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‘King Air turboprops are utilised in a number of services such as air ambulance, ISR, maritime patrol and pilot training’
Chris Boggars Vice President of International Sales, Asia-Pacific, Textron Aviation, Chris Bogaars

What kind of presence does Beechcraft (Textron Aviation) have in India?
India has long been a strong market for Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker products. With these industry-leading brands now operating together under Textron Aviation, we offer an ideal aircraft portfolio to support the expansion of business aviation in India. Our range of aircraft – jets, turboprops and pistons – and our product support network across the region are unrivalled. We are seeing increased demand from clients for aircraft which provide them with flexibility of use, and this is particularly the case in India where there is a wide range in the type of missions required.

What plans does the company have for India?
The strategy is to keep investing – in local support, in building relationships and in ensuring we have a strong presence in the market. However, most important is that we continue to invest in our products and in our service and support network.

Beechcraft (Textron Aviation) has been getting its special mission aircraft for demonstrations in India quite regularly, what are the latest developments?
With the combination of the Beechcraft and Cessna products within Textron Aviation, we now offer the largest proposition of special mission platforms in the industry. The Beechcraft products, particularly the King Air turboprops, are utilised in a number of services including air ambulance, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), maritime patrol and pilot training, while the Cessna product line lends itself to multiple special mission roles from piston trainers, to the multi-purposed Caravan operating in an air ambulance, cargo, parachute and float plane platforms. The Citation jets are also used in training, flight inspection and air ambulance roles throughout the world. In India specifically, we see a large number of our aircraft used in aerial survey and utility transport missions. We are also seeing a large growth in medevac missions conducted in India, so there is great potential in air ambulance capabilities.

How does Beechcraft (Textron Aviation) intend to make a mark with regards to special mission aircraft for homeland security, border patrol and other uses?
In regards to surveillance aircraft utilised for the missions you mention, there are typically two general variants — Maritime Patrol (MP) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. The most common platform utilised for both MP and ISR missions is the Beechcraft King Air 350ER. This aircraft is preferred due to the large 19ft. 6inch of cabin length available, and more than 3,000 kg of payload for mission equipment, aircraft modifications, fuel and mission operators.

The King Air 350ER has a large payload and the ability to travel long distances with a ferry range of more than 2,500 nm and can stay aloft more than 12 hours. The MP and ISR aircraft can be fitted with a wide variety of surveillance equipment depending on the types of targets the aircraft is deployed to detect, identify and track.

While the King Air has traditionally been the MPA/ISR aircraft of choice, Textron Aviation also offers ISR capabilities on other piston-engine platforms, such as the Beechcraft Baron G58 and the Cessna Stationair 206.


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