Although Hawker Beechcraft has released information recently about the Premier II and a delay in its planned certification and entry-into-service dates, the company has been notably silent about the Hawker 450XP.
The 450XP was announced at last year’s NBAA Convention as a logical next step in development of the jet that began life as the Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond and later became the Beechjet. In addition to a new interior modeled on that of the 450XP’s bigger Hawker jet siblings, the new jet was to see a significant boost in performance with new engines plus a new avionics suite–the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 system.
The 450XP will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535Ds, replacing the original JT15Ds. The new engines are 10 percent more fuel efficient, adding more range and climb performance without an increase in fuel capacity. While both the JT15D and PW535D are rated at 2,965 pounds of thrust, the PW535D’s flat-rating allows it to produce full power to ISA +20 degrees C versus ISA +12 for the JT15D. This performance increase improves range by about 9 percent, to more than 1,600 nm with four passengers (NBAA IFR reserves, 100-nm alternate). Climb performance also improves, cutting four minutes off time-to-climb to FL370. Mtow on the 450XP grows to 16,650 pounds, up from 16,300, allowing operators to carry 350 pounds more fuel with maximum payload.
Operating costs for the $7.695 million (2010 $) 450XP should improve, too, thanks to a higher engine TBO at 5,000 hours compared with the JT15D’s 3,600 hours. The new engines also produce 76 percent fewer hydrocarbons and 45 percent less carbon monoxide.
A question relating to plans for the 450XP is whether the Hawker Beechcraft upgrade is too little, too late.
Nextant Aerospace (Booth No. 948) has its own Model 400/ 400XP upgrade in the works–the 400Next powered by Fadec-controlled Williams International FJ44-3AP engines. The 400Next will also feature Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, and Nextant is offering the avionics package as a separate upgrade. First flight of the Model 400 with Pro Line 21 took place on August 20. Base price for a three-display avionics system is $390,000, and certification is expected this month.
The full 400Next modification, priced at $2.4 million, should improve the Beechjet’s range to more than 2,000 nm with four passengers (NBAA IFR). Nextant also plans to sell fully modified airframes with the new engines, avionics, Rockwell Collins Venue cabin management system and other features for about $4.9 million. Certification is expected early next year.