Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1, United States of America
The Premier 1 light business jet is the first all-new business jet built by Raytheon Aircraft from an original design and is the first in a family of business jets, which features all-composite fuselage and swept aluminium wing design.
The Raytheon Aircraft Company based in Wichita, Kansas, started the design of the Premier 1 light business jet in 1994 and announced the launch of the new aircraft in 1995. The aircraft completed its first flight in 1998.
Raytheon gained over 200 orders for the Premier 1 from customers in 26 countries by 1999, before the aircraft was submitted for FAA approval.
The Premier 1 received FAA certification, including single pilot approval, in 2001. It received FAA RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) certification in May 2003. Upgrade kits for RVSM capability are available for aircraft already delivered.
In December 2006, Raytheon announced the sale of Raytheon Aircraft to GS Capital Partners. The new company is called Hawker Beechcraft Inc and the sale was completed in March 2007.
Flight Options LLC (formerly Raytheon Travel Air), a subsidiary of Raytheon, ordered 22 Premier I aircraft for its fractional ownership programme. Delivery of the Premier I started in 2001 and the Premier I has joined the Flight Options fleet of King Air B200s, Hawker 400XP and Hawker 800XPs. By September 2007, 190 Premier I aircraft had been delivered.
In March 2003, a Premier 1 established a new speed record when it flew from Wichita, Kansas to the East Coast of the USA, 1,854km (1,152 miles) at an average speed of 1,028km/h (639mph).
For its size, the Premier 1 is very light (basic operating weight 3,627kg) and features a composite fuselage for superior strength and less weight and swept metal wings for greater speed. The composite fuselage also provides a larger cabin size, accommodating eight people including the pilot.
In May 2005, Raytheon announced an upgrade, the Premier IA, which received certification in October 2005. The aircraft has an improved interior, seating and avionics suite and 'acoustical liner' to reduce cabin noise levels.
In May 2008, Hawker Beechcraft announced the Premier II. The Premier II will have new Williams FJ44-3AP engines providing 26.8kN (6,000lb) of combined thrust, a range increased to 2,780km, maximum altitude increased to 13,716m (45,000ft) and cruise speed increased to 861km/h (465kt). The maximum gross take-off weight is also increased to 6,260kg (13,800lb). Certification of the Premier II is planned for 2010.
The fuselage is built without internal frames and is of graphite and epoxy laminate and honeycomb composite construction. The engines are rear mounted.
The swept back aluminium alloy wings are set below the fuselage which gives the aircraft a large cabin space relative to the overall length of the aircraft. The tail plane is also of swept back design.
The elimination of the internal frames in the design of the fuselage increases the available cabin volume by nearly 15% and reduces the weight by about 20% in comparison to a conventional alloy construction.
Ice detectors mounted in the nose of the aircraft activate the aircraft's de-icing systems. The wing leading edges and the inlets of the engine nacelles are fitted with an engine air bleed anti-icing system. Electromagnetic expulsion de-icing (EMNEDI) protects the leading edges of the tailplane. The windscreens are electrically heated.
The cockpit is fitted with dual controls. The aircraft can be flown by a pilot and co-pilot or by a single pilot.
The flight deck is equipped with a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) and Rockwell Collins AHC-3000 Automatic Heading Reference System (AHRS). The Rockwell Collins AFD-3010 unit has two 10in x 8in high-resolution liquid crystal displays for primary flight and multifunction displays.
The avionics include air data computers ADC–3000, an integrated avionics processing system IAPS-3000, flight management system FMS-3000, flight guidance system FGS-3000, automatic direction finder ADF-462, distance measuring equipment DME-442, a global positioning system GPS-4000, navigation receivers VIR-432 and a radio altimeter ALT-4000. The colour weather radar is the RTA-800 supplied by Rockwell Collins.
A maintenance and diagnostics computer MDC-3000 is installed on the aircraft.
The communications system consists of dual Rockwell Collins VHF-422A transmitter/receivers with a transponder, type TR-94 Mode S, a DB438 audio system and a CL-23 navigation and communications tuner. The cabin is fitted with a pager with four speakers.
The Premier 1A avionics suite incorporates the Rockwell Collins IFIS-5000 Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) and Pro Line 21 Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) suite fitted as standard. IFIS includes dual graphical multi-function displays, electronic charts and enhanced map overlays and optional 3D flight management system mapping, paperless cockpit and real-time graphical cockpit weather. The upgraded IA has three LCD displays, rather than two.
The 4.11m-long, heated and air-conditioned cabin can accommodate six passengers, with four club-style seats and two fixed seats at the rear of the cabin.
The door on the port side of the aircraft, just behind the flight deck, is fitted with airstairs. The main 1.4m³ baggage compartment is accessible externally and is sufficiently large to accommodate skis and other large items. A forward baggage compartment, with 0.28m³ capacity, is installed in the nose of the aircraft.
A cabin noise reduction upgrade, installed from 2003, has reduced cabin noise by 3dBA to 5dBA.
The Premier 1A upgrade includes a new contoured cabin headliner that increases passenger headroom, adjustable LED downwash lighting and repositioned passenger reading lights. Cabin chairs have also been completely restyled for increased comfort and more legroom. The Rockwell Collins Airshow cabin entertainment system can be fitted.
The aircraft has two Williams FJ 44-2A turbofan engines each delivering 10.23kN. The engines are rear mounted.
The aircraft has both gravity and pressure refuelling. The aircraft carries a usable fuel load of 2,059l in integral wing tanks that fill the entire internal volume of the wings.
The electrical system consists of two starter generators, a lead-acid battery and a standby battery. There is also an external power unit.
The aircraft is fitted with tricycle-type landing gear, which is hydraulically operated. Each unit has a single wheel. The main wheels retract inwards and the nosewheel retracts forward. The landing gear is fitted with hydraulically operated brakes with an electrical anti-skid system.
The upgraded Premier 1A includes a pilot 'lift dump on demand' control for improved landing performance and an improved hydraulic brake with anti-skid system.