Friday, February 15, 2013

A Govonor And His Beechcraft

Well, recently the Missouri Governor bought a plane .  Well technically it was Missouri Highway Patrol that bought it.  The Governor is going to use it though.  This caused the legislature to complain because of the cost and the fact they weren't informed of the purchase beforehand.  Could we call this Missouri Force One?  Not likely.  The aircraft is far from an air liner like Air Force One is.  It happens to be a King Air 250 made by Beechcraft.  The plane is also supposed to be used by Highway Patrol for drug interdiction.  Let's check out its specifications and the company that markets it.

King Air 250
It's max speed is about 356 mph.  Its range is about 1362 miles with four passengers.  It can operate up to 35,000 ft.  It can carry up to 10 passengers with one pilot.  That's not at all bad for a prop plane.  I can see the justification of using it for law enforcement.  It could track ground vehicles quite nicely.  It seems to be more economical than a jet.  It only runs $3.06 a mile.  It can cover the State of Missouri handily.  The state is only 240 miles by 300 miles.  Add some surveillance devices on the craft and you have a good platform for law enforcement.  Missouri is located in the middle of the continental United States so we get a lot of through traffic that's legal and illegal.  It should be a nice plane for the Governor as well to travel to other states and such.  Though the public might think of planes as being a cost just for the big wigs, AVweb put out a good article about state planes which explains cost and usage of these aircraft.  There seems to be a valid argument for these planes.  Coupled with another mission of law enforcement, it seems the administration has done its homework.

Beechcraft is a company that markets these small business planes though they are manufactured by different companies.  Its a company that started in 1932 and was bought up by Raytheon in 1980.  Raytheon merged it with Hawker in 1994.  In 2006, Raytheon sold the company to Goldman Sachs and Onex Corporation to make Hawker Beechcraft.  The recession was not good to the company.  They went dove into bankruptcy and pulled out of it in Oct 2012.  It now stand proudly on its own as Beechcraft Corporation.  Hawker, of course, is the legendary company the made the Hawker Hurricane of Battle of Britain fame.  What a history for such an iconic brand.  I hope the best for them.

There you have it. A legislature up in arms, a Governor with a plane, and a company getting back on its feet.  What amazing times we live in.