“Premier” is the given name of a light jet aircraft family developed by the Beechcraft division of Hawker Beechcraft. The family itself is quite small, consisting of of the Model 390 Premier I and newly announced the Premier II. The manufacturer introduces this jet’s recognition features as “enhanced speed, roomy cabin and right-size value”. The aircraft was designed to compete with the Cessna Citation Jet line of aircraft: anyone who visits Wichita, Kansas will find amazing the fact that Cessna Aircraft Company, Hawker Beechcraft and Learjet Inc. have their production facilities along same airport’s runway. So, during a long term they might get business aviation news without watching TV, just having the window curtains open.
The Premier I 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 lavatory.
The Premier I design process began in early 1994 while development was authorized to continue the following year. Premier I prototype was "rolled out" on 19 August 1998 and its first flight took place on 22 December 1998; FAA Type Certificate was granted on 23 March 2001, while 22 September 2005 is FAA certification date to the upgraded Premier IA .
On 10 May 2009 the U.S. Astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson set a new speed record with the Premier IA , covering distance of 1,000km (545nm) from Hawker Beechcraft's international headquarters in Chester (UK) to Geneva at 1h 13min 30s, representing an average speed of 445kt (823.8km/h). Gibson, at the controls, was accompanied by aircraft owner Robert Kay and Hawker Beechcraft pilot Aaron Comber. The company has submitted their data to the National Aeronautic Association for further verification.
Referenced aircraft has a high-strength composite, carbon fiber/epoxy honeycomb fuselage. Premier I and IA can be certified as single pilot operated light aircraft. Two Williams International FJ44-2A engines are currently mounted as the aircraft power plant.
Hawker Beechcraft launched the Premier II update to the single-pilot Premier I on May 19, 2008 on the eve of the EBACE show in Geneva. The Premier II climbs to altitude more quickly, flies farther and carries a greater load than the airplane it replaces.
Hawker Beechcraft will continue to produce the Premier I/IA after the Premier II receives FAA certification and enters service in the second quarter of 2010. The Premier II is priced at $7.365M (2010) versus $6.25M(2008) for the Premier I. Hawker Beechcraft already has orders for 40 Premier IIs, evenly split between the U.S. and European markets, and options for another 70. No upgraded Premier II’s reported delivered yet. On 31 August 2009 the company indicated its slowing down 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.
According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) statistics, totally there were 267 units of Hawker Beechcraft Premier I/IA sold and delivered around the globe since the period 2001-2009.
Cruise speed: 835 km/h
Total range: 2 213 km
Engines: 2 x Williams, FJ-44-2
Wingspan: 13.56 m
Length: 14.02 m
Height: 4.67 m
Length: 4.11 m
Width: 1.68 m
Height: 1.65 m
Passengers: up to 6
Baggage capacity: 2 cubic m