- 01 Jun 2022
- Mike Chase
- Jet Comparisons
How do the Hawker 800XP, Hawker 900XP, and Hawker 4000 compare side-by-side? What are the differences between each model, and are they still attractive to today’s pre-owned buyer? Mike Chase analyses the performance and productivity parameters...Back to Articles
Over the following paragraphs we’ll consider key productivity parameters for the Hawker 800XP, Hawker 900XP and Hawker 4000 (including payload, range, speed, and cabin size) to establish which aircraft provides the better value, and to whom. For owners happy to remain brand loyal to the Hawker jet family, how much more performance do you get from the next rung on the ownership ladder, and at what cost?
Although it is more than a decade since Beechcraft stopped producing its Hawker business jet models, the Hawker name still resonates in the pre-owned Light and Mid-Size Jet markets. But what is it about the Hawker models that continues to fuel their popularity on the market?
With over 1,430 Hawker jets in operation worldwide, is the sheer number of units available to buyers, along with a good supply of spare parts and support services available to owners, the attraction?
Or do these jets have merit in their own right? We’ll look for answers over the following paragraphs...
The Hawker 800XP was introduced to the market as a replacement for the Hawker 800A, offering improved payload capabilities, performance enhancements and updated systems – among them the Honeywell SPZ-8000 suite displayed over five screens and including GPS, GPWS, TCAS II, and dual autopilot.
Production spanned a 10-year period between 1995 and 2005, and as of this writing 384 units remain in operation, including 367 jets that are wholly owned, 14 in shared ownership, and three in fractional ownership, per JETNET data. North America is home to the largest fleet percentage (75%), followed by Asia (10%).
The Hawker 900XP entered service in 2007 as a replacement for the Hawker 850XP. Retaining all its predecessor’s popular traits, including fuel efficiency, advanced aerodynamics and comfort, the Hawker 900XP incorporated new Honeywell TFE731-50R engines rated at close to 4,660lbs of thrust, enabling increased climb performance.
Like the Hawker 850XP, the Hawker 900XP features the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite.
Production was cut short in 2012 when Beechcraft ceased jet production. However, at the time of writing there are 178 Hawker 900XP business jets still in operation around the world, with 166 being wholly owned, five in shared and seven in fractional ownership programs, according to JETNET. North America is home to the largest fleet percentage (74%) followed by Asia (11%).
The Hawker 4000, originally known as the Hawker Horizon, offers Hawker owners a step-up into the Super Mid-size business jet arena, with the first delivery occurring in early 2010.
The aircraft's carbon composite construction gives it enviable interior space, while also making it lighter than aircraft of a standard aluminum structure. The flight deck features a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite with EICAS, FADEC and autothrottle.
In production for two years before Beechcraft ended jet production in 2012, 66 units remain in operation as of this writing, with 65 being wholly owned. North America has the largest fleet percentage (70%) followed by South America (13%), according to JETNET.
When comparing business jets, an important area for potential operators to focus on is payload capability, and especially the ‘Available Payload with Maximum Fuel’.
Table A shows the Hawker 800XP ‘Available Payload with Maximum Fuel’ to be 1,875lbs, which is greater than that offered by the Hawker 900XP (1,620lbs). The Hawker 4000 has the lowest available payload with maximum fuel, at 1,400lbs.
Table A - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Payload Comparison
As shown in Chart A, the Hawker 800XP and Hawker 900XP share cabin dimensions and volume (551cu.ft). Unsurprisingly, as a Super Mid-Size Jet the Hawker 4000 offers more cabin height, width, and length. Its overall cabin volume is almost 200cu.ft more than its Mid-Size Hawker sisterships (at 746cu.ft).
Chart A - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Cabin Comparison
The Hawker 4000 also offers more internal luggage volume (109cu.ft.) than Hawker 800XP (48cu.ft.) and the Hawker 900XP (50cu.ft), though none of the aircraft provide external baggage capacity.
Using Wichita, Kansas, as the starting point (see Chart B) the Hawker 4000 displays the longest range of the field (3,190nm). By comparison, the Hawker 900XP is capable of flying 2,818nm, and the Hawker 800XP 2,540nm with four passengers and available fuel.
