- November 16, 2010, 11:05 AM
In the wake of mounting losses, Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Bill Boisture announced on Friday that the Wichita OEM will “temporarily suspend production of the Hawker 400XP to realign supply with demand.” According to an SEC filing, the company expects to cease production and sales of the light jet for two years, with plans to resume production in early 2013. This move is unprecedented in the business aviation industry. The 400XP started life as the Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond in the late 1970s and was then renamed the Beechjet when Beechcraft bought the design in the mid-1980s. Until the announcement on Friday, the jet–in one form or another–has been in continuous production since 1981. Hawker Beechcraft said it will continue its 400XPR upgrade program announced last month at the NBAA Convention. The $2.8 million XPR retrofit package for Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XPs will include as standard Hawker winglets and new Williams International FJ44-4A-32 turbofans, with an option for new Pro Line 21 cockpit avionics. Meanwhile, competitor Nextant Aerospace expects to begin delivering remanufactured Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XPs with new Williams FJ44-3AP engines and Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and Venue cabin management system, as well as new interiors and paint, in the first quarter. A serialized Nextant 400XT will cost $3.9 million, but this includes the airframe in addition to the upgrades.