HBC delivers first customer copy of the Hawker 4000

 - July 7, 2008, 6:18 AM

One week after gaining full FAA type approval and production certification for the Hawker 4000, Hawker Beechcraft delivered the first copy of the super-midsize jet to customers Gary and Donna Hall during a ceremony on June 18 at the company’s headquarters in Wichita. Gary Hall currently operates a Hawker 800XP. The 4000 is the fourth Hawker Beechcraft airplane that he has owned and the first of two Hawker 4000s he ordered.

“This is not only a truly significant moment in Hawker Beechcraft’s history, but also a landmark day for general aviation as we begin delivering… our flagship Hawker 4000,” Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster said at the handover ceremony. “I am delighted to present the first Hawker 4000 to Mr. and Mrs. Hall as they–along with our large number of Hawker 4000 customers worldwide–will enjoy this revolutionary aircraft.”

The event marked the end of a long and arduous path for the aircraft manufacturer, which launched the Hawker Horizon (later renamed the Hawker 4000) program at the NBAA Convention in 1996. At that time, the twinjet was expected to be certified in spring 2001, but the company’s certification efforts for the composite-fuselage, metal-wing airplane took so long that the FAA required the design to meet more stringent new fuel tank and hydraulic rules, further delaying the full type approval that was finally issued last month.

Hawker Beechcraft said it has orders for more than 130 Hawker 4000s. Further deliveries of the $21 million jet will be made to customers in the U.S., followed by Venezuela, the UK and South Africa. The company would not disclose how many Hawker 4000s it expects to deliver this year, but it did say that full production capacity will be about 30 super-midsize jets per annum.