Receives Final TC AND Production Certs
Can we get an "amen"? Hawker Beechcraft announced Thursday its
flagship Hawker 4000 super-midsize business jet received final FAA
Type Certification and Production Certification recently, allowing
the company to begin delivering the composite-bodied bizjet to
customers this month.
"This is a historic step forward for Hawker Beechcraft, as our
hard work and dedication on the Hawker 4000 program has resulted in
the most luxurious, most innovative and most advanced super-midsize
business jet in the world," said Jim Schuster, HBC chairman and
CEO. "We’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into the Hawker
4000 and are eager to fulfill our substantial backlog of worldwide
The customers are eager to see their jets, too. This is actually
the second time ANN has reported on the 4000 receiving its TC; the first came in 2006, when
the program -- and the company -- were still under the auspices of
Raytheon. That followed what had already been a 10-year development
program on the admittedly innovative aircraft.
That TC wasn't the final word, though... as the FAA called for
more tests, and eventually extensive re-working of the initial
batch of production planes. Last month, HBC recorded an operating
loss of $1.5 million for the quarter, in part due to an $18.4
million charge stemming from changes made to those early production
4000s to conform with the final type design.
Company officials admit that due to those added charges, the
first 13-14 aircraft off the assembly line will be loss-leaders...
or, at best, will break even. "The learning curve is fairly
dramatic on that aircraft," admitted Hawker CFO Jim Sanders.
In happier news, at last month's EBACE show in Geneva Hawker
Beechcraft received a $330 million order from BJETS of India for 10
Hawker 4000s, with options for an additional five. To date, HBC has
orders for 128 Hawker 4000s, according to a report by the Wichita
Eagle, and aims for a build-rate of about three per month by the
end of the year.
"This airplane is going to sell itself," Schuster told the