Hawker Beechcraft

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Hawker Beechcraft








Wichita, Kansas

Key people

Bill Boisture Jr CEO




General aviation aircraft Business jets


8000 worldwide, 6300 US headquarters (2010)


Goldman Sachs and Onex Corporation



Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) is an aerospace manufacturing company that builds the Beechcraft and Hawker business jet lines of aircraft.

The company headquarters is in Wichita, Kansas, with maintenance and manufacturing locations worldwide.


On February 8, 1980, Beech Aircraft Corporation became a subsidiary of Raytheon. In August 1993, Raytheon Company acquired British Aerospace Corporate Jets (producers of the midsized British Aerospace BAe 125 line) from British Aerospace and renamed the company Raytheon Corporate Jets.[4] In mid-September 1994, Beech Aircraft Corporation and Raytheon Corporate Jets were merged to form Raytheon Aircraft.[5] Raytheon decided to use the Hawker name to show the lineage of the series from Hawker Siddeley, Hawker Aircraft and before that de Havilland. The name is perpetuated today in the current company name.

In early 2002, Raytheon announced at the National Business Aviation Association annual convention the return of the Hawker and Beechcraft brands after having marketed them all as Raytheon aircraft.

Ending months of industry speculation, Raytheon announced in July 2006 that it intended to sell its aircraft manufacturing business in an effort to focus on its core defense-related divisions. Bidders for the company included The Carlyle Group, Cerberus Capital Management and Onex Corporation.

On 3 October 2006, Raytheon Aircraft Company commenced a US$16.3-million, 112,000-square-foot facility expansion for Hawker 4000 completion work in Little Rock, Arkansas. The expansion included a new 54,000-square foot hangar bay, as well as extensions to existing buildings to provide additional woodshop, upholstery, sheet metal and storage space.

On 26 March 2007, Hawker Beechcraft finalized the purchase of Raytheon Aircraft Company from Raytheon for US$3.3B. Hawker Beechcraft Inc. is a new company formed by the Canadian investment firm Onex Partners and GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of global finance house Goldman Sachs. Today the company is known as Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC).

2007 marked the 75th anniversary of Beechcraft and the 60th anniversary of the Beechcraft Bonanza, which is the longest running production line of all time.

In 2007 and 2008 the company increased its overseas expansion efforts. On October 25, 2007, HBC officially opened a new aerospace manufacturing facility in Chihuahua, Mexico and on March 26, 2010 appointed Hawker Pacific Singapore as its first Hawker 4000 authorized service center in Southeast Asia.

In early 2010 the company, in partnership with Flight Safety International, opened a 44,000 sq. ft. Maintenance Learning Center, for technician training.

The company in the late-2000s recession

In response to the late-2000s recession the company announced the lay-off of 490 employees at its Wichita facility in January 2009.

On February 3, 2009, CEO Jim Schuster announced that a further 2,300 employees would be laid off before the end of the year. The company indicated that orders for aircraft have slowed down, especially by fractional jet operators. Schuster said:

The government’s stimulus package has failed to sufficiently loosen credit markets, which are absolutely vital to the success of HBC and our industry…The media and some politicians have cast general aviation as a wasteful extravagance instead of a critical business tool and the source of millions of American jobs…This is an extremely painful step for the HBC family and community, but one that is absolutely necessary. While I wish I could commit to you that this will be our final action, I cannot do so at this time given the extreme volatility in the marketplace.

The company is carrying a very high debt burden just under USD$2.4 billion. The company pays $190 million per year in interest payments, or more than $500,000 a day.

After completing cuts of 25% of its workforce (2800 employees) between October 2008 and August 2009, the company indicated that further significant cuts were required. The company’s second quarter 2009 results over 2008 data showed that aircraft deliveries had fallen from 129 to 78 aircraft. The company achieved orders of US$450M during the period April to June 2009, but had orders totaling US$366M were cancelled in the same period. Overall the company’s sales were reduced from US$1.03B in the second quarter of 2008 to US$816.3M in the same period of 2009. One customer, NetJets, cancelled orders for 12 aircraft and deferred all other scheduled deliveries until the end of 2010.

In late August 2009 the company laid off an additional 300 workers, bringing the total number let go to 3100 employees.

On 31 August 2009 the company indicated that it was slowing development of the Beechcraft Premier II, moving its first delivery date into late 2012 or early 2013 due to the poor market for business aircraft. Company Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture stated: "While we remain fully committed to certifying and fielding the class-leading Premier II as designed, we must be prudent in our evaluation of the current and forecasted global economic environment. Based on these conditions, we have made the decision to extend the entry-into-service date to better align with anticipated rebound of the business jet market."

