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Aircraft Release Review : Hawker 4000 by RW Designs

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Aircraft Review : Hawker 4000 by RW Designs

 

The Hawker name is synonymous to British Aircraft design and production and connected to Harry Hawker and the classic WW2 design the Hawker Hurricane. But Hawker aircraft today are built not in Kingston upon Thames in England but in Wichita, Kansas in the United States by Hawker-Beechcraft. Although the road of the many different and possibly odd joint connections of this aircraft company this Hawker 4000 is still connected to its illustrious pioneer of the affordable first-generation executive jets the Hawker 125.

 

The same sweptback shape, twin-engined high tail-plane silhouette is still there, and to a point even today most executive jets still conform to this classic configuration for private personal transport across the world.

 

The Hawker 4000 started out as a larger aircraft than the existing Hawker 1000 that formed the top of Raytheon's jet range at the time. The design, then known as the Hawker Horizon, was intended to fly in 1999, with certification and initial customer deliveries planned for 2001.

The first prototype made its maiden flight on August 11, 2001,with the second prototype and third prototypes making their maiden flights on May 10 and July 31, 2002.The aircraft made its public debut in November 2002 when a development aircraft was displayed at the National Business Aviation Association NBAA) convention. As of March 2007 Hawker's orders totaled more than 130 aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in June 2008.

 

The Hawker 4000 can be outfitted to seat ten people. The aircraft's carbon composite construction gives it more interior space than many jets in its class and Interior standing room is an average of six feet. This composite construction also makes the aircraft lighter than a standard aluminum structure, allowing a maximum range of 3,445 nautical miles, and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet (14,000 m). The flight deck features a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite with EICAS, FADEC and autothrottle, and altogether 73 aircraft between 2001 - 2013 were built.

 

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RW Designs Hawker 4000

It is hard to believe that RW Designs have only been around for a few years or so (before as Jetsim) but in that time they have released an Airbus  A330-300 in two versions, Beechcraft Duke B60 and a Supermarine Spitfire. All quite different and with no common ground between all of the aircraft. Now their latest release is a private jet in this lovely Hawker 4000.

 

Quality private jets have been a rarity in X-Plane over the last few years, mostly the main one that stands out is the excellent DDen Challenger 300 and otherwise most of the others are older or updated v9 aircraft. There is a few nice ones out there, but it is in this high quality payware segments  and there are only a handfull that can live up to that standard.

 

First view of the Hawker 4000 is still the distinctive Hawker aircraft shape that was significant with the original Hawker 125 from the 60's. The point is "if it looks right, then why change it" mantra is still relevant even today, but the aircraft may look like its predecessor, but overall it is very different if more highly designed and avionic fitted out aircraft than the Hawker 125.

 

There is a tutorial with the aircraft and the route is between EGLL - Heathrow to EDDH - Hamburg. So with this review we will follow that route and have a look at this aircraft.

 

First Impressions

First look is impressive of the Hawker 4000, not as finely designed as DDen's Challenger but then again other no private jet is either. But the Hawker does look really nice and the light shows off the great lines of the aircraft and the great craftmanship of the design.

 

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Getting closer and the detailing is very good, all the antenna's and body fittings are perfect. Note the excellent body taxi and landing lights.

 

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Paneling and riveting detail is good with great low-drag air inlet NACA ducts are spread around the aircraft. Wing chrome is very good as well. It is amazing how few many developers can do authentic chrome, but it is perfect here. Engine detail is well done with full animated thrust reversers which are closed here. note the very good engine outlet design. Undercarriage is a trailing link and also fully dynamic in ground operation and in animated opening/closure functions.

 

Menu

The aircraft menu is an iPhone (positioned by both pilot's) that covers a Pre-Flight Walkaround, external GPU (Ground Power Unit), Wingflex (on/off), Passenger map (cabin) A lovely Mercedes Benz limo is thrown in with the deal, engine covers and wheel chocks with cones are all provided as the external elements.    

