CESSNA AND Raytheon Aircraft are studying new mid-sized business jets, which, if launched, would succeed the current Citation VII and Hawker 1000, respectively. The designs are likely to offer larger cabins and higher performance than the aircraft they would replace.

Raytheon is believed to be studying a stretched, rewinged development of the Hawker 1000, possibly powered by a growth version of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW305 turbofan which powers the 1000. A candidate engine is the up-rated PW306 selected to power the Israel Aircraft Industries Astra Galaxy, for which the new aircraft is likely to be a direct competitor.

Cessna is believed to be considering the PW300 series and the AlliedSignal/General Electric CFE738 to power a revamped Citation VII. The aircraft is likely to use a derivative of the Citation X fuselage, which has the same outside diameter as the VII, but an increased internal diameter made possible by improved design.

Raytheon says that a decision has yet to be taken on the future of the 1000. In September 1994 it announced plans to suspend production while it worked on improvements to differentiate the aircraft from the smaller Hawker 800. Raytheon later reversed its decision, extending UK production of the 1000 until 1997.

In June, the company admitted that it was examining options to extend production further, to meet a surge in demand for the aircraft (Flight International, 21-27 June).

Raytheon has also acknowledged that it is gathering input from operators on the desired characteristics of a new aircraft.

Cessna has previously acknowledged that the Citation VII would be the next in its business-jet line to "receive attention". The company has almost totally revamped its Citation series, introducing the entry-level CitationJet, light/medium Excel and medium/large X, and revamping the Citation II and V light business jets. The VII is based on the Citation III, introduced in 1982.

Source: Flight International