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In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on a selection of small- pre-owned Business Jets for the purpose of valuing the Hawker Beechcraft (Beechjet) 400A/Hawker 400XP. Further- can a ‘Remanufactured’ 400XT be a viable competitor? We will provide some preliminary data on the 400XT that will help answer this question.

Mike Chase   |   1st June 2011
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Mike Chase Mike Chase

Mike Chase has thirty-five year's extensive global managerial experience in marketing,...
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Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP

In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on a selection of small- pre-owned Business Jets for the purpose of valuing the Hawker Beechcraft (Beechjet) 400A/Hawker 400XP. Further- can a ‘Remanufactured’ 400XT be a viable competitor? We will provide some preliminary data on the 400XT that will help answer this question.

We’ll consider the usual productivity parameters- including payload- range- speed and cabin size- and cover current market values. The field for this study includes Bombardier’s Learjet 31A and Cessna’s Citation CJ3 and Encore.

The Beechjet traces its origin back to the Mitsubishi Diamond 2 (which Beechcraft acquired the design and production rights to in the mid-1980s). Beech re-engined the Diamond 2 with P&WC JT15D5 turbofans- developed a new interior and incorporated a number of other minor refinements- re-naming it the Beechjet 400.

The follow-on 400A incorporated a number of improvements over the original 400 - a higher maximum takeoff weight and greater operating ceiling among them. In addition- the rear fuselage fuel tank was repositioned- and an increase in cabin volume offered. On the flight deck- a Collins Pro Line 4 EFIS featured.

The Beechjet 400A can be RVSM certified.

The 400A (starting with serial number RK-354) offers an increased gross weight and several standard features that were optional on the Beechjet 400. In total- 603 Hawker Beechcraft Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP aircraft have been built. That includes 351 Beechjet 400As and 252 Hawker 400XPs. 593 operate today.

Chart A (previous page) represents the in-operation aircraft Market Share for our comparative field (April 2011). Combined- the Hawker Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP enjoys 45% of the market- followed by the Citation CJ3 (27%)- Learjet 31A (16%)- and Citation Encore (13%).

The data contained in Table A is published in the B&CA- May 2011 issue- and is also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we mentioned in past articles- a potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor. For comparative purposes we will just use the latest model- the Hawker 400XP - its ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 603 pounds is the lowest in this field of study. A ‘Remanufactured’ 400XT shows considerable improvement to 1-057 pounds compared to the 400XP and 400A (473 lbs).

According to Conklin & de Decker- the cabin volume of the Hawker 400XP (305 cubic feet) is nearly the same as the Citation Encore but larger than both the Citation CJ3 (283 cubic feet) and Bombardier Learjet 31A (271 cubic feet)- as shown in Chart B. [Remember: the Beechjet 400A and the ‘remanufactured’ 400XT offers the same cabin volume as the Hawker 400XP.]

As mentioned previously- the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP are powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5(R) engines offering 2-965 lbst each. The Learjet 31A is powered by a pair of Honeywell TFE 731-2 engines- each with the highest thrust rating for the group at 3-500 lbs. The Citation Encore enjoys 3-400 lbst from each of its PW535A engines- while the Citation CJ3 is powered by two Williams FJ44-3As (2-820 lbst each).

The 400XT is powered by two Williams FJ44-3AP engines that offer 3-050 pounds of thrust each.

Using data published in May 2011 by Conklin & de Decker we will compare these aircraft. The nationwide average Jet-A fuel cost used from the August 2010 edition was $4.90 per gallon at press time for B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook and the August 2010 B&CA Operations Planning Guide- so for the sake of comparison we’ll chart the numbers as published.

Note: Fuel price used from this source does not represent an average price for the year.

Chart C details ‘Cost per Mile’- and compares the Beechjet 400A at $5.27 per mile and the Hawker 400XP at $4.98 per mile factoring direct costs- and with each aircraft flying a 600nm mission with 800 pounds (four passengers) payload. The Learjet 31A at $5.28 has a higher costs per mile than the Beechjet 400A. The 400XT has the lowest projected cost per mile in the field of study at $3.82.

The “Total Variable Cost”- illustrated in Chart D- is defined as the cost of Fuel Expense- Maintenance Labor Expense- Scheduled Parts Expense and Miscellaneous trip expense. The total variable cost for the Beechjet 400A at $2-173 and Hawker 400XP at $2-050 is lower than the Learjet 31A at $2-195. The 400XT has the lowest (projected) variable cost at $1-619 based on preliminary data received by Conklin & de Decker.

The points in Chart E center on the same group of business jets. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the B&CA 2011 Purchase Planning Handbook. The productivity index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary.

Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:

1. Range with full payload and available fuel;
2. The long-range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.

The result is a very large number so for the purpose of charting- each result is divided by one billion. The examples plotted are confined to the aircraft in this study. A computed curve fit on this plot would not be very tight- but when all business jets are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters- but serious business jet buyers are usually impressed with price- range- speed and cabin size.

After consideration of the Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size- we can conclude that both the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP- as shown in the productivity index are productive among the business jets featured.

It is this analysts opinion that the ‘remanufactured’400XT light jet has created a whole new category of business jet with 50% more range- more speed- more fuel efficiency- and a remarkable 23% to 28% reduction in cost per mile. Additionally- the ‘remanufactured’ 400XT comes with a two year warranty on the airframe- avionics- and three year warranty on the new Williams engines.

The average speed- cabin volume- and maximum payload values from Conklin and de Decker and B&CA magazine are shown in Table B for all the business jets in this field of comparison. Also in Table B is the average pre-owned retail price from Vref for each aircraft with the latest model produced. The last two columns of information show the number of aircraft in-operation and percentage ‘For Sale’ from JETNET. As shown- the Hawker 400XP/Beechjet 400A business jet has the largest number of aircraftin operation at 593.

The airport performance illustrated in Table C includes airport Take-off Field Length (TOFL) and landing distances. The Beechjet 400A has the longest landing distance at 5-083 feet compared to the other aircraft. The 400XT landing distance with preliminary data shows a marked improvement at 4-045 feet- and the shortest landing distance of all aircraft.

Table D shows the location by continent for the Wholly-Owned Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP fleet. North America has the majority with 73% followed by South America (11%). (Currently- 13 400A/400XP aircraft are in shared and 105 are in fractional ownership arrangements.)

Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business jet operators value. However- there are often other qualities such as service and support that factor in a buying decision- too- and are beyond the scope of this article.

The Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP fares well against its competition - so those operators in the market should find the preeding comparison of value. For those current owners/ operators the ‘remanufactured’ 400XT should offer significant improvements that are worthy of consideration. Over 40 firm orders at present are held for the 400XT- Flight Options being the largest customer- but the Nextant Aerospace program will be joined next year by Hawker Beechcraft with its own upgrade on the 400 series.

For more information: Michael Chase is president of Chase & Associates- and can be contacted at 1628 Snowmass Place- Lewisville- TX 75077; Tel: 214-226-9882; Web:

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