 

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Pre-Flight walkaround gives you 17 steps around the jet to observe the aircraft.

 

Cabin

Private Jets are defined by their cabins. And the Hawker has a very nice one indeed.

 

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A set of four leather club lounge chairs with two more chairs on the left to the rear and a great sofa on the right fills out the cabin's seating arrangements. Detail on the chairs are good, but that extra softness leather feel is just missed close up. Great wood paneling dominates and especially on the excellent galley, but none of the doors open. Note the excellent moving map, that works really well.

 

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In the rear behind the doors, is a refresh compartment with a sink and aerial throne (er toilet), far rear is the luggage compartment, which would look nice with a few bags to fill up the big space.

 

Door opening point is above the door. All the blinds are animated and can be open or closed.

 

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The cabin lighting is adjustable by the slider on the panel on the armrests, a great feature that allows you to set the correct mood for the cabin...

 

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Cockpit

The aircraft is powered down. selecting the external GPU and switching on the batteries brings the jet to life.

 

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Hawker aircraft were always known for their deep glareshield cowls, the the Hawker 4000 has a really great one with excellent instrument lighting set up in the upper part of the cowl.

 

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Another British design control has also been kept from the past heritage in the ram horn style control columns (same as Concorde). Five displays dominate the panel with the standard PFD (Primary Flight Displays) at each outer side, Map and Navigation displays inner and the engine/aircraft situation display center. Standby artificial horizon/speed/altitude sits center panel.

 

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Overhead panel is very modern and again the British Aerospace big button feel is evident. Pedestal is clean with airbrakes left, thottle (reverse) center and flaps right, trim toggles are to the rear.

 

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Displays are well done but the text and numbers are very small? from the pilot's chair position they can be quite hard to read and certainly with the map items (waypoints).  There are no display reflections either, which makes them slightly dull, as you are very used now to these reality feel features and when they are not there you notice it.

 

But there is a lot of detail on the displays and far more so when you are flying as we shall see, but the layout is very clean and makes it easy to absorb the information. I am not crazy about the yellow alert panel (it does disappear when you are running), but again the reflections would have dulled that item down to be less over bright and give it a more natural feel.

 

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Map/Navigation display is very similar to the E-Jet system which uses the same Honeywell Primus Epic Avionics suite.

Three main drop down menus cover:    Map - Plan - Systems 

 

Map menu has the map waypoint on/off selection, Progress and the "Vert Prof" (Vertical Profile) screen bottom. Plan is the route plan, but it is very small and not scaleable (zoom) which makes it very hard to use and read. The "Systems" drop down menu covers all the aircraft systems and each of the areas covered are: Status - Elec (Electrical) - Fuel - Hydr (hydraulics) -  Bleed - Flt Ctrl (Flight Controls).

 

Lower menu is two menus for switching on/off the WRX radar and TCAS.

 

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All the displays do pop-out which makes the reading or setting up easier. The panel lighting (and overhead/pedestal) and PFD display buttons are on each left and right leading edge of the glareshield.

 

Tekton FMS System

This private jet comes with something special...  a working FMS. If it looks familiar then you are not wrong, in that this is the same FMS that is in X-Crafts E-175.

 

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If you have used this FMS in the E-175 then there are only small differences using it in the Hawker and your cross-training will be relatively simple. .

 

It is still a three set route layout in Departure - Route - Arrival with SID (Depart) and STAR (Arr) set from the FMS and the route is inserted in between, when done the whole route is then joined or assembled together by executing (Exec) into the system. You can save the route, but only the center element as a .fms file. On loading up the route you have to still then add in again the Departure and Arrival elements separately to build up the completed route.

 

The "Radio" page is now the default and the excellent active keyboard input mode as designated by the green circle O in the top left of the display and white scratchpad rectangle is used by pressing the center of the FMS screen.  Anything you now type into the scratchpad will now be live from your keyboard. But note that to switch back out of "active" mode when your inputs are completed and that screenshots don't work.

