|Beechcraft 390 (Premier I/IA)|
|First flight||December 22, 1998|
The Beechcraft Premier I is a light business jet aircraft manufactured by the Beechcraft division of Hawker Beechcraft. The aircraft was designed to compete with the Cessna CitationJet series of aircraft.
Design of the Premier I began early in 1994 under the designation PD-374 (PD for Preliminary Design), and development was authorized to continue early the following year. The aircraft was officially launched at the annual National Business Aviation Association Convention in September 1995 and construction of the first prototype commenced late in 1996. In the mid-1990s, the light jet was to be priced at $5 million.
The Premier I prototype was rolled out on 19 August 1998 and its first flight was on 22 December 1998; four prototypes were used in the flight test program. Its FAA Type Certificate was issued on 23 March 2001. After development delays, the aircraft entered service in 2001 but with poor runway performance, erratic lift dump and brakes, a noisy cabin and substandard cockpit. It was upgraded as the Premier IA in 2006 for $7 million with better brakes, avionics and cabin, and 163 were built in five years. It was certified on 22 September 2005.[dubious ]
In 2018, used aircraft from 2003 to 2011 were priced at $1.28 to 2.4 million.
On 19 May 2008, Hawker Beechcraft announced the launch of the Premier II. Developed from the Premier IA, the new aircraft would feature higher cruise speeds, a 20% longer range with four passengers, and increased payload. The aircraft would continue to feature composite materials for the fuselage, and have more powerful engines and new winglets to achieve performance improvements over the previous model. First flight was scheduled for April 2009, with FAA certification planned for the first half of 2010. Hawker Beechcraft claimed to have received orders for several dozen Premier IIs.
On 31 August 2009, the company indicated that it was slowing development of the Premier II, moving its first delivery date into late 2012 or early 2013 due to the poor market for business aircraft. Company Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture stated: "While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment. Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into-service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market."
In December 2011 the company announced that it was slowing down development of the Hawker 200 jet due to the uncertain state of the economy. CEO Bill Boisture indicated the program was not canceled, saying that the aircraft program is "well positioned to continue...when the time is right."
After the bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft, the production of business jets ceased in 2013.
The Premier I is constructed with a high-strength composite, carbon fiber/epoxy honeycomb structure fuselage. The Premier I and IA can be certified as light aircraft for operation by a single pilot. The powerplants are Williams International FJ44-2A engines.
Its cabin is nearly as wide as a Citation Excel with 3 in (76 mm) less headroom, and seating is 11.2 ft (3.4 m) long, similar to a CJ2, with a four-seat club plus two aft chairs and an enclosed, 2.3 ft (0.70 m) long aft lavatory. BOWs are usually around 8,400 lb (3,800 kg), leaving 570 lb (260 kg) for the payload at full tanks. The Premier 1A has a Mach 0.8 MMo, 451 kn (835 km/h) cruise at FL310 and a 817 lb (371 kg)/h fuel burn at 424 kn (785 km/h) and midweight. It can fly four passengers over 1,105 or 1,365 nmi (2,046 or 2,528 km) with two passengers and can take off within 3,792 ft (1,156 m) at ISA temperatures and sea-level.
Line maintenance comes at 200 h intervals, A checks at 600 h and B checks at 1,200 h, plus calendar inspections, approximating $300 per hour. Engine maintenance is budgeted for $300 per h for both, with 2,500 h hot section inspections and 5,000 h TBOs. Competition used include the CJ2 and the Nextant 400XT, both have tighter cabins but better airfield performance, the CJ2 can fly four passengers over 1,500 nmi (2,800 km) but is 30–40 kn (56–74 km/h) slower and around $1 million more expensive, while the 400XT can fly 1,800 nmi (3,300 km) for the same value but are usually high-time jets.
Data from Hawker Beechcraft
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beechcraft Premier.|