All posts tagged 'King Air'

The Hidden Costs of Maintaining Outdated Avionics

By Mark Wilken – Vice President of Avionics Programs and Operational Logistics
www.elliottaviation.com

King Air C90B

With many companies currently budgeting for 2016, it’s important to consider some of the hidden costs of maintaining outdated avionics, specifically old CRT (tube) EFIS displays. CRT display manufacturing is becoming obsolete and will inevitably become non-existent. This means that the pricing for these units is going to increase substantially and the availability is going to continually decrease. Let’s take King Airs as an example.

Avionics Maintenance Costs

By current market pricing, typical yearly costs just to maintain a Collins Pro Line 2 equipped King Air is about $20,000 per year. If you plan on keeping the aircraft for another five years under current market conditions and a traditional ADS-B mandate solution for about $75,000, you would be paying about $175,000 just to continue to maintain your current avionics package.

Traditional Upgrade

If you want to make additions to a Pro Line 2 avionics system, a WAAS/LPV upgrade would cost about $95,000 and RVSM would cost another $83,000. Combined with maintaining current avionics and ADS-B compliance, the total cost for five years of ownership with traditional upgrades is going to cost around $353,000. Not only are these costs high but these upgrades do not add value to your aircraft.

G1000 Upgrade

While an average base install of a Garmin G1000 in a King Air costs around $325,000, it adds an average value increase to your aircraft of around $275,000. In addition, it includes all of your upgrades like WAAS/LPV, ADS-B, RVSM and is safer, lighter, more reliable and can be completed in just 15 days.

Upgrade or Maintain

While some operators may choose to maintain their current avionics system, older avionics are becoming obsolete and will continue to increase in price and be less reliable. Your avionics system is critical to the operation and safety of your aircraft. An upgraded avionics system will ensure you are getting the most out of your aircraft.

Mark Wilken joined Elliott Aviation in 1989 as an Avionics Bench Technician. He was promoted to Avionics Manager in 1996 and joined the sales team in 2003. Mark has led many highly successful avionics programs such as the King Air Garmin G1000 avionics retrofit program. He recently led efforts for Wi-Fi solutions in Hawkers, King Airs and Phenom 300’s. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and is a licensed Pilot.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).

Seventeen People In A King Air?

By Adam Doyle – Pant and Interior Sales Manager
Elliott Aviation

While it may seem impossible, you can fit seventeen people in a King Air 350 or 350i, by modifying it from an executive layout to a 15-passenger commuter plus crew. When making this change, you will lose about a fifth to a quarter of your aircraft range depending on the weight of the passengers and the luggage.

When transforming a 350 or 350i from an executive layout to a commuter style layout, there are many obstacles that will need to be taken into consideration. The first thing to consider would be to eliminate all cabinets mounted to the seat tracks aft of the forward dividers. Next, whether it’s a 350 or 350i you are retrofitting, relocation of the lavatory from the standard location, across from the entry door, to the left handed aft baggage area is the next step, similar to a King Air 90. Along with doing this, you will need to incorporate an "L"-shaped curtain to provide the user some type of privacy, although it will be minimal.

When retrofitting a 350i in this manner, there are obstacles that you wouldn’t face on a 350. The 350i’s redesign of the drink ledge and lower side panel area affect what seats can be placed in the aircraft. At all table locations, the table housings and side panels arch inboard. The arch will not allow a commuter style seat to be placed in the tracks since they do not track inboard on the frame. On a typical King Air 350, this would not be an issue as the drink ledge and side panel area are flat and non-intrusive.

The preferred seating option would be AvFab’s Traveler Seat. These seats are engineered to be lightweight, durable and affordable. The Traveler Seat’s enhanced design creates increased leg, knee and foot room as well as ease of getting in and out for passenger comfort. Since you lose some of your range in this modification, keeping the seating as lightweight as possible will be to your benefit.

Oxygen requirements will need to be evaluated unless the aircraft was previously outfitted with dual aft jump seats. Placarding now becomes mandatory since both aft dividers and stub wall will be removed to accommodate the seating.

Considering the floor plan change, opting for alternative flooring designed for heavy use may be necessary. If you intend to retrofit a 350i and still want the look, there are options available to consumers looking for this solution. One of the biggest benefits is upgrading to LED downwash lighting instead of the fluorescent bulb/power supply issue.

