At press time Hawker Beechcraft was expected on January 31 to seek confirmation of its plan of reorganization from bankruptcy court, allowing the company to emerge [from bankruptcy] some time in February, which is when the name change to Beechcraft Corp. will also become effective.
With Hawker Beechcraft attempting to clear the final hurdle in Chapter 11 proceedings and emerge from bankruptcy, Judge Stuart Bernstein said earlier today that he would approve the joint plan of reorganization for all but one of the subsidiaries currently under Chapter 11 protection. Bernstein reserved judgment regarding the Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
Hawker Beechcraft, in what it hopes is the final phase of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, saw its employment level in Kansas drop to 3,372 as of December 31, triggering an automatic reduction in the annual incentive payment from the State of Kansas. In 2010 the company was granted $45 million in incentives by the state, based on an agreement to maintain employment in Kansas at 4,000.
Hawker Beechcraft key creditors voted “overwhelmingly” today to approve the Wichita-based OEM’s proposed Joint Plan of Reorganization as part of its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.
VisionSafe has entered into an agreement with Banyan Air Service naming the MRO an emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) sales and service center for the Southeast U.S. EVAS is an FAA tested and certified system available for all turboprop and jet aircraft that displaces smoke, enabling pilots to see the flight path and instruments during an emergency.
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.