The avionics, the Honeywell Primus Epic, are a highly integrated suite in the same class, once again, as the avionics offerings on much more expensive airplanes. The five-panel system has a pair of PFDs, two MFDs and a shared electronic instrumentation crew alerting system (EICAS) display. The airplanes boast dual laser-driven inertial reference units, dual flight management systems, built-in testing and a central maintenance computer that can pinpoint issues to eliminate a lot of troubleshooting for mechanics and reduce down time.
The system is standard with dual GPS with vertical navigation and enhanced go-around capability, TCAS II, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System and excellent, easy-to-understand systems synoptics pages.
There are dual air-cycle machines for greatly enhanced peace of mind on those long overwater flights — both systems are capable of cooling the entire airplane independently, so no emergency descent would be required. Also, the 4000 has dual main hydraulic systems as well as a backup hydraulic-motor-driven generator, in case you’re having a really bad day and lose both generators. The list of redundant features, including the autothrottles, by the way, is long and impressive.
With the certification of a sweeping upgrade program, the avionics capabilities match the airplane’s overall level of sophistication. And with Hawker Beechcraft’s recent upgrade to the system, it has even more capability, including a GPS navigation page on the FMS, automatic lateral navigation transition when executing a missed approach (a great workload-reducing feature), RNP 0.3 enhanced navigation capability (for curved arrivals and other specialized procedures), precision VNAV and LNAV capabilities, vertical glidepath for arrival at nonprecision approach runways, WAAS/LPV and additional waypoints. The system is now capable of autopilot-coupled Category II approaches as well. There are electronic checklists (love them), wind-shear prediction and Honeywell’s impressive Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS), which guards against a number of runway-related hazards on both takeoff and landing. There are also electronic georeferenced charts, with own-ship position that displays on the MFDs. And there’s more, including the latest fuel safety certifications, enhanced automatic engine shutdown and greater time at maximum thrust when flying with an engine out. With these improvements, any notion that the Hawker 4000 is a work in progress is a thing of the past.
While HBC had its work cut out for it in updating the avionics of the 4000 and in creating a top warranty program for the airplane, as far as the cabin was concerned, there wasn’t that much to do. This is because of the simple fact that, with few exceptions, the company got it right to begin with. The cabin features seating for eight passengers in a double-club configuration. All seats are berthable, so with the addition of the optional custom JetBeds for the airplane, you get four comfy beds in a midsize airplane. There’s also a side-facing divan option, which adds an extra passenger seat, bringing the total to nine. Nearly half of customers are ordering the divan option these days.
The 4000 boasts a flat floor — not the rule in an airplane of its class — and a stand-up cabin, with an average cabin height of right around 6 feet. The composite construction allows passengers more interior room in every dimension for the same external cabin dimensions because there’s no space-robbing internal fuselage framework needed. Composites also allow for the use of larger windows and for optimum window placement. Because HBC designers didn’t have to put them at any particular height in order to avoid underlying structure, the windows are placed at the optimum height and in the optimum location for passengers to look outside. The fuselage is also very low vibration — with the possible exception of when I am landing the airplane — and it is quiet too. In fact, the latest iteration is quieter then ever, thanks to work by HBC engineers to ferret out and silence noise throughout the cabin.