircraft will feature higher cruise speeds, a 20% longer range with four passenger, and increased payload. The aircraft will continue to feature composite materials for the fuselage, more powerful engines and new winglets to achieve performance improvements over the previous model. First flight is scheduled for April 2009, with FAA certification planned for the first half of 2010. Hawker Beechcraft claims to have received orders for several dozen Premier IIs.

On 31 August 2009 the company indicated that it was slowing development of the Beechcraft Premier II, moving its first delivery date into late 2012 or early 2013 due to the poor market for business aircraft. Company Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture stated: "While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment. Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into-service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market."

Design

The Premier I is constructed with high-strength composite, carbon fiber/epoxy honeycomb fuselage. The Premier I and IA can be certified as light aircraft for operation by a single pilot. The powerplants are Williams International FJ44-2A engines.

Variants

  • Premier I - basic version, introduced in 2001.
  • Premier IA - new cabin interior and improved systems.
  • Premier II - new engines and wingtips, range increase achieved with no extra fuel.

Specifications (Premier IA)

General characteristics
Crew: 1-2
Capacity: 6-7 passengers (depending on crew complement)
Length: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.56m)
Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Empty weight: 8,430lb (3,824 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Williams FJ44-2A turbofan

Performance
Maximum speed: 519 mph (451 knots, 835 km/h, Mach 0.80) at FL 330
Range: 1,360 nm (2,519 km) with maximum fuel and 45 minute reserve
Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,497 m)

Last updated August 19, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beechcraft Premier".
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