Two Airframers Celebrate Major Anniversaries

 - May 1, 2007, 12:08 PM

This year will be an eventful one in Wichita as local corporate icons Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft mark big anniversaries. For Cessna, it's been 80 years since Clyde Cessna's “all-purpose” airplane made its first flight. The manufacturer, which has since produced more than 189,000 aircraft, was incorporated in 1927. Meanwhile, the newly re-named Hawker Beechcraft-which traces its roots back to Beech Aircraft-is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Walter Beech's classic Model 17 Staggerwing made its debut in 1932. Since then, of the more than 45,000 aircraft that have rolled off the company's assembly lines, more than 36,000 are still flying. Special events scheduled for this year include a celebration at the EAA's annual AirVenture show in Oshkosh in July, and an open house in September at Beech Field in honor of the 60th birthday of the Bonanza.