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...


• On Feb 15, 1986, a prototype of the new Beech Starship takes its first flight. The Starship is the first all-composite, twin-turbine business aircraft. It featured state-of-the-art avionics, a large swept wing and a forward canard.

• In early 1988, Beech announces it will relocate assembly and subassembly work on the Beechjet from Mitsubishi facilities in Japan to Kansas, creating hundreds of new jobs for American workers.

• In October 1988, Beech introduces the Beechjet 400A, which features a larger interior and the most advanced flight deck available.

• In October 1989, Beech introduces the Beech King Air 350. With a wider wing span, double-club seating and two-foot-high winglets, the 350 is the most comfortable and capable King Air ever built.

• In December 1989, the Beech Starship is certified.

1990s

• In February 1990, U.S. Air Force officials announce the selection of the Beechjet for its T-1A Jayhawk program to train tanker and transport pilots. With all contract options exercised, Beech Aircraft is to provide 180 Beechjets to the Air Force for specialized undergraduate pilot training.

• In September 1990, Beech Aircraft commits to compete for the U.S. Air Force and Navy Joint Primary Aircraft Training System. The Beech team offers a missionized version of the Pilatus PC-9 to be called the Beech MkII, an advanced, high-performance primary trainer.

• In March 1991, Beech is awarded a type certificate for the 1900D Airliner, a state-of-the-art 19-passenger, pressurized aircraft featuring a 71-inch stand-up cabin, more baggage capacity, and improved passenger comfort features.

• At the National Business Aircraft Association convention in October 1991, Beech introduces the new King Air C90B, which features a redesigned passenger cabin, new sound absorbent and moisture resistant interior panels, four-blade propellers, new propeller spinners and a new paint scheme.

• On Jan. 17, 1992, Beech delivers the first T-1A Jayhawk to the U.S. Air Force in ceremonies near the company's jet assembly line.

• In August 1993, Raytheon Company acquires the Corporate Jets business from U.K. Company, British Aerospace, producers of the mid-sized Hawker jet line. It was renamed Raytheon Corporate Jets.

• In mid-September of 1994, Beech Aircraft and Raytheon Corporate Jets merge to form Raytheon Aircraft Company.

• At the end of 1994, U.S. Air Force exercises sixth option for 32 T-1A Jayhawks worth $127 million, bringing the total order to 180 aircraft worth $755 million.

• In April of 1995, the company's new Administration Building opens. A $10 million, 100,000-square-foot facility, the building provides a modern showcase in which to conduct business with Raytheon Aircraft customers from around the world.

• On June 22, 1995, the Beech MkII is chosen as the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy's next-generation primary trainer aircraft in a highly competitive selection process. The multibillion-dollar program calls for the production of more than 700 aircraft. The joint services would soon name the aircraft the T-6A Texan II.

• In September 1995, Raytheon Aircraft introduces its all-new light jet, the Raytheon Premier I, which utilizes the latest technologies in design and construction to provide outstanding comfort, performance, and value.

• Also in September 1995, the first Hawker 800XP (Extended Performance) is delivered to a customer. The Hawker 800XP represents the first upgrade of the Hawker line since its acquisition by Raytheon Company.

• In April 1996, the 3,000th Beech Bonanza A36 rolls off the production line. The 5,000th King Air is delivered in June 1996.

• Raytheon Aircraft introduces the company's all-new, super mid-sized jet, the Hawker Horizon, during the National Business Aircraft Association convention in November 1996.

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