Nextant Aerospace Announces Engine FAA Certification

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The jet remanufacturing process requires over 6,000 labor hours to complete. (Photo: Stock.xchng)
The jet remanufacturing process requires over 6,000 labor hours to complete. (Photo: Stock.xchng)

BUSINESS

  • Nextant Aerospace’s Williams FJ44-3AP engine – to be used for remanufactured 400XT – has received FAA certification
  • New engine is lighter, more fuel efficient and requires less maintenance than the JT15D-5 engine
  • Nextant Aerospace introduced the idea of remanufacturing to the business jet sector

Nextant Aerospace, the company that introduced the concept of aircraft remanufacturing, has been working toward the release of the 400XT, a remanufactured Beechjet 400A/XP.

The turbofan Williams FJ44-3AP engine will be used in the 400XT. It has now been granted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, marking a significant hurdle for engine makers. According to company president Jim Miller, the FJ44-3AP is a massive leap forward and is one of the most important components of the 400XT.

According to Nextant Aerospace, the FJ44-3AP performed perfectly during flight tests. FAA tests are expected to end this week. The FJ44-3AP has almost 30% lower maintenance costs per hour than the original Pratt and Whitney. The engine is said to be 32% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the JT15D-5. The engine is also 250 lbs lighter, allowing for greater speed due to the thrust-to-weight ratio.

Due to several aerodynamic improvements, the 400XT has a range of 2005nm. The company has already begun manufacturing the 400XT, and in October of last year, Nextant revealed that an order from Flight Options had been placed for 40 aircraft.

Deliveries for retail customers will begin in July. The 400XT will be sold with a two-year warranty on all components and a national service network for customer support.

An Aircraft Manufacturing Pioneer

Nextant Aerospace launched in 2007 with a main ambition to develop an aircraft renovation program. It is the pioneering company that introduced jet remanufacturing to the market. Remanufacturing allows for the delivery of a final product that has better technology, reliability and life expectancy.

The process of remanufacturing requires over 6,000 labor hours to complete; it starts by investigating the airframe to locate any corrosion or other forms of damage. All life-limited parts are removed and replaced by new, better parts. Because remanufacturing is a form of standardization, flight crews can train on like products, thus ensuring their safety.

All work conducted on the 400XT has taken place at the Nextant factory in Cleveland, Ohio.

Key Statistics – US Aircraft Manufacturing Industry & Foreign Trade (source: Supplier Relations US, LLC)

  • In 2010, the aircraft manufacturing industry recorded revenues of roughly $101.5 billion and an estimated gross profit of over 30%.
  • In 41 countries, aircraft imports were valued at $9 billion.
  • Almost $2 billion worth of merchandise has been exported to 49 countries.
  • Last year, the total domestic demand for the aircraft manufacturing industry was almost $109 billion.

By Nicole Manuel for
Nicole Manuel is a freelance economics, finance and blog writer with a degree in economics and over two years of experience.

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