Raytheon Aircraft is re-launching its mid-sized Hawker 800 business jet, with enhanced performance and has christened it the 800XP.

The 800XP will sell for the same $9.9 million price as the current aircraft, but will have upgraded AlliedSignal TFE731-5BR engines providing 20kN (4,460lb) of thrust each - an increase of 3.7% per engine.

Its new environmental system brings quicker cooling times on the ground and quieter ramp noise-levels.

The aircraft will be available from the third quarter of 1995. Raytheon has sold the first aircraft to an unidentified US operator.

Performance improvements include higher speeds, faster climb, higher payloads, shorter take-off distances, longer range, and increased comfort. Raytheon says that the enhancement advances the aircraft "half a generation" and will not be available for retrofit for the time being.

Examples of claimed performance gains, include a 14kt (22km/h) speed advantage at 11,800kg and 39,000ft 12,000m).

Leaving Denver, Colorado, on a 35¡C day, the 800XP should achieve 23% more range. A departure from the short runway in Florence, Italy on a typical hot day would yield up to 32% more range.

The 800XP reaches cruise altitude 15-23% faster than the 800 and the type can carry about 225kg greater payload with eight passengers.

The improvements further narrow the gap between the 800 and Raytheon's slow-selling Hawker 1000, which has also been scheduled for upgrades. Raytheon is understood to be planning another major announcement at the Paris air show in June.

Source: Flight International