Hawker Beechcraft Corporation Celebrates Beechcraft 75th Anniversary

Events and activities will occur throughout the year, including special Beechcraft celebrations at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual Air Venture show in July as well as an open house in September in conjunction with the American Bonanza...


1940s

• During World War II, more than 14,000 Beechcrafters produce some 7,400 airplanes for the United States and Allied armed forces. It is estimated that 90 percent of all U.S. Army Air Corps bombardiers and navigators are trained in AT-7 and AT-11 aircraft — derivatives of the Beechcraft Model 18.

• Following the war, in 1947, Beech introduces the Model 35 Beech Bonanza. The new Beech is a high-performance, single-engine, business airplane. Its record for continuous production is still lengthening.

1960s

• In 1961, Beech introduces the Baron B55, the forerunner of today's Baron G58, one of the most popular owner-flown twin-engine aircraft available.

• In 1962, the 125 business jet was first conceived by the DeHavilland Aircraft Company as a purpose-designed jet for personal business travel. It featured a cabin with stand-up headroom throughout its 19-feet 4-inch length and first flew with a Rolls Royce Viper 520 turbojet engine.

• In 1964, Beech introduces the Model 90 Beech King Air. It quickly establishes itself as the industry standard in corporate jetprops. Today, the various King Air models maintain a market share of more than 90 percent in their class.

• In 1968, Beech enters an expanding commuter airline market with the Beechcraft 99 Airliner.

• By 1968, the 125 business jet undergoes several engine changes and other airframe modifications to reflect the latest standards. The DeHavilland Aircraft Company by that time had been bought by the Hawker Siddeley Corporation and the 125 series aircraft became better known simply as the 'Hawker.'

1970s

• In 1971, the Hawker airframe experiences its first big change – a fuselage stretch of two feet. The 600 series featured the 3,750-pound Rolls-Royce Viper 601 turbojet engine, a 25,000-pound takeoff weight and a range of over 1,500 nautical miles.

• In the mid-1970s, the Garrett TFE-731 engine is fitted to the Hawker Series 600 airframe and the Series 700 was born. The aircraft with its new turbofan engines had double the range of the turbojet-powered 600 even though they both had the same fuel capacity.

• In 1974, Beech delivers the first Beech King Air 200, which brings new standards of room, speed, and passenger comfort to a business airplane. Beech has delivered nearly 2,000 Model 200s in civilian and military versions.

• In 1975, Beech delivers the first C-12 - the military version of the Beech Super King Air 200 - to the U.S. Army. Today, all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces - Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps - fly C-12s in various configurations. The Navy also uses Beech T-34C jetprop trainers for primary flight training, and versions of the Beech King Air Model 90, designated T-44A, for multi-engine training.

1980s

• On Feb. 8, 1980, Beech Aircraft Corporation becomes a subsidiary of Raytheon Company, a diversified electronics and technology company located in Lexington, Massachusetts.

• Early in 1984, Beech delivers the first of its new pressurized 1900 Airliners to regional airlines. Today, more than 600 of the 19-passenger jetprops have been delivered worldwide.

• Also in 1984, Beech introduces the Beech King Air 300, which offers improvement in speed, performance, and cabin amenities over its predecessors.

• On Dec. 2, 1985, Beech announces the addition of the Beechjet to its product line. Beechjet is a 535-mile-per-hour eight-to-ten passenger transport and features new business jet technology.

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