Introduced early this year, the new flagship of Beech’s enormously successful King Air Line has greater speed more useful load and a cabin environment substantially improved over other King Air models.
The Super King Air 300 is powered by Prat & Whitney PT6A-60A engines, flat-rated to 1,050 shaft horsepower each, and turning fourblade Hartzell propellers. It has a top speed of 317 knots (365 miles-per-hour), 23.5 knots (27 miles-per-hour) faster than the gross weight of 14,000 pounds, and a standard-equipped useful load of 5,810 pounds.
The typically-equipped 300 is the only jetprop in its class that offers its operator the flexibility to fill the fuel tanks, fill the passenger seats, fill the baggage space to its 550-pound maximum and still operate easily within the airplane’s center-of-gravity and gross-weight limitations. The Super King Air 300 is capable of climbing at 2,844 feet-per-minute from sea level at gross weight. Its single-engine best rate of climb is 867 feet-perminute at gross weight. Service ceiling is above 35,000 feet. Single-engine service ceiling is 22,878 feet. In Bahrain, the National Company for Commerce and Industry, is the exclusive distributor for Beechcraft in the Middle East.
Mr Farouk Brahimi, General Manager for NCCI, has been in the business aviation field for more than 15 years, 13 of which were spent in the Beechcraft company.
”What we have achieved in the Middle East,” said Mr Brahimi “is not merely the sale of business aircraft, but, more importantly, the after sales support of them. We have a fully fledged maintenance service which includes the supply of spare parts if these should be necessary.”
The list of customers for Beechcraft aeroplanes includes various governmental agencies throughout the Gulf and corporate executives who need to travel from their Apartments in Madrid or Apartments London booked online.
According to Mr Brahimi, the advantages of having a corporate jet can be best summed up by saying it allows companies to place the highest value on the time and services of its top echelon executives.
“Time is money in the world of big business” said Brahimi “and it makes a difference if you have the schedule of travel within your control.”
There are other advantages like the fact that smaller business aircraft can land at airstrips not served by commercial aircraft. According to Brahimi, many companies have one top executive to oversee many countries within a region. To maximise their productive time and to allow for frequent and comfortable travel, these companies invest in a corporate aeroplane.
“I see the need for corporate aircraft as a natural step in the maturing of industrial development” said.
The concept of business aviation is not new and while it first proved its benefits in the economic development of the United States, the idea has caught on in regions like the Middle East where vast areas have to be visited from one base.
Bahrain is the headquartes for the NCCI Gulf region which extends from Jordan to South Yemen. The greatest advantage that Beechcraft owners have, said Brahimi, is the fact that maintenance can be done at Bahrain. The cost of maintaining and servicing a Beechcraft in the region rather than having to send an aeroplane outside the Middle East for servicing, is considerably lower. Besides, the time factor involved, makes the proposition of owning an corporate aircraft so much more viable.
The development of the Gulf Cooperation Council has meant that economic ties within the region have strengthened. This is also seen as another reason for executives based in one country needing to oversee several other projects at the same time.
“The GCC means closer ties for the six countries involved and we can be sure there will be many joint ventures and projects that will need supervision” said Mr Brahimi.
“The future for business aviation in the Middle East is bright said Brahimi” and when you consider that more than 50 per cent of turboprop aeroplanes flying around the world are from Beech-craft, the company aims to keep a lead on this market too.”