Hawker 400XP BeechJet
On January 18, 2014, the snow had come lightly in flurries which, in no wind would have deposited maybe two inches on the ground. By the time I arrived at AeroKnow Museum about 2:20 in the afternoon, the aircraft parking lot was covered, and I was resigned to the obvious. no aircraft would be visiting before Sunday when sunny, warmer weather was forecast. Time would prove that I had resigned prematurely. Several businessmen gathered about 3:00 in the lobby, but despite my open office door and the sign I taped to the sill, no one visited. When the chatter went silent, I walked out into the lobby to see some large “limousines” lining up to come onto the ramp and soon learned a BeechJet was arriving soon. The limos would transport the passengers to the city (Springfield, Illinois). Sure enough, a few minutes later the bizjet arrived. I returned to my office because I didn’t want anyone involved with the entourage to be concerned about a fellow watching from the lobby. A short time later I went into the lobby, found the entourage safely departed and the flight crew entering the lobby. I introduced myself and invited them to check out the AeroKnow Museum office which they did. They were especially interested in the 1/200 scale model of Howard Hughes’ HK-1 Hercules. The co-pilot (three stripes) is a volunteer at a vintage airplane museum located north of Denver’s major airport. He’s also visited the Washington museum where Hughes’ Herc’ is displayed. When I mentioned another AKM visitor who had also visited the Herc’ museum had explained that the reason the airplane had flown just briefly because Howard had heard something snapping back in the tail area as he lifted off, yesterday’s visitor confirmed that it’s true, that the museum explains as much to all who visit. He said there is evidence near the tail that after that one and only flight, additional structural reinforcement of the airplane was made, and that strengthening work is evident on the airplane. That was NEWS to ME. The BeechJet pilot gave me permission to photograph his airplane, and the right-seater escorted me out to the ramp.
The gentleman was a wealth of information about the Hawker. When I suggested that the name Hawker indicated a fairly recently manufactured airplane, he confirmed, and he added that Hawker-built BeechJets do not have the window which used to be evident close to the jet. Count the windows on the full view of this bird, and compare with other older BeechJets. Interesting; aye?
Despite the appearance which suggests otherwise, this IS a color picture.
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