In The Works: Raytheon Hawker 450

 - July 11, 2008, 6:31 AM

Raytheon Aircraft Corp. (RAC), which lost millions of dollars last year, has placed on hold further development of the Hawker 450, a twin- engine light midsize business jet that had been tentatively scheduled to enter service in 2006. Development of the jet was announced at the NBAA Convention in 2000. The company will decide in the third quarter of this year whether to resume development of the Hawker 450, postpone it or cancel the program altogether, according to a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman.

Last June, RAC released performance guarantees for the Hawker 450, including a five-passenger range of 2,000 nm, a max cruise speed of 472 kt and a takeoff field length of 4,700 ft. To be powered by two 4,250-lb-thrust Honeywell TFE731-40 turbofans, the $8.4 million Hawker 450 was intended to have a 71-in. stand-up cabin, double-club seating for eight passengers and Honeywell Primus Epic avionics. (Honeywell was to be a risk-sharing partner in the program.)

If developed, the airplane would follow the Premier I and Hawker Horizon as the third member of the company’s family of business jets featuring an all-composite fuselage and would compete directly with the Citation Excel and Learjet 45. When the airplane was introduced at the NBAA Convention in 2000, Raytheon Aircraft said it had orders for 97 airplanes, 50 of them from Raytheon Travel Air for its fractional program. However, Travel Air is now slated to be taken over by Flight Options and under the terms of the takeover agreement, the Hawker 450 is not one of the Raytheon airplanes Flight Options has agreed to buy. This could be one of the reasons Raytheon has decided to put the Hawker 450 on hold.