Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and is currently in exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing, which has placed a stalking-horse bid to buy Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion. However, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer will ultimately be sold in a public auction, meaning it is still very much up for grabs.
Surviving in the aviation business during an economic downturn is easier for diversified companies like Pentastar Aviation. The company has two FBOs–one at Oakland County International Airport in Pontiac, Mich., and another at Van Nuys Airport in Southern California. “It’s been tough sledding,” admitted Edsel B. Ford II, who bought the operation called DaimlerChrysler Aviation on Oct.
The new owner of Pentastar Aviation is described as an “aviation enthusiast,” and his acquisition of the former DaimlerChrysler Aviation is his first venture into an aviation service company. Edsel Ford II was elected to the board of directors of Ford Motor Co. in 1988. His career at Ford spanned more than 25 years. He was named president and COO of Ford Motor Credit Co. in May 1991 and elected a company vice president in December 1993.
“There’s a Ford in your future,” proclaimed a 1944 Ford Motor Company advertisement. Fifty-seven years later, DaimlerChrysler found a Ford in its future, and an Edsel as well, when the great-grandson of Henry Ford bought DaimlerChrysler Aviation in 2001. Today, Edsel B. Ford II, 47, still chuckles from time to time at the irony of a Ford owning the company that began in 1964 as Chrysler Air Transportation.