 

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This is the route in the tutorial from EGLL (Heathrow) to EDDH (Hamburg).

 

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First you need to set the departure Airport (EGLL) and runway (27R) and the SID (Standard Instrument Departure) to BPK (Brookmans Park).

 

When the SID is inserted you need to go to the SID Edit to adjust the blank altitudes to match them up with the inserted altitude settings, or adjust the SID to match your own altitude departure points.

 

In this tutorial route RW Designs is using "Airways" between the waypoints and you can access these fixes via the "Airways" key RK6 (Right Key 6).

 

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Airways have a route (and number) and a you can go in either direction, so a secondary airway selection is your destination waypoint (here TOTRI) . note the "Airways" automatically insert and you don't have to save them like in adding in the standard fixes, the FMS just moves on to the next waypoint if you select "Airways" again. As this route doesn't use any of the other fixes in AIRP, VOR, NDB or FIX then if you want more information on how to insert them, I covered that area in the X-Crafts E-175 Review.

 

Finally you add in the third element of the flight plan with the arrival airport, which here is EDDH (Hamburg) and the arrival runway you want to use in RWY23. then set your STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and the route elements in SID - Route (Airways) - STAR are all completed.

 

All details of this route are provided in the tutorial with the aircraft and a description on how to construct the route. Once the route is assembled then you go to the "Progress" page and press the INIT assemble together the elements which is noted by "FMS DATA INITIALIZED" and then you can execute (EXEC) the completed flightplan into the system.

 

And the flightplan is then completed and displayed on the FLT PLAN page within the "Progress Pages". A note on the CLR button next to the DEL (Delete) button. The CLR will clear or completely wipe the route section of the flightplan to start again, so it is too easy in that to think it is just a back one step to change an input, the DEL does that and that can be confusing and a loss of a lot of hard work.

 

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The PERF (Performance) pages (three in Takeoff - Cruise - Approach) are excellent and you get a lot of detail in the displays.

 

The Tekton FMS System is good and actually easy to use once you master it, but it does require a period of practise and use before understanding it in detail and the way it assembles the three elements that make up the flightplan. Adding in preferences and other items have to be done before you initialize the flightplan.

 

Flying the Hawker 4000

 

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Start up is very easy!  Just startup the on board APU and select Bleed next to the APU startup button, then put the "Bleed Isolate" to "Open".

 

The APU takes a about a minute to start up and is shown best on the Elec menu.

 

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The fuel valve (start/cutoff) button is on the pedestal and when ready just press "Start". The whine starts and the sounds are good, not brilliant, but quite good. I found the sound was a bit low in the cockpit (barely heard in flight) but RW Designs said they would up the volume a little more.

 

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Brakes off and your rolling...  speed at idle is a bit to high so you have to correct it with the brakes, ditto with turning in that the nose wheel squeals unless you dial down the taxi speed low to turn, but you soon get used to the movements.

 

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These jets are like Ferrari's of the skies, and the Hawker 4000 is no exception. You have two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A turbofans, pumping out 6,900 lbs each, so you are very quickly up to your takeoff speed of ___  and the climb rate will let you climb to 37,000 feet in 14 minutes.

 

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The "vertical profile" is great if you have programmed the FMS with the correct altitudes, but personally I like to adjust my altitudes manually as I need to, and that counts here as the climb is quite steep. Note the great progress information on both the MAP/NAV display and on the FMS.

 

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Center glareshield autopilot is simple and easy to use except the altitude knob. that is extremely slow at the start and then finally gets faster afer a while, it makes it hard for quick adjustments. There is no "Auto Thrust" but the system will hold the cruise speed if set in the FMS.

 

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There is no doubt this is nice looking aircraft and I really like the way the light shows off the fuselage shape just forward of the engines. allowing a maximum range of 3,445 nautical miles, and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet (14,000 m) with a max speed of 0.84 (482 knts) and a cruise speed: Mach 0.82 (470 knts). There is no Mach switch over so you deal in KIAS and manually unless the speed is set in the FMS.