Chart B - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Range Comparison
Note: For business jets, ‘Four Pax Range’ represents the maximum IFR range at long range cruise. The NBAA IFR fuel reserve calculation is for a 200nm alternate. This range does not include winds aloft or any other weather-related obstacles.
The Hawker 800XP has two Honeywell HTF731-5BR engines producing 4,660lbst each. Each engine burns 281 gallons of fuel per hour (gal/hr). By comparison, the Hawker 900XP utilizes a pair of fuel efficient HTF731-50R engines producing 4,660lbst of thrust each, and burning a lower 256 gal/hr.
Pratt & Whitney Canada was chosen to power the Hawker 4000 with its PW308A engines, each providing 6,900lbst and burning 310 gal/hr.
Chart C details the ‘Cost per Mile’, comparing the jets and factoring direct costs, based on each aircraft flying a 1,000nm mission with 800lbs (four passengers) payload. The Hawker 800XP ($7.10 per nm) has the highest costs compared to the Hawker 4000 ($6.42/nm) and the Hawker 900XP ($6.35/nm).
Chart C - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Cost Per Mile Comparison
To benchmark these costs against today’s popular in-production Mid-Size Jets, Cessna’s Citation Latitude has a $6.67 cost per mile and Embraer’s Praetor 500 costs $6.16 to operate per mile.
The ‘Variable Cost’ illustrated in Chart D is defined as the estimated cost of fuel, maintenance labor, scheduled parts, and miscellaneous trip expenses (e.g., hangar, crew, and catering).
These costs DO NOT represent a direct source into every flight department and their trip support expenses. For comparative purposes, the costs presented are the relative differences, not the actual differences since these may vary from one flight department to another.
The Hawker 4000 ($2,579/hr) has a higher variable cost compared to the Hawker 800XP ($2,164/hr) and Hawker 900XP (2,017/hr).
Chart D - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Variable Cost Comparison
To set these costs in context against today’s leading in-production Mid-Size Jets, the Cessna Citation Latitude costs $1,984 per hour and the Embraer Praetor $1,836, highlighting that as aircraft age, the maintenance costs begin to increase, reflected in their variable hourly costs.
Table B contains the price of a 2004 model Hawker 800XP and the price for a 2012 model Hawker 900XP and Hawker 4000 (per Aircraft Bluebook Fall 2023 data). Also, listed are the long-range cruise speed and range numbers (per B&CA), and the number of aircraft in- operation, the percentage for sale, and 12-monthly average sold at the time of writing (per JETNET).
Table B - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Market Comparison
The average number of used transactions (units sold) per month over the previous 12 months were four for the Hawker 800XP, and two each for the Hawker 900XP and Hawker 4000.
For anyone still in doubt, the overheated market of 2021/2022 is clearly over – especially for older pre-owned jets that were commanding price premiums just a year ago due to the lack of available newer pre-owned inventory.
Take note of the fleet percentages for sale. The Hawker 800XP is close to the 10% fleet for sale watershed that traditionally denotes equilibrium between a Buyers’ and Sellers’ market, whereas the Hawker 900XP has moved into Sellers’ market territory with 11.2% of the fleet available for sale. It is possible Buyers and Sellers will both need to assess the price they are willing to pay or accept for one of these models today.
As of October 9, 2023, there were 21 Hawker 800XPs available for sale with asking prices ranging from $1.496m to $4.575m. An additional sixteen were listed inviting offers or inquiries.
By comparison, there were 20 Hawker 900XPs for sale with asking prices ranging between $4.6m and $8.595m. Three Hawker 4000s were available on the market with two priced at $5.25m, and another inviting inquiries.
While each aircraft serial number is unique, the Airframe Total Time (AFTT) and age/condition will cause great variation in the price of a specific aircraft – even between two aircraft from the same year of manufacture. The final negotiated price remains to be decided between the seller and buyer before the sale of an aircraft is completed.
