With the Raytheon Hawker Horizon and Bombardier Continental making their first flights within three days of each other in Wichita last month, development is virtually neck and neck for these two highly competitive super-midsize business jets.
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft yesterday reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the year-ago period.
Raytheon Aircraft’s Hawker Horizon super-midsize business jet is beating projections–performance projections, that is. Schedule projections continue to be something else, as the new jet moves slowly but surely closer to certification, now planned for the middle of next year, with initial deliveries targeted to start by the end of the year.
Safe Flight Instrument’s AutoPower autothrottle system will be made available to Hawker 800-series operators within a year, the company announced. While Safe Flight and installation partner West Star Aviation noted that while autothrottle systems have been available on larger business jets for years, this will be the first such system for a midsize jet, they said.
Raytheon Aircraft selected Cox & Company of Manhattan, N.Y., to supply its electromagnetic expulsion de-icing (EMED) system for the horizontal stabilizer of the Hawker Horizon, which is scheduled to receive certification before year-end.
When Richard Santulli sold three fractional shares in a business aircraft in 1986, people snickered. Ten years later, NetJets had sold 1,551 shares and Santulli was the one left laughing. Today, NetJets has company in the fractional-ownership industry, an industry that now represents 5,827 fractional shares. Even with the current economic slump, last year’s new share sales were up by 17 percent over the tally for 2001.
According to a statement by Raytheon Aircraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster last month, certification of the super-midsize Hawker Horizon is still expected for late this year, but “our main focus is not so much the certification milestone, but to assure that we introduce a reliable, producible aircraft that meets or exceeds all of our customer expectations.
The third running of EBACE, the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, has established the Geneva, Switzerland event as a solid entry in the world aerospace calendar, with three major business aircraft manufacturers (Cessna, Gulfstream and Raytheon) choosing to attend EBACE instead of this month’s Paris Air Show.
And you thought the dot.com bubble-burst was bad.
As Raytheon Aircraft works to pull itself out of its financial hole, development of the Hawker Horizon continues with “absolutely no showstoppers,” according to Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO.