Raytheon/Beech Government Historical Overview


During World War II, more than 14,000 Beechcrafters produce some 7,400 airplanes for the United States and Allied armed forces. It is estimated that 90 percent of all U.S. Army Air Corps bombardiers and navigators are trained in AT-7 and AT-11 aircraft — derivatives of the Beechcraft Model 18.

Following the war, in 1947, Beech introduces the Model 35 Beech Bonanza. The new Beech is a high-performance, single-engine, business airplane. Its record for continuous production is still lengthening.


In 1975, Beech delivers the first C-12 — the military version of the Beech Super King Air 200 — to the U.S. Army. Today, all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces — Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps — fly C-12s in various configurations. The Navy also uses Beech T-34C jetprop trainers for primary flight training, and versions of the Beech King Air Model 90, designated T-44A, for multi-engine training.


In February 1990, U.S. Air Force officials announce the selection of the Beechjet for its T-1A Jayhawk program to train tanker and transport pilots. With all contract options exercised, Beech Aircraft is to provide 180 Beechjets to the Air Force for specialized undergraduate pilot training.

In September 1990, Beech Aircraft commits to compete for the U.S. Air Force and Navy Joint Primary Aircraft Training System. The Beech team offers a missionized version of the Pilatus PC-9 to be called the Beech MkII, an advanced, high performance primary trainer.

On January 17, 1992, Beech delivers the first T-1A Jayhawk to the U.S. Air Force in ceremonies near the company’s jet assembly line.
At the end of 1994, U.S. Air Force exercises sixth option for 32 T-1A Jayhawks worth $127 million, bringing the total order to 180 aircraft worth $755 million.

The Beech MkII is chosen as the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy’s next-generation primary trainer aircraft in a highly competitive selection process on June 22, 1995. The multibillion-dollar program calls for the production of more than 700 aircraft. The joint services would soon name the aircraft the T-6A Texan II.

Also in September 1995, the first Hawker 800XP (Extended Performance) is delivered to a customer. The Hawker 800XP represents the first upgrade of the Hawker line since its acquisition by Raytheon Company.

In the summer of 1997, the company delivers the 180th and final T-1 Jayhawk pilot trainer to the U.S. Air Force.

In July 1998, the first production T-6A Texan II makes its maiden flight. Four other production aircraft would join the first to conduct flight tests in preparation for first delivery in 1999.