How Soon Is ‘Soon’ for Hawker 4000 Deliveries?

 - March 25, 2008, 11:31 AM

There are now 23 Hawker 4000s in the completion pipeline as Hawker Beechcraft continues function and reliability testing, the last phase before the FAA will allow deliveries to proceed. While Hawker Beechcraft predecessor Raytheon Aircraft did obtain FAA type certification for the super-midsize business jet in November 2006, it came with a catch–the company’s certification tests took so long that the design would have to meet additional, new fuel tank and hydraulic requirements by this coming May. The first Hawker 4000 was ceremonially delivered in December 2006, but it was a lease-back demonstrator and the owner never took possession of the airplane. In fact, this airplane still remains registered to the manufacturer, as do the other 22 flying customer Hawker 4000s and five flight-test aircraft. A spokesman said Hawker Beechcraft will start delivering Hawker 4000s “soon,” something the Wichita-based company has been saying for about a month now. But the end of the tunnel might actually be near for Hawker Beechcraft–a Hawker 4000 customer told AIN that the first delivery could happen as early as this week. The company spokesman, however, was not able to confirm this timeline.