Refurbishment breathes new life into aging Hawker 1000s

 - September 12, 2006, 11:49 AM

What’s old is new again. We’ve heard it so often, it must be true, and those who believe it will not be surprised to see refurbished Hawker 1000s rolling out of the shops at Duncan Aviation and Elliott Aviation.

The upgrade idea began when the 27 Hawker 1000s NetJets purchased 11 years ago began reaching the end of their service life with the fractional operator. In compliance with the original trade-back agreement, NetJets began turning them in to Raytheon Aircraft for new Hawker 800XPs last year. Shortly after, Raytheon launched the refurbishment program and began sending the Hawker 1000s to independent service facilities. The original NetJets contract was with British Aerospace, which sold its Corporate Jets division to Raytheon Aircraft in 1993.

Jet Aviation in West Palm Beach did the first Hawker 1000 refurb, but the majority have been and will continue to be done by Elliott Aviation in Moline, Ill., and Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Neb., according to Greg McCurley, Raytheon vice president of the Hawker resale group.

Work on the first 10 airplanes is extensive, he said. It includes a full inspection (A through G) with a resetting of the inspection cycle, followed by a complete cabin upgrade, cockpit avionics upgrade and fresh exterior paint.

The new cabin has the Airshow 4000 entertainment system with dual 10.4-inch monitors on the fore and aft bulkheads, new seats, carpeting and wood veneer cabinetry. The cockpit includes the addition of TAWS and TCAS II/ACAS (if not already installed), an upgrade to meet RVSM requirements, the Honeywell NZ2000 flight-management system with 6.0 software and wiring provisions for a digital flight data recorder. The upgrades include any equipment necessary to meet the latest European operational regulations.

Eight aircraft have been upgraded to date and four of them have been sold. According to McCurley, the only option requested to date has been for a dual-language cabin briefing program.

The refurbishment cycle at Duncan and Elliott is running about eight to ten weeks, depending on the condition of the airplane and the lead time for replacement parts (the airplane went out of production in 1994).

As for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW305 engines, “If they’re due for a hot section, we do it, and as a result, the TBO can be extended to 7,200 hours,” said McCurley.

The decision to do a major refurbishment of the former NetJets Hawker 1000s was prompted at least in part by the condition of the airplanes. They have accumulated an average of some 9,000 total flight hours each, compared with 4,000 hours typical of Hawker 1000s not in a fractional program.

McCurley said the program has piqued “a lot of market interest,” some of it from current Hawker 1000 owners who want to trade up for one of the refurbished airplanes. With a range of 3,100 nm, added McCurley, the Hawker 1000 can fly from coast to coast, and some prospective buyers are considering it for frequent trips between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii. Others have inquired whether the airplane could be outfitted for air ambulance work.

And the price–$8.5 million to $9 million–said McCurley, makes the airplane an attractive alternative to a new midsize business jet.    

When the Hawker 1000 first came on the market, British Aerospace was still producing the Hawker 800. The 1000 was certified in 1991. A derivative of the 800, with minimal increases in performance and cabin size (33 additional inches in length), it competed poorly with its own older sibling. Only 52 were built, and slightly more than half went to NetJets.

A More Attractive Hawker 1000

McCurley said that at the time BAe launched the Hawker 1000, the market could not support both airplanes. “Today,” he added, “market conditions are much more conducive.”

While the first 10 airplanes through the Duncan and Elliott pipelines will get the standard refurbishment, subsequent Hawkers will be delivered to the shops only after sales are finalized. This, said Duncan avionics sales manager Gary Harpster, will make the Hawker 1000 a more attractive airplane to buyers who want more options.

Harpster said the program has caught the interest of individual and corporate owners of Hawker 1000s outside the NetJets fractional program. One owner, he said, is bringing his airplane to Duncan this month for a lot of the same upgrade items, “but with the Honeywell CDSR cockpit display retrofit, with larger displays and the capacity for future software downloads rather than installation of additional boxes.”

Tom Heck at Elliott said his shop has already gotten some business as a result of the Hawker 1000 program, and Raytheon selected the company’s first finished airplane as a demonstration aircraft at the NBAA Convention last fall.