Hawker Beechcraft delivered the first super-midsize Hawker 4000 to launch customers Gary and Donna Hall during a ceremony yesterday at the company’s headquarters in Wichita. The event marked the end of a long and arduous path for the aircraft manufacturer, which launched the Hawker Horizon, since renamed the Hawker 4000, program at the NBAA Convention in 1996 and originally expected certification and first deliveries in spring 2001.
The company’s certification efforts for the composite-fuselage, metal-wing airplane took so long that the FAA required the design to meet more stringent new fuel tank and hydraulic rules, further delaying the full type approval that was finally issued last week. Gary Hall, who owns Joplin, Mo.-based tobacco wholesaler Sunflower Supply and currently operates a Hawker 800XP, plans to use the new twinjet mainly for flights between Joplin and Las Vegas.
Hawker Beechcraft said it has orders for more than 130 Hawker 4000s. Further deliveries of the $ 21 million super-midsize jet will be made to customers in the U.S., followed by Venezuela, the UK and South Africa.