Other modifications to consider include options for baggage. You lose the interior baggage area by eliminating the left handed aft baggage area to accommodate the new toilet location. However, there are still alternatives available. By adding wing lockers, you would gain 34 cubic feet total of baggage area.

Another topic to discuss is aesthetics. Are you considering function or appeal? You can always have closeouts fabricated to cover up the structure where items have been removed, though taking the next step to make your aircraft appear as if it came from the factory may be appealing. You may choose to have the drink ledges and lower side panels added onto and recovered, or gain a unique and seamless look by choosing to have all new fabrications. Fabricating new may sound over the top but taking into consideration the fact you won’t have to strip, prep and recover, some of the labor will be absorbed.

Seventeen people in a King Air? It is possible and a good shop that works on a lot of King Airs can do it. Knowing all of your options is the first step to knowing what modifications will fit your needs.

Adam Doyle joined Elliott Aviation in 2000 as an interior technician after graduating from Wyoming Technical Institute. While at Elliott Aviation, Adam has earned many different promotions on the shop floor including Install Team Lead, Soft Goods Team Lead, Assistant Interior Shop Manager and Seat Shop Manager. Adam’s most recent promotion has been to Paint and Interior Sales Representative for Elliott Aviation. He uses his experience with various vendors, products and processes to educate our clients by providing direction and helping plan for future investment with realistic and accurate figures.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA). More information can be found at www.elliottaviation.com

Garmin G1000 Rebate Includes ADS-B Requirement

By Mark Wilken
Director of Avionics Sales for Elliott Aviation

www.elliottaviation.com

Avionics at Elliott Aviation

 

Garmin recently announced rebates of $50,000 to owners and operators of King Air C90, 200/B200, 300 and 350 who upgrade their factory installed Pro Line 21 avionics system to the Garmin 1000 system before May 29, 2015. Those with other avionics systems who upgrade prior to May 29, 2015 will receive $25,000.

The G1000 will replace an entire avionics package in a King Air and can increase useful load by an average of 250 pounds. The system incorporates graphical weather, synthetic vision, traffic, terrain and other avoidance systems into a simple three-panel display unit and takes only 15 working days to install.

Something you may not know about the G1000, however, is that it also includes automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast, or ADS-B Out. This is important because an upcoming mandate by the FAA requires each aircraft to transmit ADS-B to ground stations by January 1st, 2020 in an effort to modernize the air traffic system.

ADS-B Out is a WAAS GPS based signal that broadcasts your aircraft position, vector, altitude and velocity to ADS-B ground stations in an effort to make the skies safer. This will allow air traffic controllers to more efficiently route traffic to reduce congestion, emission and fuel consumption. To ensure safety, ADS-B needs to broadcast WAAS GPS data from a highly accurate source.

With the G1000 you can add value to your aircraft while getting many enhancements including meeting the ADS-B Out requirement. Garmin’s rebate offer is available until May 29, 2015.

Mark Wilken joined Elliott Aviation in 1989 as an Avionics Bench Technician. He was promoted to Avionics Manager in 1996 and joined the sales team in 2003. Mark has led many highly successful avionics programs such as the King Air Garmin G1000 avionics retrofit program. He recently led efforts for Wi-Fi solutions in Hawkers, King Airs and Phenom 300’s. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and is a licensed Pilot.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA). More information can be found at www.elliottaviation.com.

 

Beechjet/Hawker 400XP Garmin G5000 Retrofit Program

Breathing New Life into a Timeless Airframe

By Mark Wilken
Director of Avionics Sales for Elliott Aviation

www.elliottaviation.com

At NBAA this year, spectators had the opportunity to see the Garmin G5000 first-hand in the Beechjet. This is exciting news for Beechjet/Hawker 400XP owners and operators alike as it further affirms the longevity for this aircraft. Because avionics parts obsolescence is becoming a prevalent issue in older airframes, the G5000 retrofit rids any obsolescence issues and further enhances the capabilities of this magnificent airframe.

Garmin recognized the importance of the G5000 program, as over 700 Beechjet/Hawker 400XPs/Jayhawk T-1A are currently flying, with many of them older and rapidly facing avionics parts obsolescence issues. However, this viable airframe is still a leader in the light jet segment. The aircraft features 450 Knot speeds with a 1,300+ NM range. Additionally, this airframe is based on a squared oval design with a flat floor, allowing a superior cabin cross-section for ultimate head and shoulder room.