Aircraft that are owned and operated by businesses are often depreciable for income tax purposes under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Under MACRS, taxpayers can use accelerated depreciation of assets by taking a greater percentage of the deductions during the first few years of the applicable recovery period.
In certain cases, aircraft may not qualify under the MACRS system and must be depreciated under the less favorable Alternative Depreciation System (ADS), based on a straight-line method meaning that equal deductions are taken during each year of the applicable recovery period. In most cases, recovery periods under ADS are longer than recovery periods available under MACRS.
There is a variety of factors that taxpayers must consider in determining if an aircraft may be depreciated, and, if so, the correct depreciation method and recovery period that should be utilized.
For example, aircraft used in charter service (i.e. Part 135) are normally depreciated under MACRS over a seven-year recovery period, or under ADS using a twelve-year recovery period.
Aircraft used for qualified business purposes, such as Part 91 business use flights, are generally depreciated under MACRS over a period of five years or by using ADS with a seven-year recovery period. There are certain uses of the aircraft, such as non-business flights, that may have an impact on the allowable depreciation deduction available in any given year.
The US enacted the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017. Under the Act, taxpayers could potentially deduct up to 100% of the cost of a new or pre-owned aircraft purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2023.
Nevertheless, ‘Transportation Property’ described in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §168(k)(2)(B) and ‘Certain Aircraft’ described in IRC §168(k)(2)(C) will have a one-year delay in the phasedown. Thus, such property may still be eligible for 100% bonus depreciation if placed into service in 2023.
This 100% provision is a huge bonus for aircraft owners and operators. After December 31, 2022, the Act decreases the percentage available each year by 20% to depreciate qualified business jets until December 31, 2026.
Table C depicts an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2004 model Hawker 800XP in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five- and seven-year periods. Meanwhile, Table D depicts an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2012-model Hawker 900XP in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five- and seven-year periods. And Table E depicts an example of using the MACRS schedule for a 2012-model Hawker 4000 in private (Part 91) and charter (Part 135) operations over five- and seven-year periods. In all three cases, the price is as published by Aircraft Bluebook (Fall 2023 data).
Table C, D and E - Sample MACRS Tax Depreciation Schedules
The points in Chart E are centered on the same aircraft. Pricing used in the horizontal axis is as published in B&CA. The productivity index requires further discussion since factors used can be somewhat arbitrary. Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:
1. Four Passenger Range (nm) with available fuel
2. The long-range cruise speed flown to achieve that range
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities
Chart E - Hawker 800XP vs Hawker 900XP vs Hawker 4000 Productivity Comparison
Others may choose different parameters, but most serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with price, range, speed, and cabin size.
Given the current pricing in Aircraft Bluebook’s Fall 2023 data, the question of moving up in the same family suggests now could be an ideal time, since the cost of a 2012-model Hawker 4000 (Super Mid- Size Jet) – with its additional range, cabin volume and cruise speed – is less than a 2012-model Hawker 900XP (Mid-Size Jet).
However, this is also a time when the Hawker 900XP fleet for sale has moved into seller’s market territory, so owners seeking to sell their Hawker 900XP before making that step-up will need to work with an experienced broker to establish what constitutes an attractive and realistic asking price for their aircraft in today’s marketplace.
As we have seen from this comparison, owners less adverse to aircraft that are 20-plus years old will find a very capable aircraft in the Hawker 800XP, too, though they are advised to factor any avionics and interior upgrade needs they may have into an offer price.
We also saw how maintenance costs increase as pre-owned aircraft age, and at some point, the cost of an overhaul and/or other required maintenance work becomes greater than the value of the airframe, effectively meaning that the owner of that aircraft has a jet they cannot sell.
While all three models featured in this comparison should have some useful life left in them before that becomes a reality, potential buyers should look for examples that are already enrolled on hourly engine maintenance programs, performing due diligence on a specific model’s maintenance status.
Within these paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business jet operators value although there are others, such as airport performance, terminal area performance and time- to-climb that might factor in a buying decision.
With proper due diligence, there is no reason why pre-owned aircraft buyers cannot find Hawker 800XP/900XP/4000 jets that offer great value on the pre-owned market today.
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