Raytheon’s goal in designing their first light corporate jet, Premier 1, was to create a high-performing private jet with minimal acquisition and operating costs. They did this successfully in 2001, when the Premier 1 gained FAA certification. It was the first composite fuselage business jet to do so. Four years later, the Premier 1A was certified as the largest single-pilot business jet in the world by Raytheon and Hawker. Carrying two reputable legacies in its name, it’s no wonder the Premier 1A is groundbreaking. Essentially the same aircraft as its predecessor, the 1A boasts improved avionics and brakes, and a redesigned cabin.
The Premier 1A’s cabin is one of the biggest for a private jet of its size, seating six or seven passengers in a 315 cubic-foot cabin. Measurements are 13.5 feet long, 5.4 feet tall and 5.5 feet wide. The cabin is designed with contoured headroom for maximum passenger comfort. Fold-out tables on both sides of the aircraft, LED lighting and fully reclineable, extra-wide, contoured seats further prove the aircraft’s comfortability. Also available are an array of cabin entertainment systems and interior trim/finish upgrades. There is 77 cubic feet of baggage space available in internal and external baggage compartments.
The Premier 1A can take off in 3,792 feet and climb to 37,000 feet in seventeen minutes when loaded to its maximum takeoff capacity of 12,500 pounds. Its cruise speeds can reach 451 ktas (.80 Mach) and it can fly 1,380 nautical miles. It has a certified ceiling of 41,000 feet.
The swept wings on the Premier 1A are an original design from Raytheon. The unique design minimizes drag, and increases cruise speed and high altitude capabilities. Although the wing was enlarged to add an additional 250 pounds of fuel than was originally planned, the Premier 1A still manages a short enough takeoff distance to be able to utilize small airports.
The Premier 1A is powered by two Williams/Rolls-Royce FJ44-2A engines, which provide 2,300 pounds of thrust on take off, apiece. Major inspection interval is 3,500 hours. They are controlled by an electronic control unit that is linked to a hydromechanical fuel control system mounted on the engine.
The computer-controlled composite manufacture line (known as the “Viper process”) used in the production of the Premier 1A is a big reason for its low acquisition cost. Computer aided three-dimensional interactive analysis (CATIA) simulations analyzed structural models and system design of the jet to optimize its performance and reliability, and cut down production time and costs.
The fuselage of the Premier 1A is made of a high-strength carbon fiber/epoxy honeycomb composite. It is lightweight, simple to manufacture, and almost never needs repairs. The thinness of the fuselage is the reason for the cabin’s spaciousness.
Cabin pressurization is automatically regulated by a digital system that uses engine bleed air. The two-zone cabin environmental system also uses bleed air for heating and one of two separate generators for cooling. Cabin pressure can be automatically or manually controlled and is rated to a maximum of 8.4 psi.