Nextant Aerospace is displaying its 400XTi (SD199) and the new Challenger-based 604XT (SD402) this week at the EBACE static park, with both aircraft highlighting 2020-compliant avionics. Now 10 years old, Nextant has made its name by remanufacturing popular business aircraft airframes, turning them into modern business jets from tip to tail. The company performs complete retrofits or customers can pick from an à la carte menu of upgrades for their own airframes.
Company executive v-p Mark O'Donnell said it is on track with Phase 2 of its 604XT program, which is focused on redesigning the cabin for function and passenger comfort, and expects to have announcements about it in October at NBAA-BACE. "In addition, we are working through vendor selection for the 604XT's Phase 3 performance improvement that promises an increase in the service ceiling and increased range," O'Donnell continued. Phase 3 enhancements include increasing the aircraft's maximum altitude to FL450 and adding up to 926 km (500 nm) in range.
Nextant has delivered 12 604XT Phase 1 Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrades and expects to deliver another 30 to 35 by year-end, according to Randy Znamenak, vice president of sales and marketing for Nextant. Certification of the 604XT's Safe Flight auto-power system was completed in November.
First deliveries of the Phase 1 airplanes began in early December. The company announced at NBAA 2018 that it had signed Argus Platinum-rated charter operator Premium Jet AG, based in Zurich, Switzerland, as its first European customer for the 604XT. The aircraft was scheduled for remanufacturing in January at Nextant's Sanford, Florida facility. Premium Jet (Booth B71) is touting its 2020 compliance at EBACE this week.
The 604XT flight deck includes large 14.1-inch high-resolution flight displays, synthetic vision, airport dome technology, WAAS/LVP, and ADS-B Out, along with the option to add Safe Flight autopower, FANS-1A, and Link 2000+. "Fusion's precision operational capability is a stunning improvement over the Challenger 604's original cathode ray tube Pro Line 4 system," said Steve Bruce, program director for the 604XT.
The 400XTi light jet returned to EBACE displaying its Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 avionics and ergonomic passenger cabin. Znamenak told AIN that the company has delivered 73 of the enhanced Beechjet 400As. "The 400XTi is an environmentally green aircraft that delivers class-leading flight performance and fuel efficiency without the carbon cost associated with building a new aircraft," said O'Donnell. The company believes that, by recycling excellent airframes with completely new technology, it can provide more value to business aviation customers.
In other news, the company's turboprop G90XT order book is scheduled to open this year, according to Znamenak. The baseline King Air 90 platform is being renewed with General Electric H75 engines, digital pressurization, auto-start and full electric engine control systems, a single lever power control, Garmin G1000 avionics, and redesigned cockpit and cabin ergonomics. "We'll be taking this one on its first demo tour later this year," Znamenak said.