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.
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.
General aviation advocate and former Cessna Aircraft chief Russ Meyer received the Wichita Aero Club Trophy on Saturday. In introducing Meyer before he was bestowed with the Wichita Aero Club’s highest honor, NBAA chairman and CEO Ed Bolen called him “one of the most significant figures in general aviation history.” Meyer joined Cessna in 1974, and over his 31-year tenure there the Wichita company delivered 67,000 aircraft. He also worked to establish the FAA’s Airport and Airway Trust Fund in 1970 and was central to the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994.
Cessna Aircraft delivered 139 jets last year, down from 181 in 2012, but Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO at parent company Textron, said yesterday during the fourth-quarter investor conference call that deliveries are expected to increase this year thanks to new aircraft such as the Citation M2, Sovereign+ and revamped X. The former two aircraft were certified last month, while the Mach 0.935 Citation X is slated to get the FAA’s blessing in March or April.
Roger Whyte, who was a senior executive with Cessna Aircraft for more than 28 years before retiring in late 2010, is now the chairman of the Central European Private Aviation Association (CEPA). He succeeds Philippe Lienard, who since last February had been the chairman of the group that supports the development of business aviation in Central and Eastern Europe. Whyte is being tasked with helping guide the organization through its fifth year of growth.
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.
Bell Helicopter has received approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to perform maintenance and customization on Bell 206s, 407s and 429s under the certification of Transport Canada. The authorization includes scheduled and unscheduled maintenance; inspections, repair or recertification; component replacement; incorporating airworthiness directives, service bulletins and technical bulletins; incorporating STCs or servicing instructions; and helicopter disassembly and re-assembly.
Wheels Up plans to add Cessna Citation Excels and Sovereigns to its private aviation membership program, the company announced on Friday. The first Citations are set to become available to Wheels Up members around the end of the first quarter. Cessna is currently outfitting the first of these with Wheels Up’s blue-and-white livery and with revamped cabins providing Wi-Fi connectivity.
Textron AirLand’s prototype Scorpion twin-engine “tactical” jet, which was built by Textron subsidiary Cessna Aircraft, flew for the first time this morning in Wichita. The aircraft, flown by engineering test pilot Dan Hinson and copilot David Sitz, took off from McConnell Air Force Base and conducted “a range of handling maneuvers” for nearly an hour-and-a-half, completing the flight at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. The joint-venture company had delayed the flight for several days because of weather in Wichita.