Beechcraft celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the King Air 90 prototype yesterday with three-aircraft formation fly-bys of the company’s current-production King Airs–the C90GTx, 250 and 350i–over its home base at Beech Field in Wichita. The King Air is the best-selling business aircraft in the world, with nearly 7,200 delivered and more than 60 million flight hours logged worldwide.
Business aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace appointed JetHQ as its exclusive sales agent for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey and Lebanon. These countries represent some of the most active private aviation markets in the Middle East, Nextant said. JetHQ and its Dubai-based managing director, Garett Jerde, will play a “key role” in expanding Nextant’s sales, marketing and customer service strategy in the region, it said. JetHQ has brokered a variety of business aircraft in the region, including those from Beechcraft, Hawker, Bombardier, Gulfstream and AgustaWestland.
Cutter Aviation’s Phoenix facility has been selected by Beechcraft as an authorized service center (ASC) for the Beechjet/Hawker 400XP series. Cutter became an ASC for the King Air turboprop line and Beechcraft’s piston-powered Bonanza and Baron earlier this year. Cutter also holds ASC status for the Baron and Bonanza in Addison, Texas, and for the King Airs and piston aircraft at its Albuquerque, N.M. facility. Beechcraft is supporting its jet lines, even though they are out of production.
The FAA has proposed levying a $304,000 civil penalty against Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation for allegedly conducting 19 flights following improper application of de-icing fluid. The FAA maintains that Great Lakes flew Beech 1900Ds out of Hays, Kan., in January 2011 with de-icing fluid that exceeded the maximum temperature of 180 degrees F. The Great Lakes de-icing manual states that fluid heated to more than 180 degrees could damage the aircraft or the de-icer.
Great Lakes had 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s December 2 enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
Demand at Beechcraft for special-mission variants of the King Air is growing at a rate the Wichita OEM finds at least gratifying and at most downright exciting.
Beechcraft announced that Textron has agreed to acquire Beech Holdings, the parent of Beechcraft Corp., for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. Under the terms of the transaction, Textron will acquire the Hawker 4000 and Premier IA type certificates.
Textron and Beechcraft Corp. announced late yesterday that Textron has agreed to acquire Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corp., for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. This confirms rumors swirling over the past few months.
Friday’s market chatter that Textron is set to acquire Beechcraft had still drawn no official comment either party as of press time. A December 20 report in the Financial Times citing only “people familiar with the matter” was enough to drive Textron’s share price up on Wall Street by almost 15 percent at one point to close at $37.29 by the end of the day.
Beechcraft has sold more than 50 King Air twin turboprops for special missions this year, according to Dan Keady, the company’s senior v-p for special missions. “That’s double last year’s total,” he told AIN.
Beechcraft recently certified a range of wireless in-flight connectivity equipment to fit low- and high-occupancy aircraft and has begun installations.
ATG 2000, a new Aircell equipment package that provides Gogo Biz Internet and voice service, is available with certified Wi-Fi as an upgrade through Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) for most Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft.