The latest version of the world’s best-selling business jet model, the Citation XLS+, recently completed its first flight. “With the flight progressing as planned and the aircraft performing as expected, this first flight was a great success,” said Cessna Citation XLS+ Program Manager Kevin Steinert. “The integration of the new Collins Pro Line 21 and Pratt & Whitney’s FADEC-equipped engines went smoothly, and we look forward to continuing this program on schedule.”
At this writing, the aircraft is undergoing further evaluation and testing at Cessna’s primary design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita, Kans. Type certification of the XLS+ is expected in the first quarter of 2008, and first deliveries are scheduled for mid-2008.
Priced at $11.6 million, the XLS+ will continue the tradition of the Excel and XLS as an affordable stand-up-cabin business jet. The family of Excel/XLS aircraft, composed of 575 planes, have accumulated a total of nearly 1.2 million flight hours.
The original Citation Excel was delivered in May 1998; the Citation XLS followed in July 2004. The 500th Excel/XLS was delivered in June 2006, making the Excel/XLS the best-selling aircraft of all business-jet models since its introduction.
The Citation XLS+ is designed to travel at 440 KTAS (815 km per hour), has a range of more than 1,800 nm (3,440 km), climbs direct to 45,000 feet (13,700 m) in 29 minutes and lands on runways as short as 2,700 feet (823 m) at its typical landing weight.
Telex Stratus 50-D Headsets Need Modification
Telex Communications has identified a potential issue with its Stratus 50 Digital Active Noise Reduction Aviation Headset, which results from incorrect insertion of the batteries in the headset’s battery box.
Owners of the headsets are asked to return the units for a no-charge internal modification to address the battery-insertion issue. Instructions on how best to do this can be found at www.telex.com/Aircraft/Default.aspx or by calling the Telex Service Department at (800) 218-2410.
Let There Be Light
Avcomm International, makers of quality headsets and intercoms for the aviation, racing, safety and industrial sectors, has teamed together with FLITELite to offer the aviation world the latest in headset and lighting innovation—the first line of headsets with a built-in FLITELite that runs on intercom power, not batteries.
The light is directly attached to the headset and is activated by the touch of your lip. Avcomm has incorporated these simple, utility lights directly into its deluxe AC747, AC900 and AC910 general aviation and helicopter headsets. To learn more about FLITELite headsets, surf over to www.avcomm.com.
Hawker Beechcraft Services Appointed As Blackhawk Dealer
Hawker Beechcraft Services has joined the network of authorized dealers for Blackhawk Modification’s popular King Air XP engine upgrades. Blackhawk’s engine upgrades are certified for the entire King Air 90 series as well as the King Air 200 fleet. Randy Znamenak, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hawker Beechcraft Services, voiced his approval: “We’re making quick use of Blackhawk as a customer-service tool. When our customers leave one of our facilities with a more powerful aircraft than when they arrived, everybody wins.” Hawker Beechcraft Services in Houston just completed its second Blackhawk XP engine upgrade on a King Air F90. All 10 of Hawker Beechcraft Service’s global network of factory-owned, world-class service centers are authorized to perform the King Air XP engine upgrades.
The appointment of Hawker Beechcraft Services as an authorized Blackhawk dealer will benefit the entire King Air fleet. The expanded service capabilities encourage operators with King Airs still under factory warranty, as well as those that aren’t, to experience the Hawker Beechcraft tradition of top-notch customer service.
Blackhawk has now completed more than 90 XP upgrades on the King Air fleet. “We’re thrilled to have Hawker Beechcraft Services showcase their world-class service capabilities by installing our XP family of PT6A engine upgrades,” said Jim Allmon, President and CEO of Blackhawk Modifications. “The Blackhawk XP engine upgrades rejuvenate traveled King Airs to powerful new performance standards, something any King Air operator can get excited about.” Blackhawk Modifications is the leading turboprop aircraft engine-upgrade company in the world; they specialize in King Air 90 and 200 series aircraft as well as Conquest I and Cheyenne series twin turboprops. Learn more at www.blackhawk.aero and www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
FAA Paves The Way For New GA Engine Technology
The FAA has given the go-ahead to New York–based Xerion Avionix LLC for installation of the AuRACLE Engine Management System into general aviation aircraft. The new STC significantly reshapes how pilots manage engine information, resulting in significant improvements to in-flight fuel management and engine operations.
“The FAA has allowed us to integrate a complete overview of up-to-the-second engine data with a state-of-the-art fuel computer,” says Xerion’s Eric Hathaway. “Now general aviation pilots can literally micromanage the aircraft’s engine performance and fuel consumption with a single, intuitive, digital presentation—the AuRACLE.”
The AuRACLE operates with both four- and six-cylinder engines. The single, five-inch, high-definition, sunlight-readable, color screen can be configured to display any and all information required by an individual aircraft, including rpm, manifold pressure, fuel flow, oil temperature, oil pressure, CHT, EGT, percentage of horsepower, voltage/amperage, vacuum pressure, OAT, TIT, carburetor temperature, fuel pressure, induction air temperature, compressor discharge temperature, tach time and GPS interface. That data, combined with AuRACLE’s SmartLean Intuitive Leaning Process and fuel computer, offers general aviation pilots an entirely new level of power management.
The FAA approval allows the AuRACLE to serve as primary instrumentation, replacing the aircraft’s legacy engine “steam” gauges. Additionally, the system employs a unique Engine Interface Unit, installed on the engine side of the firewall, which reduces engine-instrumentation firewall penetrations to one single, more streamlined cannon-style bulkhead connector.
The new AuRACLE Engine Management System is now available for the Beechcraft Bonanza A36, and Xerion is seeking retrofit STCs for all major aircraft types. For more information on the AuRACLE, visit www.xerionavionix.com.
