Hawker 4000 First Delivery

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A moment 12 years in the making is taking place at Hawker Beechcraft's Wichita headquarters today. The company is holding a ceremony for the first Hawker 4000 delivery. The composite-fuselage midsize is described by the company as "the world's most advanced business jet" and was certified in 2006. Production was delayed while the company boosted performance and installed a more robust lightning-protection system at the FAA's request.

The Hawker 4000 was announced in 1996 and first flew in 2001. It remains the largest composite aircraft certified by the FAA. Final type certification and production approval was recently granted by the agency. The first owner wasn't identified in advance but is described by the company as "a private owner and loyal Hawker Beechcraft customer."