The general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
Raytheon Aircraft last month reached a “tentative agreement” for NetJets to purchase up to 50 Hawker Horizons for its fractional aircraft fleet. The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of this month. In mid-2003, NetJets canceled a 1999 order for 50 Horizons due to “developmental and certification delays.” Full certification of the Hawker Horizon is still not expected until around midyear.
While the Raytheon Hawker Horizon was one of the first to blaze the super-midsize business jet trail when it was launched at the 1996 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., it became the last of the new breed to be certified. The airplane gained provisional FAA approval just two days before Christmas, almost four years after the originally expected spring 2001 approval.
The Brazilian Departamento de Aviacao Civil has approved Raytheon Aircraft Services Tampa as a Brazilian Repair Station. The facility is in the process of completing its first Brazilian Beechjet repair and inspection. Brazil has a large number of Raytheon Aircraft products that require heavy maintenance support.
One month after the Hawker 4000 won FAA certification on November 21, Raytheon announced that it agreed to sell Raytheon Aircraft to Onex Partners and GS Capital Partners for $3.3 billion (see story on page 1). The buyers plan to change the name of their new company to Hawker Beechcraft Corp., and the sale should be completed within six months of the announcement.
NetJets has doubled its order for new Hawkers. The fractional operator, which announced at last year’s NBAA Convention an order for 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs, disclosed last month that it ordered another 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs. Both aircraft are derivatives of the Hawker 850XP and will replace that model on the production line.
It took some deep pockets, but Raytheon Company has found a buyer for its Raytheon Aircraft subsidiary.
Late last year, Raytheon announced “a definitive agreement” that will turn Raytheon Aircraft over to Hawker Beechcraft Corp., newly formed by Onex Partners of Toronto and GS Capital Partners (an affiliate of New York-based Goldman Sachs).
Following up on a tentative agreement reached nearly nine months ago, Raytheon Aircraft and NetJets signed a contract for the purchase of 50 Hawker 4000s (née Horizons) for the latter company’s fractional fleet. In addition, there is a separate 10-year guaranteed maintenance program. Raytheon Aircraft said the combined total value of these contracts will exceed $1 billion, the largest single commercial order in the company’s history.
Full FAA certification of the super-midsize Hawker 4000 (neé Horizon) has slipped again–from the end of last year to early next month, a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman told AIN yesterday. The delay, he said, stems from the company recently opting to install lightning protection on RC5–the function and reliability test aircraft–before, instead of after, FAA approval.
It has been a long road for Raytheon Aircraft, but on November 21 the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) super-midsize received full FAA certification, following the award of provisional certification almost two years earlier, and more than 10 years since the program was announced at the 1996 NBAA Convention.