Raytheon Completes Hawker 4000 Function and Reliability Testing

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Raytheon Aircraft Company last week said it has completed a close-to-final phase of testing required for FAA certification of its forthcoming Hawker 4000 "super mid-size" business jet. The Hawker 4000 is being billed as the "flagship" of Raytheon's Hawker line and features performance that may live up to its billing: The 4000 should be capable of a sea level-to-FL370 climb in just over 13 minutes. Once at altitude, the Hawker 4000's maximum cruise speed is Mach 0.84. It should have nonstop, coast-to-coast range in most wind conditions. Fractional operator NetJets has ordered 50 of the new aircraft. According to Raytheon, it and the FAA are working to finalize the paperwork necessary for type certification, although that once-delayed milestone was expected to arrive in February.

The delay has been attributed to Raytheon's desire to install a lightning protection system on the second of its two certification prototypes before beginning final testing. In December, fractional operator NetJets ordered 50 of the new aircraft for its fleet, a deal valued at more than $1 billion, which included a 10-year guaranteed maintenance program. Deliveries to NetJets are set to begin in 2007 and continue through 2013. Some 80 Hawker 4000s have been ordered so far, with 11 scheduled for delivery in 2006.