Williams FJ44s Ground Tested on Nextant 400XT
Nextant Aerospace recently began full-power ground runs of its 400XT with the Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, the company announced yesterday. This marks the final phase of the certification process for the 400XT, a remanufactured Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP light jet fitted with the Williams engines and new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, zero-time airframe, new interior and fresh paint. Nextant CEO Kenn Ricci, a rated Beechjet pilot, sat in the left seat during the first full-power run on August 12. “The FJ44-3AP engines idled at much lower power [than the original P&WC JT15Ds] and were more responsive and exact when you asked for power,” he said. “With the 3AP engines being Stage IV compliant, the noise level in the cabin is significantly quieter.” Since then, Nextant has installed a new, milled magnesium engine support beam on the test aircraft and plans to resume ground testing this week. Ricci told AIN that first flight with the Williams engines might happen by the end of this month, and he said Nextant is working to obtain FAA certification for the engine retrofit in the first quarter of next year, with deliveries of remanufactured 400XTs slated to begin in the second quarter. A 400XT costs $3.9 million complete.