Hawker 4000 wins certification

 - December 22, 2006, 4:12 AM

It has been a long road for Raytheon Aircraft, but on November 21 the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) super-midsize received full FAA certification, following the award of provisional certification almost two years earlier, and more than 10 years since the program was announced at the 1996 NBAA Convention.

“We probably announced the program earlier than we should have,” conceded Brad Hatt, president of commercial aircraft for Raytheon Aircraft, to AIN during a flight on the new airplane from Westchester County Airport, N.Y., to Nantucket on December 7. “We’re done with clean-sheet designs for a while; derivatives will follow,” he added with a smile underscoring that the protracted development and certification programs for not just the Hawker 4000 but also the Premier I are largely behind the Wichita airframer.

Now that the company itself is on the market again, the fact that both certifications are in the rear-view mirror will likely make Raytheon Aircraft a more attractive property than it was the last time it was up for sale. All that remains for Raytheon Aircraft to certify on the new Hawker super-midsize is compliance with some fuel and hydraulic system requirements that became due once the company had busted the five-year deadline following application for type certification (AIN, August, page 1; September, page 3).

For the takeoff from White Plains with two crew and eight pax aboard (and not a lot of fuel for the short hop to Nantucket), the runway acceleration and the angle and rate of climb were deemed spectacular by those in the well lit, double club-four cabin as each of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308s poured out 6,900 pounds of thrust. With its maximum payload of 2,525 pounds, the 4000 offers 2,775 nm range; with a typical payload of six passengers and baggage, the airplane can climb to FL430 in 22 minutes and provide a range of more than 3,000 nm at Mach 0.82 or more than 3,200 nm at Mach 0.75. At ISA and with enough fuel for 1,200 nm, the 4000 can carry six passengers out of a balanced field length of 3,000 feet.

With Support Plus+ managed maintenance, a Hawker 4000 can be operated for a direct hourly cost of $1,415, according to Raytheon. Warranties are 10 years/10,000 hours airframe parts and labor; five years/5,000 hours non-Raytheon systems and components parts and labor; five years/3,000 hours P&WC engines; five years/no hours limit Honeywell avionics; and two years/1,000 hours paint and interior items.
Raytheon regards the Challenger 300 as the Hawker 4000’s primary competitor. Both airplanes are about $20 million and they share similar interior dimensions: the Hawker cabin is one foot longer, one inch lower in headroom (at 6 feet) and six inches less in width (at a shade under 6.5 feet). Up front, the Hawker has a Honeywell Primus Epic suite with dual laser-ref IRS and autothrottle.

The airplane AIN flew on was S/N 6, which goes to NetJets in March as a sales and demonstration aircraft. The first NetJets aircraft for which shares are sold will be S/N 20, due for delivery in October. So far the Hawker 4000 order book has signatures for 74 aircraft–50 for NetJets and 24 others; nearly three-quarters of those 24 are going to buyers outside the U.S.

The first non-NetJets aircraft will be S/N 7, going to Gary Hall of Joplin, Mo., at the end of March. Raytheon delivered two green 4000s last year and plans to deliver 22 aircraft (four of them to NetJets) this year and 30 next year. Raytheon’s Little Rock facility is responsible for completions.

With winglets now established on the midsize Hawkers, Hatt said that winglets are being considered for the 4000, “but there is no firm program at present.”