Let’s begin with a brief history of the aircraft. It all started in 1962 in England with the Bristol Siddeley Viper turbojet which eventually flew as the DH.125 Jet Dragon then the HS.125 after de Havilland became a division of Hawker Siddeley. Over the years, other manufacturing names would appear, like BAe, BAC, Raytheon, and eventually Beechcraft.
With firm roots in the military, a good safety record and a keen interest in mid-sized jets, the timing was right in 1983 to match the new Garrett TFE turbofans with a slightly modified fuselage and new wings. The 800 series was born with larger wings, more fuel capacity and better short field performance. Add an updated and modern interior with better utilization of cabin space and you have the basics of what would become the 800XP.
The exterior also got a facelift with a smoother nose and windscreen. This gave it less of a Space Shuttle look and more of the Lear and Challenger image.
The Hawker 800 was the first corporate jet to feature EFIS (electronic flight instrument systems).
In 1995 the XP was added to the model number with a focus on ‘Extended Performance’. This brought newer, more efficient engines and therefore better climb and cruise performance. A fresh new interior was added in 1999. The production run from 1995 – 2005 was a testament to the popularity with passengers and flight crews. Model numbers like the 750, 850, and 900 series were all just 800 series with very minor changes but, gave the marketing department something to use to attract sales.
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The name “Hawker” was powerful enough that the newly formed Hawker Beechcraft aircraft company ‘took’ the name from the legendary HS.125 design and applied it to the Beechjet 400A upgrade, creating the somewhat confusing Hawker 400XP. It wasn’t a Hawker and it wasn’t a 400 series Hawker, It was actually a spiffed up Mitsubishi Diamond. The 800XP is a true 2nd generation 125-800 after a name change when Raytheon purchased BAe’s corporate jet division and production was moved to Wichita in 1993.
There are about 300 U.S. based 800XPs and another 200 around the globe. It is not really known for economics but more for safely conveying VIPs from point A to point B. The 800 model is the one that took two hostile missile hits and managed an emergency landing with an African Head of State onboard. The wreckage was crated, sent back to the UK and lived to fly again.
I have been flying Cessna Citations recently and looking through old, untrained eyes, the Hawker 800XP is a dead ringer for the Cessna Citation X or maybe vice versa. Anyway, this Hawker fits nicely in my hangar as the range and payload is more than the Mustang and less than the Citation X so all can co-exist and complement one another.
One big difference between the Cessna Citation family and the Hawker 800XP is that with a Cessna you have to choose between full fuel and full passenger seats and baggage. In the Hawker you can go with both and it carries a ton of fuel.
I found a recent magazine article on the Hawker 800XP - the real world version - that stated there were 477 in operation with 75% located in the U.S. It goes on to say that if you have an extra $4MM you can buy a nice used one that would have set you back about twice that amount just a few years ago.
Just this week, the aviation news headlines are about the uncertain future of the Beechcraft Hawker. Evidently the Chinese have decided not to add this company to their swelling ranks of ownership of American companies. I’m sure the real world owners are concerned about parts and services for their Hawkers. As simultor pilots, those are not our concerns. We are more interested in what it looks like on our screens with our scenery packages and the repaint of our choice.
The JustFlight 800XP Biz Jet model (330 MB download)
The exterior model is very nice with all the expected animations and appears to be highly accurate. The interior is a full package with an expansive VC and a VC cabin with one passenger. Several liveries come with the download and the one I picked for my first flight is clean and conservative. Just the way I like them. The download comes with seven repaints that are representative of a world class traveler. The FedEx livery is my favorite when I simulate working as a pilot.
I snapped a few shots during an overfly in the Orbx Oregon coast area of PNW.
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This is one of those aftermarket add-ons that you either love or hate. The proponents stress the increased range, fuel savings, and performance increases. The payback is sometimes longer than the life of the aircraft, but, if it is just the more modern look you are after that doesn’t matter. It appears the JF simulation is winglets or winglets. Hawker Beechcraft is now adding factory installed winglets as part of a revitalization program for the XP along with a host of upgrades including a major avionics package.
