Raytheon Aircraft is to step up marketing of the Hawker Horizon "super mid-size" business jet with the unveiling of a full-scale mock-up at the NBAA. The company has booked "about a dozen" orders for the $14.6 million aircraft since its 1996 launch.

In contrast, Raytheon expects to book its 100th sale of the Premier I light business-jet by the time of the show, just two years after the launch of the $4.15 million aircraft.

The Horizon mock-up reflects design changes made since its launch. The wing has been moved back by 115mm, the engine nacelles forward by 75mm and the fuselage stretched by 255mm. Sam Bruner, engineering programme manager, says that elimination of over 45kg from the nose through avionics integration, coupled with the location of some systems "-further aft than liked", resulted in the aircraft becoming "tail-heavy". The changes restore the "load anything and go" centre-of-gravity range of the original design.

Other changes include a larger vertical tail, to increase directional stability at high speeds and altitudes, and a slightly larger horizontal stabiliser. The windshield has been modified from six panels to four, to improve visibility.

Guaranteed performance has not changed, says programme manager Tom Reichenberger, and includes a 6,300km (3,400nm) range at Mach 0.78. The schedule is unchanged also, with a first flight in late 1999, certification in 2001 and delivery of nine aircraft in the first year, 18 in the second year and 20 a year thereafter, he says.

The Premier I programme has been delayed by design changes to ensure that performance guarantees are met. The first flight is due in the second quarter of 1998. Raytheon has built composite forward fuselages for the first two test aircraft, and is working on the second aft fuselage, using fibre placement. Assembly of the first metal wing is under way. Fuselage mating on the first aircraft is due in late 1997, and wing mating in 1998. UScertification and first deliveries are planned for mid-1999.

Source: Flight International