To help build sales momentum as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Hawker Beechcraft is offering a free upgrade to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite for customers who purchase a King Air 250 or 350i by February 28. The Fusion system features touchscreen primary and multifunction flight displays, as well as wireless updates of all flight-related databases and wireless downloading of maintenance information. According to Hawker Beechcraft, the upgrade also comes standard with synthetic vision and a graphical flight management system.
Nextant Aerospace named Sean McGeough as president today to help the Cleveland-based company build on its growth with the remanufactured 400XT. McGeough, previously Hawker Beechcraft president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, will concentrate on developing strategies that will allow Nextant to boost its global market penetration. Since late 2011 the company has delivered 25 Nextant 400XTs to buyers on four continents and has a sales backlog exceeding $175 million.
Piper Aircraft appointed James Funk as vice president of operations today, a position where he will be responsible for aircraft manufacturing operations, production engineering, logistics and quality. He brings nearly 30 years of operations management, manufacturing engineering and program leadership experience to Piper. Before joining Piper, Funk was Bombardier Learjet’s general manager of operations for the Learjet 85 program. Before that, he was vice president of operations for Hawker Beechcraft and its predecessor, Raytheon Aircraft.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an order on Monday authorizing Hawker Beechcraft to assume an earlier agreement with Pilatus Aircraft, resolving a claim by the Swiss OEM against the Wichita aircraft manufacturer. Pilatus had alleged that Hawker Beechcraft continued to build and deliver T-6 trainers before and following the May bankruptcy filing without paying royalties on intellectual property in production of the aircraft. The T-6 and AT-6 are both based on a Pilatus design.
At an omnibus hearing on December 11, the progress of Hawker Beechcraft toward emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection moved ahead with court authorization to enter into the debtor-in-possession (DIP) amendment and to pay certain related fees and expenses.
The King Air 350i is now Beechcraft’s biggest airplane, but the 350ER version takes the turboprop twin a few steps further, adding enough extra fuel to stay aloft for up to 12 hours in loiter mode or power along at more than 260 knots for nearly 2,300 nm, all while carrying one pilot and six passengers and with NBAA IFR reserves. Maximum range is as far as 2,650 nm.
JP Morgan is stirring the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy pot, suggesting in its December Aerospace and Defense: Balance of Power report that “acquisition of the company is still possible.” The financial services company named Embraer, Textron (parent of Cessna and Bell Helicopter) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream and Jet Aviation) as entities that might benefit from such a deal.
The analyst added, “We anticipate that other companies may be interested in acquiring Beechcraft if the price is right as we see a good strategic fit in several cases.”
The Middle East is continuing its trend in the growth of new aircraft deliveries, according to data released this week at MEBA 2012 by Hawker Beechcraft, which says it is picking up a good proportion of new orders for turboprops.
Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) took another step toward emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday when it received authorization from the bankruptcy court to sell its remaining inventory of Hawker 4000s.
Sierra Industries has added a new maintenance facility at San Antonio International Airport. The site might fill the void left by the closure of a Hawker Beechcraft factory service center. Sierra CEO Mark Huffstutler said, “Since our earliest days we have dedicated ourselves to taking the best legacy aircraft and making them better.