Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS), which provides aftermarket service and support for all aircraft platforms of the U.S. airframer, also handles enhancements and modifications of those aircraft. Here in Geneva, GCS is highlighting new developments of several aircraft, including the Hawker 400XPR, the Hawker 750 and the King Air 200GTR.
“We’re opening the order book for the Hawker 400XPR,” Brian Howell, Hawker Beechcraft, vice president, strategic aftermarket integration, GCS, told AIN. “We’ve had a lot of operator interest and added an airplane into the certification plan so we could move the schedule to the left.” GCS is accepting letters of intent for this factory-direct upgrade here at EBACE.
In April, the company announced the addition of a second airplane to the certification program so that the 400XPR program’s optional Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 upgrade can be developed concurrently with the integration of the Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engine.
Avionics certification is expected in July, winglet certification in December and engine certification in June 2012. “The engine upgrade must come with the Hawker winglets,” said Howell, “but you can do winglets or avionics as stand-alone modifications.” Customers will be able to select a three-display or a four-display version of the Pro Line 21 avionics for the Hawker 400XPR. These will be available for all Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP aircraft as well (replacing the Pro Line 4 avionics on these aircraft). Additional 400XPR avionics variations and enhancements will follow.
The cost of the upgrade engines and winglets is $2.2 million. The cost of the whole package (engines, winglets and avionics) its $2.64 million.
The 400XPR is expected to have similar airport performance as the 400XP, Howell said. This is because, he explained, “the XPR loses the thrust reversers [of the 400XP’s Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D turbofans], but gains thrust” with the FJ44-4As. Range increases, however. Howell said, “The range of the 400 in our book is 1,333 nautical miles. The 400XPR range will be 1,900 nautical miles. It will have at least 50 percent improvement in range.” The more fuel-efficient, dual Fadec FJ44s should also reduce the noise footprint and emissions.
Future of Hawker 400 Production?
Wichita, Kansas-based Hawker Beechcraft suspended production of $7.5 million Hawker 400XP in November 2019. So does this mean that the Hawker 400XPR will take the 400XP’s place on the production line?
“Right now we’re trying to figure out where the light jet segment is, whether we go with the 400 or 450 or where we go,” Howell said. “The 400XPR is part of Global Aircraft Support’s commitment to continue to bring life to an airplane that has been a around for along time, to add value to it and to figure out ways to make it more mission capable.”
Regarding competition from Nextant Aerospace, which is bringing Nextant 400XT to market, Howell, said, “If you look at the thrust of the engine that we’re offering, it provides a significant improvement in capability to an operator in any condition, specifically in hot and high conditions.” The $4 million Nextant 400XT upgrade incorporates FJ44-3AP engines, as well as Proline 21 avionics, but does not include winglets
“We feel confident that a factory-designed and factory-engineered modification of the airplane is what our customers desire,” Howell continued. “We have also incorporated reliability improvements that nobody can do except us. This includes improved starter generator reliability, and a handful of maintenance items to make the maintenance technician’s job easier or to expand intervals. Only the factory can do this. Based on what our customers are telling us, we feel very confident that the path people are looking for is the 400XPR mod.”