You do have a choice of a cabin or no cabin. The FedEx and Brazilian Air Force models have a =NC inserted on the model= line in the aircraft.cfg file.
I found a cockpit/panel photo for a real one and it looks like the Just Flight edition is a spot-on equivalent. (Real one on the Left)
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I use a second monitor and I moved the FMC, GPS and radio over to it as undocked windows. That way I can use my Saitek cockpit instruments for flying while exploring the FMC and read the manual. I guess that is multi-tasking.
I am impressed that we get as much as we do for thirty bucks (US$). There are very few rough edges and most of the switch and panel labels are easily readable on my large wide screen monitor.
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A few gauge needles are a little jumpy or twitchy. It may be my system as I am working through some conflicts with new add-ons. As soon as one developer gets it right it interferes with something else that I have gotten used to using. It seems to be one constant conflict with the various add-ons for me. This BizJet 800XP seems to be stable and not the source of any of those problems.
I like the fact that I can fly the plane straight out of the box, so to speak. There are enough familiar gauges and instruments in the panel that I don’t have to read the manual to get started. I like that.
One reason it looks familiar is the PFD and EHDI gauges are from the FSX default A321 just stacked vertically here rather than adjacent like in the bus.
I wish it had a pop-up or enlargement for the PFD but then, you can’t please everyone with a new add-on that no one else has on the market for FSX. I’m from the old school and I still like airplane systems that will import the FSX flight plans and such. I use Aivlasoft’s EFB for most of the planning and saved flight plans, and it will save in any format that I need. This is actually a neat way to introduce some of the lesser capable add-ons to Navigraph updates. I think I can upgrade the almost default GPS to the Reality XP should I have a desire to add WAAS approaches which is another nice feature.
The Pilot’s Notes is a 50 page pdf with lots of full color illustrations and enough information to convey how to use and fly the plane. Most of the guide is details on how to use the FMC. Some recommended flying tips can be found in the back with the checklists. I overlooked the Nav/Gps switch on my first scan so I brought up the pdf file, searched for GPS and found the properly labeled switch in a few seconds. (It was directly in front of my nose)
My Saitek Multi Switch autopilot NAV switch should have worked, but didn’t. I will have to look into this a little more.
I also failed to find the hot spot to remove the yokes and at the time I couldn’t see the pilot side airspeed indicator in the 5 o’clock area. I clicked all the spots that I would have placed it and failed to stumble across the magic spot. Again, a quick search of the pdf for ‘yoke’ and the first instance showed the area to click. Another nice little feature
The MFD/EICAS display shares the panel space with the GPS. This is handled with a switch that uses a right click to swap out or step through the displays.
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One of the BAe design features that has been carried forward is the large overhead switch panel. It is loaded with various switches, gauges and indicators. It is also home to several backlit information panels with easy to read systems status. You just have to remember to look up there to see the status panels. Here is where you will find the switches for the ramp animations and ground power.
I have the Saitek Backlit Information Panel, BIP, with a choice of about 50 indicators. I will have to check and see how many match up with the Hawker 800XP simulation. All the lights and fuel warning match already.
The FMC/CDU has a ton on extra information that it not normally found on a CDU. Many of the checklist items can be found among the pages. Conditions can also be selected with one click, such as Taxi, Takeoff or Cruise. I first saw this in the JF edition of the Airbus JetLiner A320 add-on. This is a real time saver, should you elect to use it. This way you know you will have the proper lights on or off at the proper time. There are four pages of status showing general information such as flap, gear, spoilers, and fuel status along with the current coordinates, weights, time and date, lights, etc..
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So how does it fly?
It flies smoothly and predictably. I am a real pilot but have never been in, on, or around a Hawker 800XP. Let’s just say for a desktop simulation I find it pleasing and as expected. This is a personal thing and I doubt any two flight sim setups are similar enough to be able to compare the flight dynamics of an FSX add on. I am usually not entertained by all the hype about how much better or worse one plane ‘feels’ or ‘flies’ in FSX. Especially by those experts who have never sat in a cockpit of anything in their life. I am comparing my thoughts to how the similar Citations react and respond.