Hawker 900XP Earns Type Certification
On August 24, 2007, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation certified one of the newest additions to the Hawker family, the Hawker 900XP. The aircraft is the latest evolution of the world’s best-selling, midsized Hawker 800 series.
“The Hawker 900XP is the perfect combination of new-engine power and efficiency with a leading-class airframe,” said Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO. “Significant improvements in fuel efficiency, range, hot and high-altitude takeoff performance and reduced cost of operations will ensure that it remains the world’s best-selling midsized jet.”
The Hawker 900XP also launches Honeywell’s new TFE731-50R engine, which exhibits improved hot and high-altitude performance. Long-range cruise improves to almost 2,800 nm with six passengers, allowing the plane to make a nonstop flight from New York to anywhere on the West Coast 99.9% of the time. At high-speed cruise, range improves from 2,111 nm in the new Hawker 850XP to 2,307 nm in the Hawker 900XP. The Hawker 900XP has the same cabin size as the Hawker 800 series, the largest and most successful cabin in its class.
At a 2007 typically equipped price of $14.3 million, deliveries of the Hawker 900XP began in September, and foreign certifications are already being pursued. Jet over to www.hawkerbeechcraft.com for more information.
Hawker 750 First Flight
Hawker Beechcraft also recently achieved first flight of the Hawker 750. The Hawker 750 is another evolution of the world’s best-selling, midsized Hawker 800 series, providing Hawker Beechcraft Corporation with the largest cabin in the light-medium-sized segment.
“First flight of a new model to the market is always an exciting time,” said President of Commercial Sales Brad Hatt. “The Hawker 750 opens a whole new market for us, and with a strong backlog already in place, we’re anxious to start deliveries.”
The new Hawker 750 will have a 2,100 nm range with four passengers. It has the largest cabin in the light-midsized aircraft segment. The aircraft will feature a new Hawker interior designed specifically for the 750 and for this market segment. Priced at $11.2 million (standard) and $11.9 million (typically equipped) in 2007 dollars, certification is planned for late Q4 2007 with deliveries beginning in early 2008.
Blackhawk Now Offering Its King Air “B200 Super XPR” Upgrade Package
Blackhawk Modifications has released a new engine-upgrade package for the King Air B200 series—the “B200 Super XPR” upgrade. Customer deliveries began in October 2007. For the “B200 Super XPR,” Blackhawk teamed with Raisbeck Engineering in a joint program that incorporates factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-61 engines and the full Raisbeck EPIC Performance Package onto the King Air B200 fleet. The new -61 engines coupled with the EPIC introduce enhanced value for in-service B200s by offering the best available takeoff, climb and cruise performance. The new performance configuration will yield cruise speeds of up to 305 knots.
“After a year of extensive engineering and flight testing, the -61 engine is undoubtedly the optimal powerplant for the existing King Air B200,” stated Jim Allmon, Blackhawk President and CEO. A Super XPR–equipped B200 is now the best option for buyers desiring speed without giving up the comfort of a large cabin.”
Raisbeck Engineering Chairman and CEO James Raisbeck believes this joint program is structured for immediate success. “Raisbeck Engineering is grateful to be counted among the technical contributors, along with Pratt & Whitney, to the Blackhawk PT6A-61-repowered Super King Air XPR program. Equipping every B200 that receives the -61 engines with the Raisbeck EPIC Performance Package gives these airplanes better-than-new speed, range and field performance.”
The introductory base price is set at $870,000 (exchange) for two factory-new -61 engines if the aircraft is already EPIC equipped. A 2,500-hour or five-year factory warranty is included in the sales price. See www.blackhawk.aero for further details.
In other Raisbeck news, the company has appointed Naples Jet Center as a new Raisbeck Authorized Installation Center. Naples Jet Center now has the responsibility of promoting, selling and installing Raisbeck King Air Performance Systems to current and prospective customers. Located in Naples, Fla., the center is a new FBO offering services, which include maintenance, avionics and sales.
Raisbeck’s Engineering Sales Manager for King Air Performance Systems, Scott Keefe, stated, “We’re excited about broadening our dealer network with such a high-caliber installation center. Naples Jet Center has a very professional and experienced staff and will be an asset to both Raisbeck and King Air owners and operators.”
Raisbeck Engineering was founded in 1973 and continues to dedicate itself to improving the productivity, safety and performance of business and commercial aircraft. For more information, see www.raisbeck.com.
Airguide Launches Flight Guide Online
Airguide Publications has introduced Flight Guide Online, a new full-service flight tool. With Flight Guide Online, pilots have access to up-to-date airport and supplementary information with just a click from their home computer, laptop, tablet PC or anything else that accesses the Web. Flight Guide Online doesn’t replace the Flight Guide manual; instead it complements flight-planning efforts and the researching of fly-in destinations.
Flight Guide Online gives pilots the ability to locate airports by searching in-depth airport data, services, fuel, food, transportation, lodging, recreational information and more. In addition, clear and concise airport diagrams and airspace graphics and photos can be enlarged and printed in various sizes.
Airport data and diagrams are updated daily by Airguide’s team of researchers, which helps ensure access to airport information that’s more current than a printed source.
Flight Guide Online will also help you find a nearby restaurant, hotel or car-rental agency. Phone numbers and mileage from the airport are included for each listing; the “Make Reservations” link allows you to view availability and rates and make reservations for your favorite hotel and car-rental agencies.
A basic flight planner—courtesy of FlightPrep, makers of ChartCase Professional—is included in the member service. Members can access current weather and display surface analysis, weather depictions, composite moisture-stability charts, infrared satellite images, U.S. radar and 12- to 72-hour weather forecasts. Log on to www.flightguide.com for more info.