Raytheon Aircraft is cutting the time it takes to build each Hawker 800XP mid-size business jet from 60 to 40 days and almost halving its parts inventory after streamlining the assembly line at its factory in Wichita, Kansas.

The company plans similar changes to the way the smaller Hawker 400XP and Beechcraft ranges are built. They include moving parts stores closer to the production line and reducing the number of workstations.

Workstation numbers on the 800XP line have been cut from 12 to seven and the value of the parts inventory at any one time from $45 million to $26 million. "We are revamping the entire line by figuring out ways to work smarter," says Simon Caldecott, vice-president of Hawker operations. The reorganisation will be complete by the end of the year.

Raytheon is also building a hangar at its Little Rock, Arkansas, completion centre for the super mid-size Hawker Horizon. It will open in early 2005 just after deliveries begin in the last quarter of next year.

The first two aircraft will be completed in Wichita. Federal Aviation Administration flight tests on the first three Horizons began this month, with certification on track for mid-2004.

Source: Flight International