Among the companies making their ABACE debut this year is Nextant Aviation, which is displaying its Nextant 400XT, the remanufactured version of the Beechjet 400 series light jet. The company is poised to play a major part in the Asian entry-level jet market, which currently totals only 342 aircraft worth an approximate $1.23 billion but has huge regional potential. In little more than a year, the company has delivered 26 aircraft to operators in six countries.
Nextant has found a niche taking low-time examples of the Beech twinjet, stripping them down to bare airframes and rebuilding them. By the end of the 6,000-hour process, the resulting aircraft is 85 percent new, with all time-limited components replaced and resulting in a modern, efficient business jet at a significantly lower cost compared with new comparable aircraft. The list price for a 400XT is just under $5 million, compared with more than $8 million for an Embraer Phenom 300 or Cessna CJ3, and more than $10 million for a Bombardier Learjet 40XR.
Here at the show, the company announced it has selected China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC), as its exclusive sales agent for the greater China region including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. CGWIC is the only authorized primary contractor for products and services of China’s space industry and is responsible for international sales of the Long March rocket booster. It has placed an initial order for eighteen 400XTs (three firm and 15 options) worth $89 million and to be delivered over the next 24 months. The company will also play a key role in establishing Nextant’s service, support and parts distribution system in China.
Nextant entered the Asian market last August and, according to Sean McGeough, president of Nextant, the company is seeing strong interest in the region due to the aircraft’s combination of performance, comfort and value. As a result of its re-engining with a pair of lighter and more fuel efficient Williams FJ44-3APs and the addition of aerodynamic improvements, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company has increased the range on the 400XT to 2,003 nm (3,709 km), giving the aircraft border-to-border capability in China. Other improvements include the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 glass-cockpit avionics system, and an upgraded cabin offering several configurations.
At its press conference on Monday, Nextant announced its first special-mission configuration for the aircraft, an air ambulance interior conversion from Spectrum Aeromed. The $100,000 self-contained equipment package will enable operators to convert the jet’s interior from a VIP configuration to a critical-care environment, including advanced cardiac life support, in less than 30 minutes. McGeough said the company would work with CGWIC to develop more special-mission applications for the 400XT specifically for the Chinese market.o