All the animations are believable, the switches move with associated sound effects, the engine fans spin and make realistic engine sounds. I notice some of the sound files have TSS associated with them but, didn’t see any other references to Turbine Sound Studios. All the flight surfaces are animated, of course, and it ‘feels’ good to me. This makes for a nice roll rate.
This is a medium-sized corporate jet with sufficient endurance to make some long flights with payloads of your choice. The step up in the real world would be a Hawker 4000 for really long range flights. I am going to dig around and see if I can find some charts and performance graphs as the included Pilot’s Guide is a little ‘Lite’ in this area although there are lots of detailed checklists that can be printed or accessed from the cockpit.
This 800 XP makes a perfect addition to my simulator collection of corporate jets. It has nothing near the complexity or feature list of the Extreme Citation X v2.0 but the extensive animations and features with the more up-to-date panel textures of the Just Flight 800 XP edition gives the now dated look of the Citation CJ1+ a run for the money. The Flight1 Mustang remains in a class by itself with the full glass Garmin G1000 cockpit.
The Hawker line of biz jets may be the only ones that are certified to land and takeoff on almost any improved or maybe unimproved runway. It is not uncommon to see these guys on gravel, dirt or even grass runways. I read someplace they are all built like tanks.
The extensive lighting is very well done. Almost everything has backlighting. The large rocker switches have especially realistic looks with great shadowing.
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This one has more animations than your average add-on. The more I explore the more I find. The working toilet lid in the washroom is worth a chuckle. Try Shift+ E +2 for a view of the ground power unit and SUV while loading and starting. Oh, and the animated pilots have cool sunglasses and one looks a lot like me, about twenty years ago. Extensive night lighting is included with a good selection of pre-set VC views. You can look around in the cockpit, cabin or most anyplace. I wonder if I can pop popcorn in that cabin microwave?
This actually may one of the better features. It seems to do everything and anything that I ask. You can load your FSX flight plan, modify your route and save it. (This is not a commonly found feature) Lots of detailed checklists are built into the FMC. It will handle two flight plans just like the big iron so you can update and save an alternate while flying your active flight plan. You can even add or delete waypoints in either flight plan. The Cockpit Navigator is also a nice way to open and close (hide) panels using the CDU.
The sounds are in stereo and those big Garrett TFE731 engines can make for some great sounds. It comes with a layed PSD paint kit on day one so you can have a liverery that just rolled out of the paint shop or one that just landed at after a hard night of bad weather or has been through a bunch of slush and snow or anything in-between.
I’m off to make some of my own performance charts with mimimal fuel and payload and see if I can get in and out of some of those smaller Orbx airports. S45 is my current favorite and I managed a landing there but now I have to see how much wind I need on the nose and how little fuel for a maximum performance short field takeoff. I only need to fly 20 miles to fill the tanks for the next flight. I expect to see and hear low fuel warnings on takeoff.
I found this takeoff chart that is for balanced field lenghts which is a good start. I only need the takeoff roll and a clear path after Vr – rotation. I am not concerned with the necessary calculations for the extra runway needed to account for the loss of an engine prior to V1 and having the necessary runway to safely stop the aircraft. This is a simulation so I just need to have the least weight for the aircraft and the proper flap and TOGA configuration and the correct technique for real short field performance.
This is a two-pilot airplane so it can be flown from the right seat. I wonder if it has copilot callouts and I just overlooked them.
Captain, we have TOGA.
The 800XP can be started from external power using a GPU (Ground Power Unit). This is attached to a port in the tail and supplies power for charging the six on-board batteries and starting power for the 2 Garrett turbofans.
An APR (Automatic Power Reserve) system is fitted to the 800XP. This allows the pilot to pre-set power levels for a TOGA (Take-Off Go Around) or other emergency situation where power is required in a hurry. The system is simulated in this aircraft. It is armed and triggered using two push-buttons and is set using adjustment knobs and bugs on the engine thrust gauges.
Once triggered, the throttles are automatically re-positioned to the presets to deliver the set power required. Normal operations are restored by resetting the buttons.
