Upgraded Hawker 400XPR Takes Flight

 - May 3, 2012, 5:20 PM
The Hawker 400XPR made its first flight with its new Williams International FJ44-4A-32 turbofans today, taking off from Garner Field Airport in Uvalde, Texas. Sierra Industries of Uvalde did the re-engining work on the twinjet. (Photo: Matt Thurber)

Hawker Beechcraft’s 400XPR made its first flight this morning, powered by freshly installed Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines. The modification work was done by Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas.

Taking off from Garner Field Airport in Uvalde, Sierra Industries CEO Mark Huffstutler flew left seat with Hawker Beechcraft test pilot Dave Newton in the right seat. After takeoff, the as yet un-air-conditioned and unpressurized 400XPR climbed to 5,000 feet in one minute and eventually reached 14,000 feet and 320 knots during the maiden flight. “This thing just performed flawlessly,” said Huffstutler after the flight.

The Hawker 400XPR is a modified version of the Beechjet/Hawker 400, and buyers can choose among three major modifications, including new Fadec-controlled Williams engines; Hawker Beechcraft-designed winglets, which haven’t flown yet but are slated for certification in August; and Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, which have been certified in the model 400. There are 604 of the eligible serial number Beechjets/Hawker 400s built.

With the new 3,200-pound-thrust Fadec-controlled Williams engines replacing the original Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, the 400XPR can fly 2,015 nm with maximum fuel, 450 nm farther than the regular model 400.

Flight testing and completion of the supplemental type certification for the engines should be done in September. Installation of the upgrades will take place at the Hawker Beechcraft Services facility at Fulton County Airport in Atlanta.