The “super-midsize” category of aircraft seems to be more and more popular with charter flyers. With features and cabins and performance previously only associated with the large-cabin jets, and at substantially lower costs, this is the category of choice for coast to coast, international and other mid-range charter flights.
The Hawker 4000 falls into the super-midsize category and impresses on so many levels. Competing for market share with the Challenger 300 and popular Gulfstream 200, the Hawker 4000 has become known as the performance choice of the group. From 2008 through 2010, it set no less than 5 world speed records in its category. On a flight from London to Dubai, over 3056 nautical miles, it averaged a staggering average speed of 540.39 mph! That’s average speed, by the way! The 4000 can climb from sea level to 37000 feet altitude in just under 15 minutes.
How does the 4000 achieve such high performance? Aside from the high-efficiency (and very quiet) Pratt & Whitney engines, performance comes from the advanced composite fuselage. Composite materials, such as carbon fiber, are much lighter and stronger than traditional aluminum, and are becoming more and more common in aircraft construction.
The 4000 is not just a hot rod in class though. The cabin impresses with a quiet, spacious place to do business, sleep, or unwind while en route to your next meeting or vacation. The stand-up cabin offers seating for 8-10, depending on how configured, and has six feet of headroom. A full galley, equipped with microwave, coffee maker, ice drawers, and plenty of storage will remind you of those on larger, ultra long-range jets. The seats also convert to full berths for sleeping on overnight flights. Of course you can expect all the techno-goodies like an iridium satellite phone system, LED direct and indirect lighting and an advanced cabin management/entertainment system.
The Hawker 4000s can be found in charter fleets but can be somewhat rare since production stopped in 2012 due to organizational changes at Hawker Beechcraft. They are a great option for coast-to-coast or international trips where performance is needed and time is of the essence. For retail charters, expect to spend between $3200 and $4100 per hour for this extraordinary aircraft. And book early! Due to scarcity and performance, they are in high demand.