Garrett Aviation and Honeywell have unveiled a programme to improve the performance of Hawker 700 business jets by upgrading their engines.

The programme will convert the aircraft's TFE731-3 turbofans to -4 standard, increasing thrust from 3,700lb to 4,080lb (16.5kN to 18.2kN). The companies calculate this 10% increase in thrust will: reduce take-off field length by 1,000ft (300m); cut time to climb by 30%; provide a higher initial cruise altitude; and increase cruise speed by 10kt (18km/h).

The conversion improves the hot-and-high performance of the still-popular Hawker 700, which was originally built by British Aerospace and is still a mainstay of the US charter fleet. Higher second-segment climb weight limits will increase range by over 550km (300nm) from high-altitude airports such as Denver, Colorado.

Honeywell and aviation services company Garrett plan to launch the programme later this year if they secure an initial 18 orders for the conversion. Supplemental type certification is planned for early in the second quarter of 2002.

The conversion will cost $1.375 million/aircraft for Hawker 700 operators who are not on Honeywell's maintenance service plan (MSP). For those on the plan, the upgrade could cost as little as $930,000, depending on the overhaul life left on their engines.

A majority of the 200 aircraft still operational are believed to be on the MSP. Around 20 Hawker 700s are fitted with thrust reversers, making them ineligible for conversion, but Garrett and Honeywell are looking at reviving an earlier programme under which thrust reversers were removed from 10 aircraft. Removing the reversers reduces weight and makes the aircraft compliant with Stage 3 noise limits.

Conversions will be performed at Garrett's five US sites, with overseas locations being looked at, and are expected to require a downtime of six weeks or less. Garrett plans to offer to perform avionics and interiors upgrades at the same time.

Source: Flight International