Hawker Beechcraft Corporation was founded in 2006 and closed their doors on February 19, 2013.
Even though this company wasn’t officially founded until 2006, its history began in 1994 when the Beech Aircraft Corporation and Raytheon Corporate Jets units were merged by Raytheon. This was then sold in 2006 to a consortium of Onex Corporation and Goldman Sachs, leaving the company with a lot of debt that they struggled to support.
It wasn’t until April 2012, however, that the company began to default on interest payments and there was a lot of speculation that the company would then enter bankruptcy. This occurred in early May 2012, resulting in the company accepting a purchase offer from Superior Aviation Beijing.
Unfortunately, the sale failed due to failed negotiations and the company exited bankruptcy under a new name, Beechcraft Corporation, on their own.
The late-2000s recession was particularly hard on Hawker Beechcraft, and the company laid off 490 Wichita employees in early 2009. The next month, Jim Schuster announced that an additional 2,300 employees would be laid off by the end of the year and that orders had slowed drastically. By August, 2009, the company had cut 25% of their workforce, but more cuts were needed.
One of the most notable events in Hawker Beechcraft’s history occurred in early 2010. The company, together with FlightSafety International, worked together to open a large 44,000 sq foot center. This center, the Maintenance Learning Center, was designed for technician training.
By September of 2011, the company was already saddled with $2.14 billion in debt. They then announced that due to the economy they would be slowing down the production and development of the Hawker 200.
Even though Hawker Beechcraft no longer manufacturers aircraft, their planes are still sometimes involved in crashes and in other incidents. On June 13, 2018, a 58 Baron, a privately owned plane, crashed while in preparation for an Angle flight. There were two people on board, and both were declared dead after a crash about three minutes after takeoff.
On November 10, 2015, a Hawker 800 crashed in Akron, Ohio, landing in an apartment building on the way to the airport. There were nine people on the flight, and all were killed, including both of the pilots. The reported cause of the crash was pilot error, deficiencies in FAA oversight, and operational issues within the company.
Another crash occurred on July 31, 2008, in Minnesota. A Hawker Beechcraft BAE 125-800A crashed during a landing attempt. Both pilots and all six passengers were killed and the aircraft was completely destroyed.
Hawker Beechcraft FAQ
Where Is Hawker Beechcraft Based?
The Hawker Beechcraft headquarters was based in Wichita, Kansas.
Where Are Hawker Beechcraft Planes Made?
There were multiple facilities around the world. Some of them were based in the United States, in Atlanta, Georgia; Salina, Kansas; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Others were in Chester, United Kingdom, and Chihuahua, Mexico.
What Else Does Hawker Beechcraft Manufacture?
This company focused its efforts on the manufacturing of general aviation, military aircraft, and commercial airplanes. They offered a wide range of planes, including ones that were very light, single-engined options as well as business jets, military trainers, and even twin-engined turboprop transports.
How Many Employees Does Hawker Beechcraft Have?
As of 2010, Hawker Beechcraft had 8,000 employees around the world, with 5,300 of them in the US headquarters.
Who Owns Hawker Beechcraft?
Textron Aviation acquired Hawker Beechcraft in 2014. The Beechcraft name of planes still survives in this way. The sale was for $1.4 billion dollars and required government approval.
Who Is the CEO of Hawker Beechcraft?
Jim Schuster used to be the chairman and the CEO, with Bill Boisture, and Steve Miller following. Steve Miller was known to be an expert at turning around companies and helping them out of tight spots.