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The Super King Air 200 first flew in October 1972 and differed from the original King Air with larger fuselage and a high "T" tail. First deliveries of the Super King Air 200 also occurred in 1972 as the RU-21J for the US Army. In all, over 400 Super King Airs in various versions would be ordered for the US military under the common designation of C-12 Huron. The model 200 was further developed during the mid-1980s into the Super King Air 300 series which featured better aerodynamics and more powerful engines. This has been further developed into the King Air 350 (removing the Super) with a larger wingspan and longer fuselage. The Super King Air 200 was until recently used by the RAF as its multi-engine trainer and has now been replaced by the Embraer Phenom.
The UK Search and Rescue (SAR) capability was provided by the RAF, Royal Navy and HM Coastguard, using the Sea King and S-61. Following a decision in 2006 by Her Majesties Government, the capability was put out to tender to private operators. During March 2013, the Department for Transport signed a contract with Bristow Helicopters to provide the UK SAR helicopter capability from 2015. Partnering Bristow were 2Excel Aviation who provide the fixed wing element of the SAR contract using a special mission equipped King Air 200 and Piper Navajo. These aircraft can be used for SAR or for other missions including counter pollution, fisheries enforcements and law enforcement. The new service achieved full capability during 2019.
2Excel will be providing their Super King Air 200 for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. The King Air will be displayed alongside a brand new 2Excel Diamond DA62MPP plus a pair of helicopters operated by Bristow Helicopters who partner 2Excel in the wider UK Search and Rescue contract. The King Air is equipped with sensors that allow it to spot a person in the water 40 miles away plus drop locator beacons, communications or first aid to people in danger.
Photo Credit: Peter Reoch