You are sitting in a diner, sipping your fourth cup of coffee, solving aviation’s problems with an old friend, when the idea comes to you in a caffeinated burst of inspiration: a new jet, one that will fill a niche no manufacturer has yet tackled, with safety features, performance, efficiency and comfort that will open new markets and sell like hot cakes around the globe.
AIN has confirmed that the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based global private equity firm, is one of three bidders for Raytheon Aircraft. The other potential buyers are Cerberus Capital Management, a New York-headquartered investment firm, and Toronto, Canada, holding company Onex.
Raytheon Aircraft this month announced the Hawker 850XP and–true to form–the airplane is an evolution of the Hawker 800XPi, which is itself a recently revealed enhanced version of the Hawker 800XP that is in turn a derivative of the Hawker 800.
Late last month, the FAA awarded Raytheon full Part 25 type certification for the Hawker 4000, some 10 years after the super-midsize jet was announced, five years later than originally planned and three months after the company received FAA exemptions to certain regulatory conditions that it will have to meet down the road. By year-end Raytheon hopes to receive approval for flight into known icing.
General aviation manufacturers continue to show steady growth in deliveries and backlogs. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), airframe builders delivered 2,842 piston and turbine airplanes in the first nine months of this year–nearly 19 percent more than the 2,391 shipments made in the same period last year.
Raytheon Aircraft (Booth No. 1044) is considering plans for a new jet to fill the light- to mid-sized gap in its Hawker family. The new model would fit between the 400XP and 800XP aircraft and would compete with Cessna’s Citation XLS and Bombardier’s Learjet 45XR.
“Overall, Raytheon Aircraft had the best quarter” in its history in terms of financial performance, said William Swanson, chairman and CEO of parent Raytheon Company. According to the company’s first quarter results released this morning, Raytheon Aircraft delivered 44 business jets and turboprops compared with 27 in the same period a year ago. In the quarter, the company booked orders for 45 turbine airplanes versus 34 last year.
Described by some Honeywell engineers as the “son of Primus Epic,” the Phoenix company’s Apex integrated avionics system is undergoing a makeover that aims to make that moniker more appropriate than ever. The enhanced version of Apex now under development for the Grob SPn Utility Jet will feature better integration of TCAS II, weather radar and other functions thanks to greater software processing power.
Raytheon Aircraft yesterday reached the FAA’s five-year time limit for certification of the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) under Part 25 amendments that existed at the time of type certification application. In anticipation of not receiving type certification before the deadline, Raytheon applied for an extension on May 11, and today the FAA granted an extension of seven months, to December 31.
Raytheon's long and bumpy road toward type certification of the Hawker 4000 has taken another twist. Because of its already lengthy certification process–the FAA recently granted a seven-month extension, to December 31–the Hawker 4000 has to meet certain Part 25 amendments that went into effect in the seven months after the aircraft's May 31, 2001 type certification application date.