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Beechcraft to Emerge as Standalone, Not Chinese Company


Beechcraft's AirVenture 2012 exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Beechcraft)

October 18, 2012 - Hawker Beechcraft Corp. announced that it has been unable to reach a final agreement with Superior Aviation of Beijing and will instead emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a standalone company renamed Beechcraft Corporation.

The new Beechcraft will focus on the King Air turboprops, Baron, and Bonanza piston airplanes, and its military trainer and special mission aircraft. It will also continue its maintenance, parts, and refurbishment businesses, which have been growing recently.

It is unclear what will happen with the company's line of business jets. The new Beechcraft management is consulting with creditors and evaluating alternatives that include selling the jet product line, or closure of the entire jet business if no satisfactory bids are received.

The purchase of Hawker Beechcraft by the Chinese company Superior was announced last July. Superior did invest in the company but final details of the sale have been in negotiation since. It was not announced why the transaction couldn't be completed other than that the two sides couldn't reach agreement.

This announcement revives one of the grand old names of general aviation that was suppressed when Beech was purchased by Raytheon in the 1980s. The name was again changed to Hawker Beechcraft as ownership transferred to private investors. But the Beechcraft name and logo continued to be displayed on thousands of airplanes whose owners remained fiercely loyal to the Beechcraft name and tradition.

No schedule for Beechcraft's exit from bankruptcy was included in the announcement.


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