EBACE Convention News

HBC Nears Certification on 800XPR  

 - May 16, 2011, 10:50 PM

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) is nearing certification of its Hawker 800XPR upgrade, which features winglets and more fuel efficient Honeywell TFE731-50R engines. The initial program aircraft, a year 2000 Hawker 800 model with 3,800 hours belonging to Denmark’s JoinJet, was fitted with HBC factory winglets at HBC’s factory-owned service center in Chester, UK, and flown to the U.S., where the new engines are installed.

Following certification, the full $3.795 million package will be available to customers at either HBC Chester or HBC Little Rock, Arkansas. Customers may select menu items in addition to the winglet and engine upgrade, such as avionics and interior upgrades, at additional cost for installation during the modification, which is expected to take an average of six to eight weeks.

The 800XPR program was announced at last year’s EBACE show and is expected to have particular appeal to European operators looking to minimize the impact of Europe’s emissions trading scheme, reduce direct operating costs and dramatically improve hot-and-high performance. More than 600 aircraft currently in service could potentially qualify for the program.

HBC’s Brian Howell, vice president for strategic aftermarket integration, said that potential customer interest in the upgrade package has been very strong. He said the upgrade will give customers a 35-percent reduction in direct operating costs, a 32-percent reduction in Honeywell MSP costs, a 40- percent increase in overhaul intervals, a 7-percent reduction in specific fuel consumption, better climb performance and high/hot performance increase of up to 24 percent including dramatically increased range.

Hot-section inspection intervals increase from 2,100 to 3,000 hours and overhaul intervals increase from 4,200 to 6,000 hours. The new engine warranty is five years. Range (ISA, sea level, six passengers and baggage) increases from 2,495 to 2,795 nautical miles. However, from elevated airports, the increases are more dramatic. For example, out of Aspen, Colorado, on a 28-deg Celsius day from a 7,000-foot runway, range is extended by 55 percent from 1,180 to 1,663 nautical miles. That allows the 800XPR to connect to city pairs previously unavailable with the 800XP such as Aspen-Teterboro or Aspen-Boston.

JoinJet was seeing a significant increase on its aircraft with just the winglets, even before the new engines were installed, said general manager Kristoffer Sundberg. Prior to the winglet installation, the firm’s airplane could take only four passengers and luggage from London City Airport direct Moscow; with winglets the airplane could accommodate seven passengers on the same route. Sundberg said the full XPR package will allow his firm to operate from Northern Europe direct to North Africa with a respectable passenger load, something the 800XP cannot do.

Sundberg also noted the reduced ETS costs with the Dash 50R engines, calling it “a huge selling point.” He said the reduced support program costs with the XPR package translates to “a year or so of free operating costs.”

The Honeywell TFE731-50R uses an N1 digital electronic engine control with hydromechanical backup, a scaled wide-chord damperless fan, improved blade and vane cooling and a more durable compressor that extends engine life. The 800XPR winglets are designed and manufactured by HBC and are identical to those on the Hawker 900XP.

Howell said the 800XPR program “was brought to the market because there was a level of demand” and he called it “a very good value proposition.”

“[The program] is hitting the market at the right time as the majority of the fleet is coming up for [engine] overhaul,” commented Sundberg. “It is far cheaper than getting a new aircraft and you can get longer life out of the aircraft,” as opposed to selling it for less than fair value in a depressed market.  He said JoinJet is negotiating with HBC to place a second aircraft into the program.