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Beechcraft 400 & Mitsubishi MU-300

The Beechjet 400 is originally a Japanese design, i.e. the Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond. Both airplane types can be easily recognised by the cockpit windows.

Typical cockpit windows of MU-300 and Beech 400

Different versions

To differentiate between the subtypes you have to look at

  • the number of cabin windows
  • the location of the emergency exit (on the right side)
  • the presence of thrust reversers
  • the top of the rudder
  • the presence of winglets

Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond, Diamond I & Diamond IA

Three sub versions of the MU-300 were produced, which you (unfortunately) cannot distinguish from the later Beechjets. It though seems that all Beechjets have thrust reversers (except the military versions), so if you see a civilian MU-300/Beech 400 without them, then you can be pretty sure that it is a MU-300.

The differences between the Diamonds are supposed to be in the number of cabin windows, but we have not discovered them. All versions have six windows on both sides. Only internal changes have occurred and the weights are changed.

Mitsubishi MU-300

Mitsubishi MU-300-10 Diamond II & Beechcraft 400 Beechjet

This is the version of the MU-300 that Beechcraft took over and produced as Beechjet 400. All eleven Diamond IIs built were subsequently converted to Beech 400. The differences, compared to both the Beech 400 and the earlier Diamond versions, are minimal.

Confusion possible with

Cessna CitationJet/Citation CJ series

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The Cessna CitationJet and Citation CJ family has about the same size as the MU-300/Beech 400, but does not have the distinctive cockpit windows of the latter. This also applies to many other airplanes of similar size.

HFB320 Hansajet

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This is the only same size airplane that has a comparable cockpit window configuration as the MU-300/Beechjet. However, the Hansajet has forward swept wings through the fuselage and tip tanks, so is totally different.

Beech 400 Beechjet, with emergency exit at third cabin window.

The MU-300 and Beech 400 have no yaw damper on top of the rudder.

Beechcraft 400A Beechjet

A Beech 400A can easily be recognised from a Beech 400. The emergency exit, on the right side, is located at the third window at the MU-300 and Beech 400 (counted from the cockpit). The Beech 400A has it at the second window. Another difference is less clear, and you will have to look at the top of the rudder for that. The Beech 400 has a yaw damper over there, the 400A does not.

Beech 400A, with emergency exit at second cabin window and six cabin windows

Detail of the top of the rudder of a Beech 400A

Beechcraft T-1A Jayhawk & T-400

Beechcraft made two versions of the Beech 400A as a training aircraft, the T-1A for the US Air Force and the T-400 for the Japanese air force. These are officially designated Model 400T.

The T-1A differs from its commercial counterpart with structural enhancements enable a large number of landings per flight hour, increased bird strike resistance and an additional fuselage fuel tank. On the outside it has only three cabin windows (instead of five or six) and lacks thrust reversers.

The T-400 is similar, but has four cabin windows and standard thrust reservers.

Beech T-1A Jayhawk

Beech T-400

Raytheon/Hawker Beechcraft 400A Hawker 400/400XP

After Raytheon Aircraft acquired Beechcraft the marketing designation changed to Hawker 400, as Raytheon thought the aircraft would fit better in the Hawker product line. The aircraft was improved as the Hawker 400XP, which is supposed to have five windows on each side, while almost all Beechjet 400As have six windows. Like the Beech 400s and MU-300s though, so we don't count too much on this...

Hawker 400XP, with five cabin windows

Beechcraft 400A Hawker 400XPR

The success of the Nextant 400XT/400XTi prompted the manufacturer to come with its own upgrade for the Beech 400A. The Hawker 400XPR is about the retrofit like Nextant Aerospace offers, so new Williams FJ44s engines and a “glass” cockpit, but then offered by the original manufacturer and including winglets! The winglets are larger than those on the Nextant 400XTi which should make it easy to recognise. Be aware however that Clemens Aviation refurbishes Beech 400As with new avionics and Textron winglets, but without the engine change. So these upgraded aircraft are not Hawker 400XPRs!

Hawker 400XPR (photo Textron Aviation)

Nextant 400XT & 400XTi

Nextant Aerospace has developed an upgraded version of the original Beech 400A that has a significantly better performance. Called the Nextant 400XT the airplane has new Williams FJ44s engines, without thrust reversers, and a “glass” cockpit. The Nextant 400XTi is the same but has small winglets. The latter should make it recognisable from the other Beechjets and the Nextant 400XT, and especially the Hawker 400XPR which has larger winglets.

Nextant 400XT

Winglet of Nextant 400XTi