Australia-based Hawker Pacific has delivered the final of four modified King Air 350 aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
Hawker Pacific secured the ten-year contract for both King Air 350 sensor and non-sensor aircraft, along with engineering and logistics support for the aircraft and associated ground training systems. The aircraft will be used by the RNZAF’s 42 Squadron, based at RNZAF Base Ohakea in Manawatu, NZ.
Hawker Pacific’s Special Missions design team in Sydney were responsible for the project management and design engineering, while installation and testing was conducted by workers at their Bankstown facility.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has four King Air 350 aircraft in its fleet, introduced as part of the Air Crew Training Capability project (ACTC). The KA350 is a light twin engine fixed wing, nine passenger, commuter aircraft.
The KA350 has been modified for the NZDF to allow three configurations:
• Transport for nine passengers
• Air Warfare training
• Sensor suite training
The ACTC project also introduced ground-based training systems for both pilots and air warfare officers. The air warfare officer training is conducted using airborne consoles and a mission management system installed in the KA350 cabin.
Pilot training can be conducted in any of the three configurations. There are two ship-sets of consoles allowing Air Warfare Officer training to be conducted on two KA350 aircraft concurrently.
The sensor suite, that will be permanently fitted to two KA350s, consists of an Electro-Optic and Infra-Red camera and a single array multi-mode surveillance radar. The sensor suite will be utilised for sensor operator training.
• Manufacturer: Beechcraft
• Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A reverse flow, free turbine engines rated at 1050 shaft horsepower each
• Propellers: Four-bladed Hartzell propellors
• Length: 14.22 m
• Wingspan: 17.65 m
• Height: 4.36 m
• Basic weight: 4,535 kg (10,000 lb)
• Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 6,800 kg (15,000 lb)
• Max. payload: Eight passengers and 250 lb baggage
• Max. range: 3,480 km (1,880 nm) with two pilots, 1,480 km (800 nm) with two pilots, eight passengers and 250 lb baggage.
• Cruising speed: 535–570 kph (290–310 kts)
• Max altitude: 10,668 m (35,000 ft)
• Endurance: 7.5 hours (two pilots), 5.7 hours (two pilots, eight passengers and 250 lb baggage), and 4.8 hours (four crew, max height 6,000 ft)
• Crew: Two pilots for transport operations, two pilots for multi-engine training, and four crew for non-pilot training.