Beechcraft management wants to make this crystal clear: The Hawker 400 and 800 programs are not for sale. Period.
“There’s some perception in the marketplace that we’re not in the Hawker business,” Brian Howell, vice president sales and business development, Global Customer Support at., acknowledged last week. “That perception couldn’t be more false.”
He noted that the company had built up a parts inventory and service network to support a fleet that includes nearly 2,000 “classic” Model 125 Hawkers and another 400 Beechjet/Hawker 400s. That support system, inventory and intellectual property, all part of the corporation’s Global Customer Support division, are “a huge asset to the new Beechcraft Corp.,” he said, and are not a part of any proposed transaction.
Shawn Vick, president of Beechcraft International Services Co., agrees there’s been confusion about the company’s position, and that it is only selling the type certificates for the Premier and Hawker 4000 jets. Beechcraft executives are having “several conversations” about the Premier and 4000, Vick says. Those talks are proceeding along a “structured cadence” that he hopes will conclude this year.
As for the Hawker 400 and 800, “We’ve built a massive business to support that fleet of those airplanes,” Howell says. These include the XPR upgrade programs for the 400 and 800.
The 400XPR, delayed while Beechcraft emerged from bankruptcy, is now in final test and the supplemental type certificate (STC) is expected in the third quarter, with delivery shortly thereafter. The 400XPR sports winglets and a pair of Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines, providing a four-passenger range of 1,950 nm. APro Line 21 avionics upgrade is also available as an option and has been certified. Beechcraft has begun flight testing of the winglet this month.
Most of the 400XPR work will be done at the company’s Atlanta service center, which can conduct six upgrades simultaneously and is expected to eventually turn out 24 a year. The upgrade costs $2.8 million.
The Hawker 800XPR features company-designed winglets andTFE-731-50 turbofans that give it a 2,785 nm range with six passengers. The company’s Wichita service center has delivered eight Hawker 800 XPRs to date; the upgrade costs roughly $3.8 million.