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Wed, May 16, 2012

Nextant Aerospace Acquires New Facility For 400XT Production

Expands Capacity To 48 Planes Annually To Meet Demand

Nextant Aerospace announced at EBACE Monday that it has acquired a new manufacturing facility for the Nextant 400XT, the world’s only FAA-certified remanufactured business jet. The facility significantly expands Nextant’s operations at Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County Airport, and comes as the company responds to greater than expected demand for the 400XT, which received final FAA certification only last October.

The newly acquired facility will accommodate an annual production rate of 48 aircraft, and will quadruple Nextant’s current square footage both in terms of production area and office space. The facility features a large production hangar which can handle six aircraft simultaneously, a second hangar for aircraft delivery and completions and a third which will house an enhanced aircraft painting operation. Nextant expects to deliver 32 aircraft by the end of this year, part of a current book of orders that is rapidly approaching 70 aircraft, with deliveries spread out over the next five years.

“Demand for the Nextant 400XT, in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, has far exceeded our initial expectations. The demand reflects recognition of the 400XT’s unrivaled combination of value, performance and comfort at a price about half that of comparable aircraft,” said Kenneth C. Ricci, chief executive officer of Nextant Aerospace. “We are excited to open our expanded manufacturing facility, which will enable us to increase our production rate and meet not only current but also expected demand.”

Demand for the 400XT is expected to increase, especially as approvals are received for overseas operation. Thirty percent of sales to date already have come from overseas markets, and the aircraft has completed many of the requirements for final certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which, when issued, is expected to further increase sales in Europe.

With production of the 400XT fully underway, Nextant has increased its staff to more than 150 employees today, up from 28 a year ago. Each 400XT requires nearly 6,000 person-hours to produce because of a comprehensive remanufacturing process which effectively makes it a new plane in all material aspects.

The 400XT development process employs a remanufactured airframe from the Beechjet 400A/XP aircraft, enhanced with new, state-of-the-art technology including the Williams FJ44-3AP turbofan engine, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics suite, advanced electronics, including high-speed wireless Internet service, and completely rebuilt interiors.



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