Another delay for the Hawker 4000

 - September 25, 2006, 7:08 AM

Full FAA certification of the super-midsize Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) has slipped again–from the end of last year to early this month, a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman told AIN. The delay, he said, stems from the company’s recently opting to install lightning protection on RC5–the function and reliability (F&R) test aircraft–before, instead of after, FAA approval. (The other test airplanes previously had the system installed.) The model received provisional certification more than a year ago, on Dec. 23, 2004.

RC5 was already in F&R testing when Raytheon made the decision just before Christmas, prompting the company to immediately halt those tests to incorporate the shielding, which the spokesman defined as “non-structural changes.” At press time, RC5 was to “soon” return to F&R testing, which is the last step before certification.

Raytheon said that it has firm orders for more than 80 copies of the $18.896 million (2005 $) business jet. Eleven Hawker 4000s are planned to be delivered this year, 16 next year, 24 in 2008 and 30 per year thereafter.

When the Horizon was first announced at the 1996 NBAA Convention, Raytheon said the aircraft would receive full certification in spring 2001.