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Royal Navy unveils its new King Air

The Royal Navy has unveiled its first Beech King Air 350, destined to replace the last Jetstreams in UK military service.


Crown Copyright/Royal Navy image

September 28: The Royal Navy unveiled its first Beech King Air 350, destined to replace the last Jetstreams in UK military service.

At present 750 Naval Air Squadron based at Culdrose in Cornwall operates nine Jetstream T2s for Royal Navy Observer training, but these will be replaced in 2011 with four King Air 350s when the nationwide United Kingdom Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) begins in earnest.

“Although it still performs very well, the Jetstream has reached the end of its service life whereupon the costs required to keep it airworthy and fitted with all the relevant avionics will significantly outweigh the cost of replacing it for a more modern and efficient aircraft,” said Lt Cdr Nick Armstrong, Commanding Officer of 750 Naval Air Squadron. “We will be able to achieve the same quality and level of training with just four of the new King Air 350s.” The King Airs will be operated by 750 NAS but the contractor, Ascent Flight Training, will provide the aircraft and instructors.

Filed Under Military Aviation News.


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1 Comment

David Stevenson said on the 23-Jun-2011 at 14:33

Sad to see the Jetstream go, after nearly 40 years' service with 750 NAS. I flew it for 750 between 1985 and 1991 and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The aircraft was just right for the job of basic Observer training, very reliable, and it was also flexible enough to fulfil many other roles, in particular many people of varying seniority being able to take advantage of a really fast method of getting from A to B, often where A was a long way from B. Fast because the Jetstream was reasonably quick (250Knots) but also because of the efficient way in which it could be operated, both because of its clever design and also the effective way in which it was operated by the 'Can Do' attitiude which epitomised 750 NAS.

The saddest sight I saw was when I read a book about the history of RNAS Culdrose, in which there was a picture of a Jetstream, callsign Navy 563, being used for fire practice down at the satellite airfield, Predannack, on the Lizard Peninsula. It was obviously being set on fire every week, and didn't look well!

Good luck to the Squadron with their new King Air replacement.

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