Category Archives: Beechcraft Corp.

Wichita aviation on display at Aero India

Wichita planemakers are showcasing aircraft in India this week at the Aero India biennial aerospace show, which runs Wednesday through Sunday.

Hawker Beechcraft is displaying its Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop, while Cessna Aircraft is showcasing its Caravan turboprop and Citation jets.

“India is expected to be amongst the world’s fastest growing economies in 2013 and stands to benefit hugely from a national expansion of business aviation, both for domestic and international travel,” Bill Harris, Cessna vice president of sales in Asia and the Asia Pacific, said in a statement. “Cessna is optimistic that legislative and regulatory reforms this year will remove several barriers to India’s aircraft market development.”

One of India’s pressing needs is to improve its intra-state air links, Harris said.

Hawker Beechcraft director of sales in India Todd Hattaway said the company sees a growing demand for its aircraft used in special mission applications throughout the country.

More than 20 King Airs are registered to state or federal government organizations in India, the company said. The majority provide VIP transportation for interstate and cross-country travel.

Eighty-two percent of new turboprop business aircraft delivered in India from 2002 to 2011 were King Air products; 83 percent of the total fleet of registered business turboprops in the country are King Airs, the company said.

Bombardier Aerospace is also in India with its Challenger 605 and Global 6000 jets.



Hawker Beechcraft appoints Ted Farid head of Asia-Pacific sales

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. has appointed aviation veteran Ted Farid as vice president of sales for the Asia-Pacific region, which includes North and South Asia and India.

Farid joined the company in 1996 and most recently served as senior vice president for international sales and new business development.

He also has held leadership positions in international sales and marketing at Bombardier Learjet and Cessna Aircraft Co.

Farid holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, Calif., and is a private pilot.


Hawker Beechcraft runs King Air promotion as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy

Hawker Beechcraft wants to gain momentum for 2013 as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy a smaller, restructured company, it said.

Customers who buy and take delivery of a King Air 250 or King Air 350i by Feb. 28 will receive credit for a Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrade at no cost, the company said in a press release.

The primary and multi-function touch-screen flight displays come with synthetic vision and a graphical flight management system.

Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 3.

It plans to emerge from the restructuring a smaller company focused on King Air and Beechcraft products and its military and aftermarket business.

A hearing seeking confirmation from the bankruptcy judge of the company’s restructuring plan is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Hawker Beechcraft is planning to emerge from bankruptcy in the second half of February.


Hawker Beechcraft to start rolling furloughs for 240 employees

Hawker Beechcraft plans to put into place rolling furloughs for about 240 employees working on T-6 and AT-6 production, the company said.

Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company continues to build and deliver T-6 military trainers to the U.S. government as part of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training Systems contract, it said.

It’s currently in negotiations with the government for the next lot of airplanes.

“To allow this negotiation process to be completed and synchronize output to customer demand, the company is initiating a rolling furlough on its T-6/AT-6 production line in Wichita. They will be scheduled throughout the year and include approximately 240 hourly employees,” Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Nicole Alexander said in an e-mail.

The schedule is still being determined, Alexander said.



Results mixed for a key indicator of business jet sales

The North American market for business jets is improving, although weakness remains in some key indicators of new business jet sales, according to a new report by UBS Investment Research.

“We continue to believe that the largest bizjet market, North America, is improving, driven by replacement demand postponed during the downturn,” according to the report by UBS analyst David Strauss.

Business jet cycles – takeoffs and landings – were 2 percent higher in October than a year ago and better than in September, which experienced a decline, the report said.

Strauss estimates that cycles are up 24 percent from early 2009, which was the trough, although they’re still down 18 percent from a peak in mid-2007.

Among the six major business jet manufacturers, Dassault was the only one to see cycle improvement in October. Bombardier, Cessna Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft and Embraer saw declines, while Gulfstream cycles were relatively flat, the report said.

Takeoffs and landings of long-range aircraft dropped 3 percent in October, while short- and mid-range aircraft cycles were down 2 percent each.

Analysts, manufacturers and others watch a variety of indicators, which include the number of takeoffs and landings, to predict demand for business jets.


