ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2012) – Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) today announced it has delivered the 7,000th Beechcraft King Air since the legendary line of twin-engine turboprops began production in 1964.
The milestone aircraft is a Beechcraft King Air 350i delivered to Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc., based in Indianapolis. Jeff L. Kittle, HKP’s president and CEO, will be a guest of HBC for a special delivery ceremony at this week’s National Business Aviation Association annual convention in Orlando. All three current production King Air models – King Air 350i, King Air 250 and King Air C90GTx – will be at HBC’s static display at the Orlando Executive Airport, along with the Multi-Mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER demonstrator aircraft and other HBC aircraft.
“The King Air is still king. We delivered the 5,000th King Air in 1996, the 6,000th in 2005 and now we’ve reached 7,000 – clearly, interest in the all-time best-selling business aircraft family is as strong as ever,” said Shawn Vick, HBC executive vice president, Customers. “Thanks to constant innovation, its durability and utility are unmatched by any other airplane in the world. Through relentless product enhancements, the King Air’s performance and value have continuously increased and set the standards in our industry.”
Today’s fleet of 7,000 aircraft has amassed in excess of 45 million flight hours. The King Air is currently operated in 127 countries around the world, including all branches of the U.S. military. King Air turboprops serve a variety of missions ranging from traditional transport of personnel and high-value cargo, to electronic and imagery surveillance, air ambulance, airway calibration, photographic mapping, training and weather modification.
Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc., develops, builds, manages and owns multi-family rental housing and self-storage facilities in 10 states throughout the Midwest and Gulf regions of the United States. The company flies around 300 hours per year, mostly to transport team members to current and potential properties.
“Our company was already excited about moving up from the King Air 200 that we’ve loved to a new King Air 350i, so realizing we were getting the 7,000th King Air produced just made it that much more special,” Kittle said. “There’s no question in my mind of why the Beechcraft King Air is so successful. These are great airplanes that are comfortable, meet our mission requirements and are economical to operate.”
Among the reasons Kittle cited for choosing the King Air 350i: an ideal combination of payload and range for a variety of missions, a quiet and comfortable state-of-the-art cabin, as well as comprehensive warranty and customer support programs.
Kittle added: “Probably the biggest selling point for us with the King Air 350i was the flexibility to load the plane up with full passengers and full fuel; there’s almost no airplane that you can do that with. We fly less than 700 miles for most of our trips, and we get there as fast as a business jet while burning less fuel and with our team being very comfortable and productive in the cabin. The addition of broadband internet and phone access has made it a true workspace. Being able to stay in touch and reply to messages in real-time has tremendous value that will quickly exceed the cost of that upgrade.”