G150 vs. Hawker 850XP

Jet Comparison: Gulfstream G150 and the Hawker 850XP

It is somewhat difficult to compare the Gulfstream G150 and the Hawker 850XP, since they are about as similar as to each other as two jets made by different companies can be. Despite the fact that the former was made by Gulfstream Aerospace in Israel, and the latter was made by Raytheon in the UK, the jets are uncannily similar. Probably the biggest difference between the G150 and the Hawker 800XP is cabin size. Although both cabins are typically configured to hold eight passengers, the cabin of the Hawker 850XP is longer by 3 feet, 8 inches. The difference in height and width between the two cabins is small enough to be negligible, but the overall distance in total cabin volume is significant: the Hawker 850XP’s 604 cubic-foot cabin is 139 cubic feet larger than the G150’s. The Gulfstream G150 does win in terms of baggage volume: it can hold 80 cubic feet of baggage (50 cubic feet in an external compartment, 30 cubic feet in the cabin) while the Hawker 850XP has space only for 50 cubic feet. An added plus, if the planned use for the private jet includes hauling around lots of luggage, is that the G150’s 50 cubic-foot external baggage compartment can hold 1,100 pounds. You may ask why more than half a ton of baggage would be necessary on an eight-person private jet. The standard size and weight limit for carry-on bags on commercial airlines is 22’’x18’’x10’’ and 45 pounds, respectively. If the baggage compartment of the G150 were to be filled up completely, it could hold 22 of these standardized carry-on bags with 200 pounds to spare. In other words, any owner of the G150 will be hard pressed to actually load his baggage compartment to its maximum weight limit (although one cubic foot of solid lead would do the trick). Both private jets use two Honeywell TFE731 engines, but the G150 uses the TFE731-40AR-200G model, while the Hawker 850XP uses the TFE731-5BR model. The difference is that the engines used on the G150 produce 240 fewer pounds of thrust on takeoff, but have a required inspection interval of 5,000 hours – a full 800 hours later than the required inspection interval of the 850XP’s engines. If the difference in engines is slight, the difference in takeoff performance is even more so. On a sea level runway with a temperature of 77 ˚ F, the G150 can take off in 5,012 feet, and the Hawker 850XP can take off in 5,032 feet – again, the difference is negligible. The difference becomes at least noticeable on a runway of 5,000 feet at the same temperature – the G150 requires 8,120 feet to take off, while the Hawker 850XP requires 7,952 feet. There is a significant variation in range between the two private jets: the maximum range of a Gulfstream G150 is 2,977 nautical miles, 321 nautical miles further than the Hawker 850XP can fly. Furthermore, the G150 can climb to 37,000 feet in 17 minutes, while the Hawker 850XP needs to 19 minutes for the same climb. Cruise speeds between the two jets are somewhat difficult to compare. The Gulfstream G150’s long-range cruise is 28 ktas faster than the long-range cruise speed of the Hawker 850XP, but it needs to first climb 40,000 feet higher than the Hawker 850XP to achieve this speed. High-speed cruises are easier to compare: both private jets achieve optimum speed at 37,000 feet. The Gulfstream G150’s top speed is 470 ktas, and the Hawker 850XP’s speed is 448 ktas. Not only is the Hawker 850XP’s high speed cruise slower than the G150’s by 22 ktas, it burns about 14 gallons per hour more at this speed. On average, the fuel burn of the Hawker 850XP is higher than the fuel burn of the G150 – the Hawker 850XP burns 298 gallons per hour, and the Gulfstream G150 burns 254 gallons per hour. Although flights in the Hawker 850XP will consume more fuel per hour in the air, the flights will, in general, be shorter. For example, when the Hawker and the Gulfstream G150 fly identical 300 nautical mile missions (with 4 passengers and required fuel reserves), the  Hawker 850XP arrives in 48 minutes, 1 minute earlier than the Gulfstream G150 – admittedly nothing noteworthy. The difference in flight times becomes more pronounced as the missions lengthen: for a 600 nautical mile mission (again, with four passengers and the required fuel reserves) the Hawker 850XP arrives in 1 hour and 30 minutes (2 minutes before the G150), and for a 1,000 nautical miles trip the Hawker 850XP arrives in 2 hours and  24 minutes (4 minutes before the G150). The last similarity between the two private jets is in cost: the Gulfstream G150 costs $13.50 million new (in 2006 figures), and the Hawker 850XP costs $13.79 million new. So, what are the real differences between the Gulfstream G150 and the Hawker 850XP? The 850XP’s cabin is bigger by 139 cubic feet, but the G150 holds 30 cubic feet more baggage. The engine inspection interval for the 850XP is 800 hours sooner than the interval required by the G150. With the G150 requiring slightly more (168 feet) runway to take off at an elevation of 5,000 feet, it actually has a longer range (by 301 nautical miles). However, the G150 burns, on average, 37 gallons per hour less fuel than does the Hawker 850XP, but is quicker, particularly on long missions So which private jet is better? In a competition this close, it’s hard to say. Although there is no clear winner, it should be understood that there is no loser, either: both jets stand out in the midsized private jet category as reliable and high-performing.