Hawker Beechcraft appoints new senior vice president of special missions

Dan Keady, former Hawker Beechraft vice president of international sales for China, Asia Pacific and India, is the new senior vice president of special missions for Hawker.

In his role, Keady is responsible for the continued development and expansion of the company’s special mission business.

He joined the company in 1996 as sales director of international jet special missions and has taken on inreasingly more responsibility since, the company said.



Wichita mayor responds to remarks about Obama’s corporate jet statement in presidential debate

Minutes after President Obama said that corporate jet owners should pay more taxes, former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton e-mailed Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer asking for his help in getting the truth out about the positive impact of the business jet market — one that employs thousands of people in Wichita and around the country.

Brewer, who attended the Democratic convention, responded to Pelton in an e-mail on Saturday, saying that he shares Pelton’s concerns.

In 2009 and 2010, he sent letters to Obama, urging him to pay attention to the “economic value of this critical industry,” Brewer told him.

“Since the issuance of those letters, my position has remained the same,” he said.

Pelton’s e-mail noted that it took Obama not more than 30 minutes to comment on business jets.

“Why wouldn’t we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets?” Obama asked before 58 million viewers watching the debate. “My attitude is, if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it.”

Obama was referring to the ability to depreciate a new jet faster when purchased for business purposes. That ability expires at the end of 2012 unless it’s extended.

“Within 30 minutes into the debate tonight, the President made the comment that people who own business jets should pay more taxes,” Pelton said in the e-mail.

“This statement is simply ill informed as to who operate business jets and more important, damning to the great people who work on the production lines here in Wichita.”

The business climate for the industry continues to be at an “all-time low,” Pelton said. And the lack of recovery continues to plague Wichita manufacturers. Obama’s remarks are infuriating, because it ignores the positive impact the industry brings to the economy, he said.

Last year, Brewer noted that he joined other state and community leaders in welcoming U.S. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood to Wichita, where he spoke at Cessna.

“Our message was clear: Aviation is vital to the nation’s economy and to the President’s goal of doubling exports,” he said.

“Going forward, I will continue to defend the aviation industry, and will make every effort to take our message to our President,” Brewer wrote.

Hawker Beechcraft delivers four of six trainers to Mexican Air Force

Hawker Beechcraft Defense Co. delivered four of six T-6C-plus military trainers to the Mexican Air Force last week, the company said.

The trainers were delivered in a ceremony at Santa Lucia Air Force Base in Reyes Acozac, Mexico.

The two remaining trainers are to be delivered by Sept. 16, in time for Mexico’s Independence Day celebration, the company said.

The order was the first for the T-6C-plus enhanced version of the T-6 military trainer.

It is capable of carrying external stores and delivering practice weapons for training purposes, and will replace the Mexican Air Force’s aging PC-7 fleet.

The Air Force will use the new trainers for intermediate to advanced tactics, including air-to-ground weapons employment capabilities and training.

Four flight instructors for the Mexican Air Force completed six weeks of flight training at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita.

Hawker Beechcraft adds Portuguese language website

Hawker Beechcraft has launched a Portuguese language website, it announced during the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this week.

The website mirrors its English language website and is the third in a series of language translations the company is making.

Websites in Chinese and Spanish were added last year.

The change comes as the company continues to focus on the international markets, it said.

Hawker Beechcraft to cut 170 jobs in Little Rock, Ark.

Hawker Beechcraft is distributing 60-day layoff notices to 170 employees at its Little Rock, Ark., facility.

The layoffs cross multiple levels and functions and hourly and non-hourly employees, it said in a letter to employees.

“The company continues to evaluate and balance production rates throughout a difficult and rapidly changing environment,” the letter said. “Over the last several months, we have worked to appropriately size our business, primarily in Wichita. Today, we are faced with additional challenging decisions that involve further resizing our work force.”

Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 3.

Its Little Rock facility completes and delivers Hawker business jets to customers.

“This continues to be an unprecedented time for our company and our employees,” the letter said. “We encourage you to uphold a pattern of respect and care for our impacted colleagues during this time.”

Hawker Beechcraft officials declined comment beyond what was in the letter.