Nextant Aerospace expects to deliver more than 30 of its 400XTs by the end of 2012, according to CEO Ken Ricci. At an EBACE show press conference yesterday, Ricci insisted that the U.S. company “remanufactures” Hawker Beechcraft 400A/XPs, rather than simply converting them. “That’s truly the difference between us and what Hawker Beechcraft has contracted Sierra Industries to do to create the 400XPR,” he declared.
The remanufacturing to which Ricci referred includes a complete teardown of the aircraft in a production facility, with a subsequent rebuild and upgrade using Williams FJ44-3AP engines, improving fuel consumption by more than 30 percent. Aerodynamically improved engine nacelles on newly designed mounts, and other aerodynamic refinements, are also installed.
Nextant then upgrades the cockpit avionics with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 flat-panel displays, including associated avionics and controls and an on-board maintenance diagnostic system. Available options include IFIS (integrated flight information system) and XM Satellite Nexrad radar. The result is an aircraft that outperforms its progenitor and several other competing aircraft, and has a lower cost both to acquire and to operate.
“We think we have the formula for determining whether an airframe is ripe for remanufacture,” explained Ricci. “And even though we feel that, with 605 Hawker Beechcraft 400A/XP airframes out there, we’ve got plenty of depth to this project to sustain us for a while, we have identified another airframe that we think is a good candidate for the kind of remanufacturing that we do,” he added. “We should be ready to announce our next project at NBAA 2012, in Orlando,” hinted Ricci, referring to the U.S. bizav show to be held in October.