Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A: Little Big Jet
With six-passenger cabin seating, 450-knot cruise and fighter-like climb performance, the Premier 1A is the largest airplane in the light jet class
|Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line 21 integrated avionics suite consists of three 8x10-inch LCDs that present critical information while reducing pilot workload. All inputs are through a keyboard, and the setup includes Collins’ Integrated Flight Information System, which offers XM satellite graphical weather, map overlay and more.|
The airstair door folds down with one hand, opening into the kind of cabin you might expect of a Beech turbine product. The interior is impeccably furnished—a typical comment in several of the owner interviews.
To no one’s surprise, the Premier 1A did exactly what it was supposed to, climbing as if something bigger was chasing it and scoring an easy 445 knots at max cruise and FL330. Despite its speed up high, the airplane proved almost ridiculously easy to fly in the pattern, always the acid test for jets, especially those certified for single-pilot operation. Demo pilot Peter Kennedy kept me honest during the approaches, using a modest 120 knots down short final. The Premier proved friendly in all regimes.
In fact, the Premier’s docile manners and high performance may be the keys to its attraction. By the time you read this, there will be probably 270 of the type flying. At $6.4 million per copy, that represents a significant endorsement by some knowledgeable pilots who aren’t afraid to tell the world they fly business jets.
Page 3 of 4
Labels: Pilot Reports