Raytheon Tweaks the Hawker 800 and Premier I

 - October 16, 2006, 6:08 AM

At its EBACE press conference, Raytheon Aircraft took the wraps off two improved jets, the Hawker 800XPi and Beechcraft Premier IA. The newly designated models feature upgraded cockpits, redesigned interiors and a compendium of other enhancements that customers have long been asking Raytheon to incorporate into the designs. These improvements come at a cost. In the case of the Hawker 800XPi (the “i” stands for improvements), the standard upgrade items add $250,000 to the model’s published list price, which now starts at $13.45 million.

Hawker division president Brad Hatt said the improved 800XPi boasts a newly redesigned passenger compartment, Rockwell Collins Airshow 21 cabin electronics and an upgraded version of the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system.

Pilots will appreciate the addition of the Rockwell Collins integrated flight information system (IFIS) and Pro Line 21 CNS radios to the airplane’s basic cockpit. The IFIS-5000 system includes a cockpit file server containing a worldwide database of Jeppesen navigation charts and a pedestal-mounted cursor control device, allowing flight crews to call up approach charts and airport diagrams on the Pro Line 21 flight displays. An optional second file server, priced at about $60,000, will let operators transition to paperless cockpits, Hatt said. The improved cockpit will also feature optional upgrades for graphical cockpit weather and 3-D flight management system mapping.

The 800XPi will be slotted in to the production line, with the first delivery of the new model anticipated in September, according to Hatt.

The list of upgrades and changes to the all-composite Beechcraft Premier is longer than that for the Hawker 800XPi, but the price increase is just $60,000, to $5.653 million. Beechcraft division president Randy Groom explained that the Premier IA includes a new interior modeled after that of the 800XP, as well as better soundproofing, LED downwash lighting and more luxurious appointments.

On the flight deck, Raytheon is adding an optional IFIS-5000 system to the standard Pro Line 21 avionics suite and graphical weather. A single-file-server version of the IFIS-5000 system will cost buyers an extra $28,000 and weather will be priced at $31,000 for XM Satellite Weather for U.S. customers and $73,000 for global weather coverage through Universal Weather. Raytheon has incorporated an impressive 1,200 design changes in the revamped light jet since its introduction, many of them the direct result of customer requests and complaints.

First deliveries of the Premier IA to U.S. customers will begin in September of this year and to international buyers next year, Groom said.