Some requirements of certification flight testing are impossible to complete from the home airfield, no matter where that may be. In late March/early April, Raytheon Aircraft sent the second flight-test Hawker Horizon (RC-2) to Iqaluit, in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, for four days of cold-weather tests. The 2,000-mile trip, direct from Beech Field in Wichita to 63 degrees north latitude, took four hours and was the first Horizon flight to a destination outside the continental U.S. During their stay, crewmembers validated the Horizon’s performance predictions, evaluated systems operation and checked navigation, communication and autopilot equipment in temperatures as low as -22 degrees F. Said senior test pilot Tim Miller, “Engines, auxiliary power unit and aircraft electronics started right away and performed flawlessly after a very brief warm-up time.”
The three Horizons in the flight-test program continue to validate avionics, performance and systems operation in extreme environmental conditions. The fourth Horizon, which is planned to complete FAA function and reliability testing, is undergoing interior installation. As of last month, the Horizon program had accumulated more than 1,220 hours and completed 58 percent of its required test conditions. Raytheon expects certification and initial deliveries of the 3,400-nm-range Horizon by the end of this year.