Nextant Aerospace, a pioneer in the field of aircraft remanufacturing, announced that the Williams FJ44-3AP engine that will power the world’s first remanufactured business jet has received FAA certification.
“This was the last significant hurdle as we work towards the final STC for the 400XT,” stated company president, Jim Miller. “This engine represents a significant evolution in technology and it is one of the key components that will make the 400XT the most efficient and cost effective aircraft in its class.”
The Williams FJ44-3AP is a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) turbofan engine and it will replace the outdated Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 on the new 400XT. Key product features for the FJ44-3AP include: Superior Fuel Efficiency: 32% more fuel efficient than the original Pratt and Whitney JT15D-5; Significant Weight Savings: Savings of 240 lbs allows for better thrust-to-weight ratios; Lower Engine Maintenance Costs: Nearly 30% less on a cost per hour basis compared to the JT15D-5.
During a press conference at EBACE, Nextant Aerospace reported that the engine performed flawlessly during flight testing. The company also outlined a timeline that anticipates the conclusion of FAA required test flights this week. Nextant has started manufacturing the 400XT in anticipation of the final STC which they expect to receive by the end of the quarter. This will allow retail deliveries to begin in July.
As a pioneer in the field of general aviation, Nextant is the first company to introduce the concept of remanufacturing to the business jet market. This unique process applies a revolutionary approach to aircraft manufacturing which allows the company to deliver an end product that exhibits significantly evolved technology, improved reliability, and a life expectancy that meets or exceeds other competitive products. The remanufacturing process involves a comprehensive protocol that takes over 6,000 man-hours to complete.
The process begins with a thorough inspection of the airframe to ensure that it is free from corrosion and any detrimental wear and tear. In subsequent phases, all life-limited components are taken to zero-time status either by replacement or complete overhaul which effectively makes the 400XT a new plane in all material aspects. The 400XT cockpit is updated to include the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21TM avionics system and the performance of the plane is significantly enhanced by the Williams FJ44-3AP engine. Several aerodynamic enhancements are made to the airframe including a new pylon and cowling design. The resulting aircraft has a range of 2005nm (4 passenger, NBAA IFR reserves) and a 35% improvement in fuel efficiency. All work is performed at Nextant’s factory in Cleveland, Ohio. Remanufacturing differs significantly from other “modification” programs in that it creates a truly standardized product. The standardization leads to an inherently safer product in that it will allow flight crews to train to a common training curriculum. The 400XT is sold with a complete tip-to-tail warranty and Nextant has established a national service network to support the plane.