In late September 2009 the company issued 60-day lay-off notices for another 240 employees. These cuts included 87 positions on the Horizon production line and the rest in the King Air line. This set of lay-offs brought the total lay-offs to 3,553 since October 2008, which was about 36 percent of the company workforce.

The company reported that it lost more than US$63M in the first quarter of 2010, even after it cut 2,700 jobs in 2009. In July 2010 the union representing workers at Hawker Beechcraft sent a letter to its members explaining that it is in negotiations at the company’s request to deal with, as the company stated "serious challenges… a spectrum of possibilities for the company’s future footprint…the likely impact on its workforce in all its locations." The union warned its members in the letter, "The picture we are getting is of a Hawker Beechcraft Wichita that will shrink almost immediately by 75 percent or more within two years, without a guarantee of even the last few jobs staying". The move would reduce the company’s work force from 6000 to 1500 workers. CEO Bill Boisture confirmed the situation indicating that demand for the company’s products has declined drastically and permanently and that the company may move significant amounts of work to Mississippi, Louisiana, or outside the United States.

In September 2010 the company announced further cuts of 350 salaried positions to be completed be the end of October 2010. Company CEO Bill Boisture explained: "While there are pockets of growth in the global economy, the market for new production aircraft has stagnated at a very low level. Readily available, high quality, used aircraft and the lack of financing have combined to depress the prices on private and business aircraft."

On 16 October 2010, union machinists at Hawker Beechcraft voted against a new seven-year contract that would have included a 10% pay cut and higher worker health insurance contributions aimed at keeping the company from moving its operations out of Kansas. Union leadership had recommended that its rank and file accept the company’s offer rather than risk losing their jobs, but a majority of the union workers voted against the contract, citing their belief that the company will leave Kansas regardless of incentives and concessions.


  • Chester, United Kingdom
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Salina, Kansas
  • Wichita, Kansas (headquarters)
  • Chihuahua, Mexico



  • Hawker 400XP
  • Hawker 750
  • Hawker 850XP
  • Hawker 900XP
  • Hawker 1000
  • Hawker 4000
  • Bonanza G36
  • Baron G58
  • King Air C90GT
  • King Air B200
  • King Air 350
  • King Air 350i
  • 1900 Beechliner
  • Premier IA


  • T-1 Jayhawk
  • T-6 Texan II/CT-156 Harvard II
  • T-34 Mentor
  • C-6 Ute/U-21 Ute
  • C-12 Huron


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  2. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (2010). "Investor Relations FAQ". http://www.hawkerbeechcraft.com/investor_relations/faq/#employees. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  3. "Raytheon to sell jet subsidiary." Weisman, R. The Boston Globe. December 21, 2006.
  4. Flight International (18 – 24 August 1993, p.21 (online archive version)). "Raytheon ties up Corporate Jets". http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1993/1993%20-%202022.html. Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
  5. Daly, Kieran, Flight International (21 – 27 September 1994, p.5 (online archive version)). "Raytheon ditches UK plant". http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1994/1994%20-%202252.html. Retrieved 2010-03-19. 
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  8. "Raytheon expanding its Little Rock facility, Arkansas Business, John Henry". 2006-10-09. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-153517837.html
  9. "Raytheon completes sale of aircraft unit to Hawker Beechcraft for 3.3 bln usd". 2007-03-26. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2007/03/26/afx3552267.html
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  11. "Beechcraft Corp. offers surprising capabilities, Flight International, Michael Gerzanics". Flight International. 2007-04-10. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-162602105/birthdaybonanza-features-beechcraft-corp.html
  12. "Hawker Beechcraft Corporation Opens Facility in Mexico, American Maintenance Technology". 2007-10-25. http://www.amtonline.com/article/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=4629
  13. "Hawker Pacific Singapore Newest 4000 Center, Aviation Maintenance". http://www.aviationtoday.com/am/topstories/Hawker-Pacific-Singapore-Newest-4000-Center_67267.html. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  14. "Training centers draw from around the world, Wichita Eagle". 2010-03-6. http://www.kansas.com/2010/03/07/1213566/ning-centers-draw-from-around.html
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  19. Grady, Mary (September 2009). "Hawker Holding Off On Premier II Debut". http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/HawkerHoldingOffOnPremierIIDebut_201095-1.html. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
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  25. Grady, Mary (September 2010). "More Jobs Lost, At Piper And Hawker Beechcraft". AvWeb. http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/MoreJobsLostAtPiperAndHawkerBeechcraft_203349-1.html. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
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