Raytheon’s Beechjet Morphs into Hawker 400XP

 - October 10, 2007, 5:50 AM

In a continuing realignment of its Beechcraft and Hawker product lines, Raytheon Aircraft announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month in Geneva that it is dropping the venerable Beechjet 400A name and replacing it with Hawker 400XP.

Although nearly identical to the 400A, the Hawker 400XP received a 200-pound increase in mtow to accommodate more payload and it boasts an expanded five-year warranty and a number of standard extras.

That equipment now includes thrust reversers, vapor-cycle air conditioning, TCAS
II, an ELT and seating for nine passengers. The equipped price remains $6.7 million. European customers must add about $150,000 in software and hardware enhancements to meet JAR Ops 1 commercial requirements.

Raytheon’s new branding strategy, revealed last fall at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla,, seeks to segment the Wichita manufacturer’s aircraft into two camps, with typically owner-flown airplanes falling under the Beechcraft nameplate and those serving in the corporate ranks named Hawkers.

The revered Beech name never disappeared entirely from Raytheon’s products, but it was used so inconsistently and haphazardly that even Raytheon Aircraft personnel were not clear when or how to refer to this famous line of aircraft. Branding got even murkier when the Beechcraft family was wed to the Hawker family in 1994.

As a Hawker product, the 400XP will receive improved customer support, according to the company. When Raytheon announced the rebranding last year, it said there would be a distinct differentiation in the level of service between Hawker products and the Beech product line. “Hawker 400XP owners will experience the type of Hawker service that has brought accolades from the fractional aircraft industry, which experiences high usage and frequent maintenance,” Raytheon Aircraft said.

“We have taken that same level of service and experiences and have applied it to our individual corporate operators. This is the type of service Hawker 400XP owners can expect.”