Singapore Air Show

Nextant Comes to Singapore with High Expectations

 - February 11, 2014, 10:58 PM
Nextant has brought its 400XTi demonstrator for its first visit to the Singapore Airshow. Also on show is a mockup of the H80 engine installation for the 90XT remanufactured King Air C90.

Nextant Aerospace is showing its 400XTi remanufactured light business jet for the first time at Singapore, while the company is also promoting its forthcoming G90XT remanufactured twin-turboprop. Based on the Beechjet 400A/XP and King Air C90, respectively, the 400XTi and 90XT offer performance and efficiencies that match or exceed those of comparable new-build aircraft, but at roughly half the price.

Highlighting the company’s focus on the Far East, Nextant (Booth U93) has also announced an exclusive agent for the Asia Pacific region in the form of Sydney-based Nextant Pacific. The company’s managing director, John Oppenheim, is a respected aerospace figure in the region, and has overseen a large number of aircraft sales while working for Hawker Pacific.

“I cannot see another product in the marketplace that offers as compelling a value proposition as Nextant,” said Oppenheim. “After significant research into the local markets, we concluded that across both the turboprop and jet segments a remanufactured product that delivers the customer an ‘as-new’ buying experience would be very attractive. Given this product also delivers superior levels of performance and significant capital and operating cost savings over its competitors, we believe it will be irresistible.” Oppenheim said that the regional market is very price-sensitive. In his view, the market is proving there is room for a mid-range jet, as opposed to long-range ones, he said.

As a result, Jay Heublein, the company’s executive v-p, global sales and marketing, expects to sell 46 jets in Asia-Pacific in the next 24 months. So far, only one is flying in Australia. It is configured with a quick-change interior for passenger and EMS operations, like the one on the static display here.

With full Asia Pacific equipment (which includes a digital flight data recorder, a second GPS, full ADS-B and an HF radio), the 400XTi sells for $5.495 million. Oppenheim predicts customers will come from a conventional mix of flight departments, commercial operators and high net-worth individuals. He also plans an emphasis on air ambulance and training organization prospects.

To create the 400XTi Nextant has remanufactured the Beechjet to zero-life condition, while dramatically improving all facets of the aircraft. New engines are fitted in the form of the Williams FJ44-3AP, providing a significant increase in range, climb and ceiling performance. A new cockpit is fitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics, while the cabin has a new shell that offers more room, as well as the lowest cabin noise in its class. The 400XTi has aerodynamic enhancements in the form of winglets and redesigned nacelles and engine pylons.

Nextant has applied a similar philosophy to produce the 90XT twin-engined turboprop aircraft. This has aerodynamic improvements, an upgraded cabin with reduced internal noise, and a tailored Garmin 1000 avionics suite. The 90XT is powered by the General Electric H80 turboprop, which weighs less and delivers better performance than the King Air 90’s incumbent Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines, according to Nextant. Like the 400XTi, the 90XT is being offered as an ideal platform for several special missions, such as air ambulance and surveillance duties. Following the launch of the 90XT at the NBAA show last October, Nextant is aiming to begin deliveries in less than a year.

In its Asia Pacific configuration, the 90XT is offered for $2.495 million. Sales expectations for the next 16 months add up to 24 aircraft, Heublein said, including two to four in the region. Oppenheim is notably betting on the installed base of King Airs in Australia and New Zealand (135 aircraft).