New-from-old jets: What’s next for Nextant?

It was recently announced that Nextant Aerospace, the US-based company specialising in re-engineered aircraft, have entered a new phase by opening its re-sale division. This is a confident step for Nextant, showing the ongoing appeal of the aircraft as it reaches the second-hand market. The Nextant 400XT/XTi is also proving a popular choice in the charter market, where newness is greatness.

Meanwhile, Nextant are also nearing US approval of its much anticipated second aircraft, the G90XT, a re-engineered King Air C90, with suggestions of a long-range jet to follow.

Here’s what you need to know about Nextant:

What is a Nextant aircraft?

Nextant Aerospace specialise in taking old aircraft and making them new. But instead of starting from scratch, they strip down an existing airframe and improve it, before replacing the engines and adding new engineering, avionics, and cabin comforts for a brand new interior refit. Currently Nextant have the Nextant 400XT and its updated Nextant 400XTi, which are modified aircraft based on the Hawker 400XP or Beechjet 400A aircraft.

Is a Nextant an old or new aircraft?

To be precise, the Nextant 400XTi is 88% new. But as far as the Aircraft Bluebook goes (an official valuation guide to aircraft), the aircraft is considered new. This also means that when customers look at the aircraft’s year of manufacture (which is a key consideration for charter customers), this is effectively  a new aircraft. The first Nextant 400XT entered service in 2011, followed by the improved 400XTi in 2013. Nextant offer a 2 year full warranty and a global support and maintenance programme for the 400XTi, which also adds to the aircraft appeal and buyers confidence.

What’s the key to Nextant’s customer appeal?

The customer appeal lies in the simple premise that Nextant are offering a ‘new’ and improved aircraft, but at half the price and operating costs.

Many of our customers at PrivateFly want an aircraft that offers the right combination of range, speed and cabin comfort – but undoubtedly price is key. Nextant takes the best of both worlds, offering the ‘newness’ that customers want in terms of its aerodynamics and interior, but with lower purchase and operating costs. For customers, being able to fly in a brand new aircraft, at up to half the price of flying in an equivalent jet, is a win-win choice.

What is technically different about the Nextant 400XTi?

The original Pratt & Whitney engines have been replaced with Williams’ FJ44-3AP engines, as well as other aerodynamic enhancements. The latest Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite is also included, which gives pilots complete situation awareness of what is happening both inside and outside the aircraft.

These improvements mean that the Nextant 400XTi can fly 50 per cent further than the original Hawker 400XP. It’s also faster and about 30 percent more fuel efficient than its original airframe counterpart (as well as most others in its class).

What is the cabin like inside the Nextant 400XTi?

The interior refit is also completely different to the original aircraft. In fact, buyers can choose from five different interior layouts, with a full galley, leather seats, and the Collins Venue system allowing the latest in entertainment as well as individual passenger control of lighting and temperature.

Inside a Nextant 400XT

The biggest change is adding a 3-seat divan sofa, with more leg and shoulder room around the four-club seating area. Even the toilet seat has seen an upgrade, with more space around it, as well as the angle allowing for greater inclusion at full seating capacity (when the toilet seat is covered and used as a passenger seat).

Seating configuration Nextant 400XTi

How much does it cost to fly in a Nextant 400XTi?

The Nextant 400XTi is about value – whether you’re buying or chartering one.

A new Nextant 400XTi costs $5.1 million to buy (whereas a 2013 re-sold Nextant 400XT is $4.1 million). In terms of charter costs, the Nextant is a cost effective choice, especially from homebase compared to equivalent small jets (such as the Phenom 300 or the Citation CJ family). As more Nextant 400XT/XTi aircraft become available on the charter market, this will also bring the costs down in terms of more availability and less positioning costs.

Do any other companies offer re-engineered private jets?

There is undoubtedly a growing trend for re-engineered private jets. JetEdge (the brand under Clifford Developments) take the same philosophy as Nextant but remodel Citation 550 & 560 model jets. For both, the formula is simple, but strikingly effective. Strip the airframe back, then rebuild it and modernize it with all the appeal of a new aircraft – but at a lower cost.

How many Nextant aircraft are available in the market?

Nextant have delivered more than sixty 400XT/ XTi aircraft globally, including to Europe, US, Australia. Some are to private owners or corporations, as well as charter and fractional programmes. With more deliveries in the pipeline, Nextant’s popularity will continue to grow as availability widens.

What’s next for Nextant?

The Nextant G90XT programme is expecting US certification shortly, and we’ll be interested to see how its success will translate into the turbo-prop category (where new GE H75-100 engines will be seen for the first time in a turbo-prop, as well as a new Garmin G1000 flight deck).

It’s then widely expected that we will see Nextant launch another in the super midsize or larger cabin segment, most likely the Dassault Falcon family or the Bombardier Challenger 600. The key criteria remains to offering “overwhelming value to potential buyers” according to Nextant’s president and chief executive Sean McGeough.

What’s clear is the Nextant concept of creating ‘new from old’ aircraft is proving a winning formula in today’s market, where value and ‘new’ appeal sit firmly side-by-side.

For more details on how to charter a Nextant 400XTi (or any other aircraft) contact us or call the PrivateFly flight team on +44 (0) 1747 642 777.