 

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As the light fades the Hawker looks good in the dark shades...

 

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The cabin looks inviting from the external and the tail logo lights up the rear nicely and the you have wing strobes, beacon, Recog (recognition) and pulse Recog lights.

 

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Cockpit lighting is nice and adjustable, those three huge lights light up the the displays and you need nothing more, but you will tone the light down for landing.

 

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The lights are toned down in the cabin as well as we approach Hamburg.

 

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Inboard taxi and landing lights look great on approach...  Three stage flaps at 12º - 20º and 35º don't mess with the altitude much and they give you a very low 140knts landing speed.

 

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The landing lights need a little more distance, not much but they only become active a bit last minute.

 

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And you need both landing and taxi lights to get the spread you need...

 

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Once on the taxiway they are quite good, and the wing/ice lights are good as well. The taxi and wing lights help the passengers to disembark, but the view inside the cabin is inviting at night.

 

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There was no way to see the thrust reversers at night, but the operation and animation is very good, but there is no "REV" note on the panel?

 

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Liveries

There are one blank (white) livery and the default N119AK is very nice, but the other three are a bit uninspiring, 3rd party painters love these aircraft so maybe we will get a few nice designs on the downloads.

 

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Summary

Comparisons with DDen's excellent Challenger 300 is always going to be the deal with any new private jet. The Hawker is not in that exceptional class, but it is certainly the best second private jet now available for X-Plane...  overall this is a very nice aircraft.

 

There are some great features with the Hawker and even the Challenger does not have a working FMS in which we do have here.

 

A few areas need a little more fine tuning and the missing reflections on the windows and certainly on the displays are noticeable in this high end quality period of X-Plane, but the aircraft is so nice to look at and the cabin is a really nice place to spend some time in with the replays that you want to spend time and enjoy the aircraft from both aspects.

 

But this is certainly another level of quality and design from RW Designs as well, there has been a lot more development on this Hawker than all the rest of their releases put together and that does show here and that brings them up to another level in the eyes that enjoy these great aircraft.

 

So yes I really like this Hawker 4000, and even the few British bits left over from the past, in other words it is a real Hawker aircraft that Harry Hawker would have been really proud of.

 

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Yes! the Hawker 4000 by RW Designs is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Hawker 4000

 

Price is US$39.50

 

Features Include:

 

Tekton Flight Managment System by Steve Wilson

·         SIDs, STARs, Transitions, Approaches, Airways

·         Aircraft progress data supplied to MAP display

·         Compatible with Aerosoft and Navigraph custom data

·         Performance page with fuel, weight and balance entries

·         V speed calculation and audible call outs

·         Highly versatile and powerful navigation unit

Visual
-Professionally developed 3D interior and exterior.
-Wingflex
-Hundreds of animations mimicking real aircraft function
-Night lighting
-UHD 4K textures
-Normal mapping
-6 Liveries
-Paintkit included

Custom Systems
-All displays are powered via SASL
-Main displays pop-up for a more enjoyable flying experience
-Custom navigation display with plan mode
-Vertical Profile display
-Menu Based Systems
-Electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic systems modelled.
-Custom Autopilot Logic

 

Requirements :

X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition) - running in 64bit mode 
Windows, MAC or Linux - 64 bit Operating System required
4Gb RAM - 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb VRAM Recommended
 

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Installation : Download is 193.00 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Private Jet folder (there isn't one in X-Plane so I created my own!) at 270.00mb.

Documents : Documents included are an Aircraft Operating Manual and a Flight Tutorial.

 

RW Designs - Support forum

 

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Review by Stephen Dutton

25th October 2016

Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins:  Headshake by SimCoders (free)

 

Scenery or Aircraft

- EGLL - Airport London Heathrow by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$27.56

- EDDH - Airport Hamburg by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.34

 

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