In the wake of news that Boeing plans to close its defense, space and security operations in Wichita by the end of 2013, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) has helped launch an aviation task force to develop strategies that will promote the city’s aviation industries.
Hawker Beechcraft received type certification for the Hawker 900XP midsize business jet from the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) Aviation Registry in Russia, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The twinjet can reach any point in Europe from Moscow or St. Petersburg, according to Hawker Beechcraft. With the Russian approval, the Hawker 900XP has obtained type certification from more than 50 countries.
The economy is getting better, which means some things may be getting worse. That’s how it appears as the business aviation industry slowly and haltingly starts to emerge from a long and deep recession and a search begins for skilled labor to fill the growing number of openings.
Wichita’s future as an aircraft manufacturing hub has appeared less than rosy of late, but the outlook took a turn for the better with news today that Bombardier plans further expansion of its Learjet facilities there. This morning, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi announced the expansion of the company’s flight-test center in Wichita, in addition to establishing a center of excellence for engineering and information technology, adding new facilities for paint and production flight-testing and building a new aircraft delivery center in the self-appointed Air Capital of the World.
In a statement released December 14, Standard & Poor’s rating services said its ratings and outlook on Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) are not affected by the aircraft manufacturer’s retention of Perella Weinberg Partners to help assess its revolving credit agreement, the terms of which were last amended more than two years ago. The HBC decision followed Standard & Poor’s December 1 announcement that it would cut its credit rating of HB to Caa3, saying the manufacturer may be facing a distressed debt restructuring.
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.