In a move lifted from school classrooms the world over, Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) have struck back at Nextant Aerospace for releasing what HBC believes is misinformation about the Hawker 400XPR certified factory upgrade. In fact, so incensed are HBC that they think you should be able to make up your own mind, so they’ve produced a handy guide so that you can decide all by yourself.
Truth or Fiction? Hawker Beechcraft let you decide for yourself
Founded in 2007 in Cleveland Ohio by Kenneth C. Ricci, Nextant Aerospace set up with the sole purpose of taking a business jet with a high population, and remanufacturing it to bring it up to modern standards. The decision to work on the BeechJet 400A/XP was taken shortly after and on September 8th 2010 the ‘new’ aircraft had its first conforming flight as the Nextant 400XT.
Although the basic structure of the aircraft stays the same, all life limited parts on the aircraft are taken back to ‘zero time’ status either through a process of overhauling or in certain cases complete replacement. Additionally the 400XT replaces the standard Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5 engines with Williams FJ44-3AP Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) engines, Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ avionics suite and a fully integrated high-speed internet solution.
The Nextant program competes directly with HBC’s own upgrade program called the 400XPr.
Launched on October 18th 2010 the 400XPr includes up-rated Williams FJ44-4A-32 engines, HBC composite winglets and an optional Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ avionics suite upgrade, with the big selling point being that the modifications would be carried out by HBC’s own technicians.
“Recent Nextant press releases and marketing materials about Nextant’s modifications to Hawker 400-series business jets have included misinformation about our Hawker 400XPR certified factory upgrade” say HBC in a statement on their website.
So what exactly is HBCs problem here? It’s no secret that the 2 companies don’t quite get along, and even as recently as May 2012 Nextant’s CEO Ricci was quoted at EBACE as saying that he doubted that the HBC 400XPr program would ever become commercially available.
This time around HBC have come out fighting, and in their website statement they list a number of issues with Nextant’s claims, even going as far as quoting a review in Business and Commercial Aviation of the aircraft to help get across their counter claims regarding the 400XTs range.
Another counter claim that HBC make is regarding the Nextant ‘zero-time’ remanufacturing process, saying “Nextant claims a “zero-time” process; however, the company does not hold a production certificate or have the ability to “zero-time” an aircraft. The FAA does not recognize documenting a zero aircraft time entry in an aircraft’s maintenance log (review FAR43.12 for reference). Essentially, the Nextant customer is paying $365,000 for the maintenance already required on a high airframe time aircraft.”
Nextant Aerospace 400NXT msn RK-28 / N401NX
Photo Copyright Nextant Aerospace
So could HBC’s issue be that the 400XT gained the jump on the HBC 400XPr program? Or that Nextant shunned HBC in the design phase of the 400XT?
Either way, a Nextant executive speaking to BizJetBlogger during EBACE earlier in the year explained that their experience with HBC had forced the company to look elsewhere for their next remanufacturing target. Speaking on condition of anonymity he also added that Nextant were well into the decision process on which aircraft to concentrate on, and that there could be an announcement on 1 or possibly 2 new types during the NBAA in October.
Check out the HBC statement here
and make up your own mind if Nextant’s claims are indeed ‘Truth or Fiction’.