FrontRunners: Highly Anticipated

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Though it will not begin deliveries until 2010, Hawker Beechcraft already has received more than 70 orders for the next model in its line of light business jets, the Premier II (www.hawkerbeechcraft.com). The fuselage of the $7.4 million aircraft, which is made of a lightweight composite, will make it one of the most durable and efficient jets in the Wichita, Kan., company’s fleet. Twin turbofan engines will carry six passengers to a cruising speed of 535 mph and a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet. The Premier II will have a range of about 1,700 miles and a time-to-climb of 14 minutes—a three-minute improvement over its predecessor, the Premier IA. A Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite will enable single-pilot operation.

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