Normal takeoff is with one notch, 15 degrees, of flaps. Use the taxi and takeoff checklists and make sure you have the elevator trim set for take-off and the autopilot is turned off. Add power, rotate at Vr, gear up with a positive climb, engage YD. Flaps up and watch your speed – overspeeding is easily achieved in the Hawker.
You will find the 800XP has an excellent rate of climb. Fuel economy is achieved through low throttle settings. The 800XP will move along quite nicely on very low throttle settings, as any good turbofan should!
Typical cruise speed is around 390 knots (TAS), using approximately 2,000lbs of fuel per hour. The fuel gauges show fuel consumed, fuel remaining, and fuel flow to each engine. Monitor these carefully if you are planning a long-distance flight. Of course, it is FSX so you can always use the drop-down menu and adjust your fuel capacity and payload. I do it all the time.
The Dump control is extremely important in the 800XP. This control operates full flaps and airbrakes in one movement and is employed once the wheels are on the ground in the landing roll. It is critical for slowing and stopping the aircraft, in conjunction with the thrust reversers, especially on short runways. This is my first encounter with a Dump control,
this is how I was able to land on a 3,200 foot runway.
Slow to 150 knots indicated for your approach and use 15 degrees of flaps. Airbrakes can also be used to slow down if needed. Modern executive jets land relatively quickly so you need to set up for your landing early and carefully. I like to make a long final whenever possible. Keep an eye on the approach indicator lights on the glareshield panel. The ‘Fast’, ‘OK’ and ‘Slow’ lights illuminate on approach to give you an quick indication of your speed management when landing.
Immediately after landing (when all three wheels are on the ground) deploy the DUMP lever to drop full flaps and spoilers. Use [F2] on your keyboard or the assigned key to operate the thrust reversers and cancel as you approach 60 knots.
I like this JustFlight 800XP BizJet a lot. The aircraft has a rich history and the simulation has good mix of simplicity and complexity. It is loaded with entertaining animations, has most of the features that you might expect to find in the cockpit of a complex, fast, and modern corporate jet. The Hawker 800XP has evolved over the years and now has the endurance and payload to compete on the world stage. This one fits between the Cessna Mustang and the Citation X in speed, payload and endurance.
The VC cockpit and panel are full featured, the FMC/CDU is also full featured, the digital readouts on the glareshield are large and clear and it all seems to work together. Add some nice scenery, a flight plan of your choice and just about any payload you can dream up and you are set to go flying in FSX or P3D.
Get it here. http://www.justfligh...ct/800xp-bizjet Tell ‘em Ray sent you.
Wishes for future upates
Pop-ups or click-to-enlarge PDF and MFD/EICAS screens. Copilot callouts.
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The 800XP BizJet is especially friendly on the frame rates. I have a high end tuned system and it never blinked. I would expect this one to run just fine on anything that runs FSX without stutters. The minimum specs can be found at the link above along with the highlights and several screenshots.
Hellfire FS liquid cooled Intel i7 2700 overclocked to 4.5 GHz, Win7-64, 8 GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 w/1.5 GB RAM. Crucial M4 256 GB SSD, WD Black 1TB data drive, WD My Passport 750 GB USB 3.0 External Drive, dual Dell 24 IN WS monitors, Full Mad Catz/Saitek hardware cockpit, Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals, Cessna Yoke System, 8 Saitek Flight Instrument Panels, BIP, Switch Panel, Multi Panel, TPM, dual power quadrants and Cessna Trim wheel. Saitek x52 Pro Flight Control System. Logitech wireless Keyboard and Mouse. Bose Companion 20 speakers. FSX w/Acceleration.
Aircraft history – Hawker BAe 125 Review – Marcil Technology Group, freely available on the web.
Hawker aircraft photos –Hawker Beechcraft 900 brochure, HawkerBeechcraft.com – incidential media use.
Cockpit photo – Axis Aircraft Sales, Inc. ‘99 Hawker 800XP listed for sale. www.axisaircraftsales.com no image info.
Scenery used in screenshots is Orbx S45 for Pacific NorthWest by Bill Womack.
Thanks to Just Flight, Ltd. for the BizJet 800XP for review.
From the online 900XP brochure – HawkerBeechcraft.com
Reviewed by Ray Marshall