RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT has slashed the development budget of a proposed stretched Hawker 1000 upgrade, and is now considering a more modest improvement to the aircraft than originally planned.

The next-generation Hawker could be unveiled at the 1996 National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) convention, although the new Hawker mid-sized business jet, which is still in the early stages of development, has yet to win approval from Raytheon's board.

Work on the project, designated Product Development 1000Y (PD1000Y), slowed earlier this year when Raytheon elected to pump $700 million of internal funding to launch the Premier family of light business jets (Flight International, 4-10 October).

As a result, the research and development budget for PD1000Y was cut to about $75 million, and plans for a major fuselage stretch and a new wing were shelved (Flight International, 2-8 August, P6). Roy Norris, the company's president, admits that an improved Hawker 1000 is being developed, but will not reveal details.

"What Raytheon is now considering is a modest change to the wing, and a fuselage stretch of about 760mm, which would produce a larger aircraft. The fuselage cross-section would remain unchanged," says a source.

The existing wing has three spars and is essentially the same airfoil as used in the smaller Hawker 800. "The plan is to minimise cost by keeping the rear spar of the current Hawker while changing the shape forward of the rear spar," say sources.

The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306 and the AlliedSignal/General Electric CFE738 are contenders to power the improved Hawker 1000, but the CFE738 is rated as too large, and the sources believe that "...the PW306 will get the job".

The sources say that "...this aircraft will be different in the sense that it will try to achieve what the Hawker 1000 was originally intended to achieve: a comfortable transatlantic capability in both directions". It cannot now be flown east to west without refueling.

The PW305-powered Hawker 1000 has a $13 million price tag, while the improved aircraft could cost as much as $15 million, the sources predict. Preliminary market projections for the improved aircraft forecast annual sales of ten, and possibly up to 20 aircraft.

Raytheon acquired the Hawker 800/1000 corporate-jet business from British Aerospace in 1993. The US company is test flying an upgraded version of the -800.

A record 51 orders for the $3.9 million Raytheon Premier I business jet were booked during September's National Business Aircraft Association convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, says Raytheon. The Wichita, Kansas-based manufacturer plans to make initial deliveries of the six-passenger light jet in the second half of 1998, and will build 40 of the type a year.

The first Premier I for an international customer has been sold to Guernsey's BK Holdings, by Hanseatische Luftwerft, the Bremen-based Raytheon distributor for the Netherlands, with marketing assistance from The Company Aircraft in the UK.

Source: Flight International