Raytheon is applying lessons learned on the Premier I programme in a bid to avoid delays in certification of its Hawker Horizon super mid-size business jet, rolled out on 17 April.


The company says the first flight of the Horizon is scheduled for the third quarter, leading to US certification and first deliveries "in 2003". Privately, officials hope to accelerate the schedule.

Raytheon is being conservative after experiencing a delay of over two years in certification of the Premier I entry-level business jet, its first aircraft to use the fibre-placed composite fuselage technology featured on the Horizon. The first Premier is scheduled for delivery next month.

As a result of lessons learned on the Premier, three aircraft in the 2,600h Horizon flight test programme will be equipped with similar instrumentation, allowing more flexibility in accomplishing test points.

A special tyre-burst test rig will be built. Redesigning the wheel wells to protect components from tyre burst damage was the final barrier to Premier certification that had to be overcome. Production Horizons built before certification will not have interiors and other equipment installed until after flight testing is complete.

Raytheon has 100 firm orders and 50 options for the $16.8 million Horizon, an intercontinental-range business jet powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308 turbofans. Risk-sharing partners include Fuji Heavy Industries (wing), Fokker Elmo (tail), Honeywell (avionics), Messier Dowty (landing gear) and Moog (flight controls).

Source: Flight International