GlobalParts Aero Manufacturing (GPAM) has named Jim Mercer, a veteran aerospace manufacturing executive with extensive experience in the use of multi-axis machining centers, to the position of director of operations. He reports to COO Malissa Nesmith. Mercer came to GPAM from Spirit AeroSystems, where he served as senior director of global quality. In 2012 he was involved in developing transition strategies as a business unit leader for Hawker Beechcraft before its emergence from bankruptcy as Beechcraft.
This week Beechcraft posted its fourth-quarter and end-of-year results, showing the significant increases that brought 2013 to a successful close. The figures were welcome to the company as it ended its first year of trading as a stand-alone entity, prior to the expected acquisition by Textron that is due to be completed in the first half of this year. The Wichita, Kansas-based company delivered 205 civil aircraft in 2013, compared with 125 in 2012. Adding to 2013’s figure was the delivery of 34 military trainer aircraft.
King Air deliveries climbed 52 percent last year, according to fourth-quarter and year-end 2013 delivery data released yesterday by Beechcraft. Shipments of the three in-production King Airs–the C90GTx, 250 and 350i/ER–rose from 89 in 2012 to 135 last year.
Aircraft sales and support company Hawker Pacific (Booth H65, Chalet CD31/32) is celebrating the two-year anniversary of the opening of its new facility at Seletar Aerospace Park here this week. It is showcasing its portfolio of services and presenting several aircraft on static display.
“We have a busy program of events, a fantastic line-up of aircraft and participation of our key partners and principals,” promised Tony Jones, COO Hawker Pacific Asia. “We will also be making a number of exciting announcements,” he added.
The first three aircraft in Beechcraft’s Hawker 400XPR upgrade program are undergoing final airframe modifications, the Wichita aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The first customer aircraft had a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system installed last year as part of the upgrade, and it recently returned to Beechcraft for additional modifications, including the installation of winglets and Williams FJ44-4A-32 engines. The second and third aircraft are also receiving new engines and winglets. They are expected to be finished in the first half of this year.
In one of the biggest consolidations in the business aviation industry since Bombardier Aerospace combined Canadair, Learjet, de Havilland and Short Brothers in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Cessna Aircraft parent Textron announced on December 26 that it will acquire Beech Holdings LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corp., for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close by the middle of this year.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) selected Beechcraft to provide a new pilot training system. The service will acquire 11 T-6C Texan II turboprops. Beechcraft’s local partner, Safe Air, together with CAE, will provide the rest of the “comprehensive” package.
Scott Donnelly, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft parent company Textron, said his company’s acquisition of Beechcraft has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from both Cessna and Beechcraft customers. The deal, announced December 26, is expected to close by the middle of this year.
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.