This model is a rare example of a first-generation business jet successfully evolving over the years. Based on the Hawker 125 that took to the skies in 1962, this aircraft has been updated and fine-tuned over the years, incorporating modern technology while keeping the airframe almost unchanged. It may look a bit dated, but at the same time, you can call it classic. Ever since the first Hawker 125 business jet was certified, this line of aircraft has been immensely popular around the world as a reliable and sturdy machine that can tackle any climates, offering great comfort and performance for the price.
The Hawker 900XP is very competitive in the midsize category when it comes to cabin volume and flight range. Of its closest rivals (Cessna XLS+, Learjet 60/60XR, Gulfstream G150) only the latter offers better range but has about 140 cu ft less cabin volume. Moreover, the 900XP can take off with full fuel and all seats taken, which is quite an achievement in any business jet class. Wing devices and thrust reversers give it excellent field performance: it needs just 2280 feet of runway to land, which is at least 600 feet less than the competition. In addition, thanks to its rugged landing gear, it can cope with runways that are far from perfect – including gravel and grass.
Walking the Cabin
The cabin is cosy and convenient. This class of business jets is ideal for passengers of an average height: in the walkway, it is 5’ 9” from floor to ceiling. The typical floorplan has four club seats in the front and a small divan in the back. The latter is good enough for a relaxed pose, but not exactly to stretch out. On the other hand, the 604 cu ft cabin volume is one of the best in class. The Cessna Citation Sovereign may have a bigger volume overall, but it’s not as wide or tall, which makes the Hawker a much more comfortable plane to be in. The one thing it lacks is a baggage compartment, so bags and overclothes have to be stowed in small wardrobes in the cabin. For owners who are accustomed to travelling with plenty of luggage it is best to consider the Hawker 750 with a baggage compartment but less flight range.
The cabin noise level may not be the best in the industry, especially on take-off, but it’s not bad compared to the competition in the midsize class, either. The small galley is sufficient to prepare and serve simple meals and cold sandwiches, and this would usually be the job of the pilot or the passengers themselves, as there is not much space for a flight attendant.
The pilots workstation is what it should be, no more and no less: the glass cockpit built around the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite with four LCD displays is easy to use, reliable and nothing out of the ordinary. No revolution here.
This is what makes the Hawker 900XP almost unique. With an average asking price of $6.2 million in 2015, it is almost million cheaper than the G150 and 1.6 less than the Citation Sovereign. The Learjet 60XR is cheaper still ($4.8 million), however, it is also a much smaller plane and has less flight range. With all of its traditional advantages, reliability, and versatility – even taking into account the occasional shortcoming – the Hawker 900XP can be considered an ideal choice in the midsize segment.