While Boisture’s assessment appears accurate, there are also signs that Hawker Beechcraft remains stuck, not between a rock and a hard place, but between a hard place and a harder place. And while some of Wichita-based OEM’s problems have their source in the current recession, others are more than a decade in the making, well before Boisture began his tenure at HBC in 2009.
What’s the air capital of the world? Thirteen partners hope you’ll answer “Wichita,” at least after they finish their marketing campaign here at the NBAA show. The campaign claims the “air capital” title based on what its backers say is the city’s position as the number-one site for aviation manufacturing, skilled aviation workers and a robust aviation supply chain.
Bombardier Aerospace announced today that production of the new Learjet 85 has officially begun and reaffirmed its commitment to a 2013 certification. With the aircraft level critical design review completed, “The next natural step is fabrication, taking parts and putting them together,” said Ralph Acs, v-p and general manager, Learjet, Bombardier Business Aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace announced today at the NBAA Convention that it completed critical design of its all-composite Learjet 85, allowing production of the light jet to begin. Development and production teams in Wichita; Montreal; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Querétaro, Mexico, are now “actively engaged” in the manufacturing validation phase, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer said.
Wichita State University has risen to second among the nation’s universities in aeronautical research and development expenditures, according to the latest information from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
With an eye toward expanding in the regional aircraft maintenance market, AAR Aircraft Services is exploring adding a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in the Salina, Kan. area.
Hawker Beechcraft is proceeding with relocation of some of the company’s facilities, chairman and CEO Bill Boisture noted during the company’s first-quarter earnings call last month.
“Cautious optimism” for the current business aviation market likely describes the consensus of opinion of the business aviation industry here at EBACE. It is, at least, the view of Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO, Hawker Beechcraft Corp., who told AIN that his plans for transforming the Wichita, Kansas OEM into “a smaller, more agile company” are progressing.
Nordam Group of Tulsa has filed a lawsuit against Cessna Aircraft, alleging a breach of contract and seeking to prevent the OEM from transferring intellectual property to a competitor, according to court documents. The claim states that unless Cessna is halted, Nordam will suffer more than $30 million in damages. Last Thursday, U.S. Chief District Judge Claire Eagan in Tulsa turned down Cessna’s request to dismiss or move the case to U.S.
Spearheading a rally of more than 2,000 general aviation workers in Wichita in March, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lauded the importance of general aviation manufacturing to the state of Kansas and the U.S. industrial base, and promised a visit to “the air capital of the world” from the President next year.