RFDS MODERNIZES FLEET WITH NEW BEECHCRAFT KING AIR 350 TURBOPROPS
Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced at the 2018 Singapore Airshow that it has received an order from the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) South Eastern Section for two modified Beechcraft King Air 350 cargo heavyweight aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in the third quarter of this year. The new turboprops will replace King Air B200 aircraft in order to modernize the organization’s patient transfer and air ambulance fleet.
The RFDS organization currently operates more than 35 Textron Aviation aircraft, including the South Eastern Section’s fleet of 18 King Air turboprops.
“The organization’s commitment to Textron Aviation is a testament to the long-proven history of reliability, value and performance our aircraft are known for,” said Jessica Pruss, president, Asia Pacific sales and marketing. “We are eager to continue supporting the RFDS patient transport and medevac mission with the King Air 350, a trusted aircraft that empowers the operator to utilize unimproved runways and travel longer distances with a higher payload.”
The two new King Air 350 turboprops are scheduled to be delivered with an 11-pax, high-density seating configuration. This configuration empowers the RFDS to transport passengers from rural and remote communities to their regional health care facilities. The organization plans to take advantage of the flexibility of the King Air 350 by converting it from its high density seating to air ambulance configurations and back as needed for each mission. Other modifications include an added cargo door for easier patient loading and offloading as well as heavyweight landing gear that support a higher maximum takeoff weight for increased payload capabilities. The King Air 350 configured with heavyweight landing gear is an uncompromising aircraft with the ability to operate with full fuel as well as a max payload of more than 1,100 kg that can be carried more than 2,500 km.
David Charlton, General Manager Aviation and Strategic Development for the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section said “Building our fleet through the acquisition of the Beechcraft King Air 350 advances our strategic mission to deliver more health care to those that need us most. Innovation is vital to our evolution so the Beechcraft King Air 350 are valuable additions.”
Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, the Royal Flying Doctor Service works to provide emergency medical and primary health care services to anyone who lives, works or travels in rural and remote Australia. The RFDS provides 24-hour aeromedical emergency services that can reach anywhere, no matter how remote, within hours. Combined with telehealth consultations, fly-in fly-out GP and Nurse clinics, mobile dental services, patient transfers, and a myriad of other health services, the RFDS is constantly working to see that those living in rural and remote areas can enjoy the same health outcomes as those living in city areas.