The deal to sell Raytheon Aircraft to the investment duo GS Capital Partners and Onex Partners for $3.3 billion in cash was finalized March 26 after slightly more than three months of negotiations and legal hurdles. It marked the end of the OEM’s more than 25 years as a relatively small part of a $20 billion public corporation and the beginning of Hawker Beechcraft, a name strong on the company’s history and brands.
Raytheon Aircraft delivered 35 business jets and 27 King Airs in the second quarter of this year compared with the delivery of 28 jets and 22 King Airs in the same period last year, according to Raytheon’s quarterly financial report released this morning. The increase in jet shipments was solely the result of more deliveries of Hawker 400XPs.
Some requirements of certification flight testing are impossible to complete from the home airfield, no matter where that may be. In late March/early April, Raytheon Aircraft sent the second flight-test Hawker Horizon (RC-2) to Iqaluit, in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, for four days of cold-weather tests.
A Beech Starship has joined the world’s most famous flying boat and the “world’s fastest aircraft” on exhibit in an Oregon museum, thanks to a donation by Raytheon Aircraft. The three aircraft are among those displayed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. The Starship joins Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, an SR-71 Blackbird and more than 50 other historic airplanes and helicopters at the nearly three-year-old museum.
Honda Aircraft officials have decided to outsource manufacture of major portions of the HondaJet, including the fuselage and wings. The company also reiterated its plans to equip the HondaJet with a Garmin avionics suite, naming Garmin the official supplier of a system “tailored for the HondaJet.”
Four Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) technicians and two technicians from Hawker Aircraft Services have completed the training requirements for the FlightSafety International master technician designation.
Manufacturers delivered 518 new business jets last year, some 23 percent fewer than the 676 shipped in 2002, according to the annual year-end report released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Last year’s figure is the lowest level since 1998, when 520 business jets were delivered.
Beginning next January, Raytheon is scheduled to start delivering the winglet-equipped Hawker 850XP, successor to the Hawker 800XPi. Besides what Raytheon Aircraft calls "ramp appeal" the three-foot high winglets will, according to the company, improve airspeed and climb, as well as increase range by 4 percent, or 100 nm.
Taking a quasi-Southwest Airlines approach, Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options last month announced a “go-forward” plan to rationalize its fleet over the next three to five years with the goal of simplifying operations, increasing fleet reliability and reducing overall costs. The move is a big gamble, however, since roughly half of the company’s shareowners are up for renewal in the next 18 months.
Mention Wichita, and most people in the business aviation industry immediately think of Cessna, Raytheon/ Beech, Learjet or Boeing. Aviation history buffs and old-timers are likely to add Laird Airplane, Culver Aircraft, Travel Air or Stearman
to the list. But it’s a good bet that very few, if any, would even mention the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).