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Textron Aviation Inc. announced it has delivered a missionized Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop aircraft to the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO). The aircraft joins a King Air 350CER aircraft delivered to NOAA in May 2009. The agency’s first King Air 350CER aircraft has flown coastal mapping and aerial survey missions and critical emergency response missions including photographic survey after earthquakes, oil spills, and numerous blizzards, tornados, floods and named hurricanes.
“We are honoured the King Air 350CER aircraft continues to be the aircraft of choice to fill a variety of critical mission needs for NOAA,” said Bob Gibbs, vice-president, special mission sales. “The aircraft’s custom sensor port modification, combined with its extended range performance features, makes it a powerful and reliable platform to carry out the agency’s unique missions during critical times.”
With extended range capabilities, the King Air 350CER aircraft can collect critical information while remaining airborne for up to eight hours. The dual-sensor port modification allows simultaneous data collection from multiple on-board sensors. Optical grade glass plates in the sensor ports allow the cabin to remain pressurized or the optical plates can be removed, and the aircraft operated unpressurized.
NOAA’s fleet of manned aircraft is operated, managed and maintained by the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), part of the agency’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida.