With Chinese deal off, Beechcraft has welcome new name, focus

The latest turn of events in Hawker Beechcraft’s bankruptcy raises new questions for workers and the community, but at least ends the worrying about the company’s future under Chinese ownership. Wichita should welcome the stand-alone company’s familiar new name, Beechcraft Corp., and narrowed focus on the products it makes most profitably – turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft – and its high margin parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses. The proposed $1.9 billion purchase by Superior Aircraft Beijing always seemed like a stretch, and left a question mark over the defense business. (At least the Wichita company gets to keep Superior’s $50 million deposit.) Now the concern shifts to what will become of the Hawker jet lines. “The go-forward business plan we have developed with our creditors ensures that we will emerge from this process in a strong operational and financial position, with an enhanced ability to compete well into the future,” Hawker Beechcraft CEO Steve Miller said in a Thursday statement. Now elected officials need to be engaged with Miller and other executives to ensure that Wichita and Kansas are as crucial to Beechcraft’s future as they’ve been to its past.