Pilot Journal
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mar-Apr 2008 On The Radar

radarIn late November 2007, Cessna’s bid for Bend, Oregon–based Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company was accepted, bringing the speedy Columbia 350 and 400 under the Cessna banner. As with all current Cessna products, Cessna Parts Distribution and the Cessna network of authorized dealers and service centers will take care of sales and support of the rebadged Cessna 350 and Cessna 400 aircraft.
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radarNew Bombardier Learjet 85 To Roar In October
Bombardier Aerospace plans to unveil its newest jet in October 2008. It’s designed for fast cruise (.82 Mach.) and transcontinental range (3,000 nm).

A clean-sheet design, the 85, will be a big midsize machine, slotting between Bombardier’s Learjet 60 and Challenger 300: two pilots and eight passengers in a tall tube that Bombardier says is “a larger, more comfortable cabin than any existing midsize aircraft.” With a stand-up height an inch short of six feet, width of 73 inches and an interior length of 302 inches, the 675 cubic feet of cargo space make this either a big midsize or a smallish super-midsize; the important idea is that it represents a big step for Bombardier Learjet. With its nearly SJ30-2 speed and transcontinental range, the new machine had 85 Letters of Intent at press time.

Bombardier won’t say yet, but the world expects conventional materials and construction; the avionics suite will be an integrated advanced glass cockpit of as-yet-undisclosed origin.

Propulsion and fuel locations are still guarded secrets, but expect automatic fuel management as part of the integrated avionics suite. With the 2+8/9, 23,500-pound (MTOW) 60XR priced at $13.1 million and the 2+8/9 (and up to 13), 38,850-pound Challenger 300 at $21 million, it’s a given that weight and pricing for this newest Learjet will be between these figures. For more, log on to www.bombardier.com.

radarKing Air B200GT Has More Power; 350ER Flies Farther
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation has improved the venerable Beechcraft King Airs, mating the 350 engine to the 200 gearbox to give the new B200GT a 305-knot max cruise speed, better climb, higher altitude and shorter takeoff than the B200, which it replaces. The 350ER is a melding of requirements from the Special Mission and the standard King Air, and has a number of improvements that added up to longer range and a more-versatile airplane.

Pratt & Whitney worked over the 350’s 1,050 shp–capable PT6A-60A engines and mated them to the B200’s (PT6A-42) gearbox, resulting in a continuous-rated 850 shp PT6A-52, powerplants unique to the new $5.3 million B200GT. Advantages of all this engine work include a 20-knot increase in max cruise, a 3,600-hour engine TBO and elimination of the 10,000-foot TOFA (takeoff field altitude) limitation of the legacy King Air B200.

The new 350ER holds its additional fuel in the engine nacelles and sports a gross weight increase from 15,000 to 16,500 pounds. A significant redesign of the landing gear also permits heavier landings, making tankering a practical option and increasing the potential mission repertoire of this King Air. With a 2,750 nm range (plus reserves), the $6.8 million 350ER has transcontinental capability and better than a 7.33-hour loiter capability, 100 miles from base. For more, log on to www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.


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