Paired with the G5000, the useful load increases by 150 lbs or more. The G5000 is not just a partial avionics upgrade leaving much of the 1980’s technology but a complete replacement of the entire avionics suite including a new Garmin autopilot system. The G5000 instrument panel consist of three 12” LCD displays that provide the pilot and copilot with all the latest technologies including Synthetic Vision, Electronic Charts, XM Weather, WAAS/LPV, ADS-B, Engine Indication, MFD Range Rings including Reserve Rings, and more.

The 2nd half of this decade will see the Beechjet series aircraft facing CRT Display obsolescence, AHRS obsolesce, WAAS/LPV upgrades, ADS-B out upgrades and a rising cost per hour for avionics repairs. The G5000 will take care of all of these issues in one short downtime, making it a true upgrade that will keep this aircraft flying for many years to come.

With the G5000 officially flying in the experiential stage, customers are looking at this retrofit beginning late 2015. At Elliott Aviation, we are looking forward to installing the Garmin G5000 in Beechjet/Hawker 400XP’s from all over the world. We will be striving to achieve the same milestones that make our Garmin G1000 King Air retrofits such a success like a 15-day downtime, all new wiring, and industry-leading checkout instruction.

About the Author

Mark Wilken joined Elliott Aviation in 1989 as an Avionics Bench Technician. He was promoted to Avionics Manager in 1996 and joined the sales team in 2003. Mark has led many highly successful avionics programs such as the King Air Garmin G1000 avionics retrofit program. He recently led efforts for Wi-Fi solutions in Hawkers, King Airs and Phenom 300’s. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and is a licensed Pilot.

 

King Air Parts Obsolescence Solutions

Mark Wilken
Director of Avionics Sales

www.elliottaviation.com

A CRT with phosphor burn-in – common with older CRTs due to the screens only displaying non-moving images at high-intensity.

In the first article we published related to this topic, we discussed the overall concern of parts obsolescence in aviation. Due to ongoing changes in consumer electronics, avionics are highly susceptible to obsolescence. This makes many airframes vulnerable to expensive upgrades or potential grounding. However, manufactures and service centers are creating solutions and developing products to keep your airplane flying indefinitely.

The first article mentions unlike consumer electronics, airplanes are built to fly for many years. This especially holds true for the Beechcraft King Air. The King Air was first introduced in the 1960’s and continues to be assembled to this day using the same airfoil. Many of these later models King Airs are still in circulation around the world. However, many owners and operators are beginning to feel the effects of parts obsolescence.

When King Air operators face this challenge, they have two options: source out pre-owned aftermarket parts that have been removed from the same airframe, or invest in a new avionics package. Each option has pros and cons. If you decide to replace your avionics with pre-owned aftermarket parts, sourcing can be very difficult. You also run the risk of investing in a part that has an unknown part life before it too needs to be replaced.

The next option is to install a new avionics package in your King Air. The most popular retrofit for the King Air is the Garmin G1000. The G1000’s popularity stems from the high cost of maintaining current avionics, the reasonable cost of the G1000 installation and the value added back into the aircraft.

For instance, take the cost of traditional King Air avionics upgrades vs. the G1000. A traditional upgrade would include WAAS LPV at $95,000, ADS-B at $45,000, RVSM at $83,000 and five year maintenance and upkeep at $100,000 for a grand total of $323,000. With the traditional upgrade, you add no resale to your aircraft. With the G1000, your average base install is $325,000 and you add an average value increase to the aircraft of $275,000. In addition, the system is safer, lighter, more reliable, requires significantly less maintenance and the aircraft is down for only 15 working days.

Deciding which route to take can be a daunting task. At some point you will be faced with this predicament that will have you searching for additional information. Regardless of what you decide, our avionics retrofit teams and aftermarket avionics department can help your aircraft flying.

Mark Wilken joined Elliott Aviation in 1989 as an Avionics Bench Technician. He was promoted to Avionics Manager in 1996 and joined the sales team in 2003. Mark has led many highly successful avionics programs such as the King Air Garmin G1000 avionics retrofit program. He recently led efforts for Wi-Fi solutions in Hawkers, King Airs and Phenom 300’s. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and is a licensed Pilot.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).

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