Full certification of Raytheon’s Hawker 4000 super mid-size business jet has been delayed yet again, this time to late January or early February. Already postponed from 2001, final approval had been promised for the end of last year, but was pushed back after the US Federal Aviation Administration insisted on adding lightning protection for certain equipment before certification.
Raytheon Aircraft says it had planned to add the lightning protection after certification of the composite-fuselage business jet, but instead has halted function and reliability (F&R) testing – the final step before full type approval – to install the shielding. F&R testing with aircraft RC5 will then resume.
RC5 was leased back by Raytheon after its “delivery” to the first customer following provisional certification of the Hawker 4000 – then called the Horizon – in December 2004. The company plans to hand the aircraft back to its Wichita-based owner immediately after final certification, and will then be without a demonstrator until April at least.
The company plans a slow production ramp-up to minimise service-entry problems, delivering 11 aircraft this year, 16 in 2007 and 24 in 2008, before stabilising at 30 a year from 2009. In December, leading US fractional-ownership operator NetJets confirmed its order for 50 Hawker 4000s to be delivered between 2007 and 2013.
Source: Flight International