US fractional ownership company NetJets has ordered 50 Hawker 400XP light business jets and eight mid-size Hawker 800XPs from Raytheon Aircraft in a deal valued at $360 million. An option for another 50 Hawker 400XPs takes the potential value to more than $600 million, says Raytheon.

Deliveries of the Hawker 800XPs begin this month and will continue into 2005, while delivery of the Hawker 400XPs on firm order will begin next year and continue into 2009. NetJets is negotiating a long-term maintenance agreement with Raytheon, expected to be finalised by year-end, that will cover the 75 Hawker 800XPs and Hawker 1000s already in its fractional ownership fleet.

NetJets says the Hawker 400XP will become its new entry-level fractional ownership offering. The current entry-level aircraft is the Cessna Citation Encore, and NetJets placed orders and options for 100 Citation CJ3 light jets in September last year, for delivery beginning in 2005, but subsequently cancelled a significant number of its Citation orders.

Compared with the $5.8 million CJ3, the $6.7 million Hawker400XP offers a swept wing, larger cabin, higher cruise speed at 465kt (860km/h), but shorter range at 3,120km (1,685nm).

Raytheon says the NetJets order will stabilise production of the Hawker 400XP, which was certificated earlier this year as an upgrade of the Beechjet 400A. The company has delivered 400XPs to its own Flight Options fractional-ownership programme.

In July NetJets cancelled a long-standing order for 50 Hawker Horizon super mid-size business jets. Raytheon claimed the aircraft's success was not affected.

Raytheon has received a $228 million contract for 47 T-6A Texan turboprop trainers and training devices for the US Air Force and Navy.

Source: Flight International