Textron Aviation subsidiary Beechcraft is commemorating the 50th anniversary of its King Air this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The current-production King Airs–the 350i, 250 and C90GTx–are on static display at Beechcraft’s exhibit area along the flight line, flanked by the Baron G58 piston twin and Bonanza G36 piston single. On Wednesday at 2 p.m., the company will celebrate the anniversary with cake, refreshments and giveaways at its static display.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO of Beechcraft since 2009, was omitted from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
FlightSafety International promoted Brian Moore to assistant manager of the company’s Cessna learning center in Wichita. He succeeds Randy Annett, who was promoted to manager of FlightSafety’s center in Tucson, Ariz. Moore joined FlightSafety in 1990 as an instructor at the Hawker Beechcraft center, also in Wichita. He worked his way up the ranks and most recently served as FlightSafety’s relationship manager with Beechcraft. Moore, an ATP with more than 3,000 flight hours, has provided more than 6,000 hours of ground school and simulator instruction to date.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on Friday, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. While the two aircraft manufacturers are now combined within a single segment, “Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace,” the company said.
Yukon, Oklahoma-based maintenance provider Legacy Aviation has doubled-down on its investment in supporting the Beechcraft King Air line. Company president and CEO R.J. Gomez said, “Our market research indicates that nearly 600 King Airs are based within a 500-mile radius of our facility.
For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, according to 2013 year-end numbers released yesterday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Airframers handed over 678 business jets last year, six more than in 2012.
Yingling Aviation has been selected to convert a Beechcraft King Air B200 from a standard executive interior to a critical-care medical configuration. Jerry Pickett, Yingling’s v-p of customer programs, told AIN that medevac operator EagleMed will continue to fly both C90s and B200s in its mix and is not replacing all aircraft. The operator flies the King Air 90s in a single-bed configuration; the King Air 200s will have a two-bed configuration. “This latest project highlights the expanding services we offer at our facility,” he said.
GlobalParts Aero Manufacturing (GPAM) has named Jim Mercer, a veteran aerospace manufacturing executive with extensive experience in the use of multi-axis machining centers, to the position of director of operations. He reports to COO Malissa Nesmith. Mercer came to GPAM from Spirit AeroSystems, where he served as senior director of global quality. In 2012 he was involved in developing transition strategies as a business unit leader for Hawker Beechcraft before its emergence from bankruptcy as Beechcraft.
This week Beechcraft posted its fourth-quarter and end-of-year results, showing the significant increases that brought 2013 to a successful close. The figures were welcome to the company as it ended its first year of trading as a stand-alone entity, prior to the expected acquisition by Textron that is due to be completed in the first half of this year. The Wichita, Kansas-based company delivered 205 civil aircraft in 2013, compared with 125 in 2012. Adding to 2013’s figure was the delivery of 34 military trainer aircraft.
King Air deliveries climbed 52 percent last year, according to fourth-quarter and year-end 2013 delivery data released yesterday by Beechcraft. Shipments of the three in-production King Airs–the C90GTx, 250 and 350i/ER–rose from 89 in 2012 to 135 last year.