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...

• In June 1997, Raytheon Aircraft announces the formation of Raytheon Travel Air, an aircraft fractional ownership company featuring the Hawker 800XP, the Beechjet 400A, and the King Air B200.

• In spring of 1997, the company marks 50 years of continuous production of the popular single-engine Bonanza series.

• In the summer of 1997, the company delivers the 180th and final T-1 Jayhawk pilot trainer to the U.S. Air Force.

• In July 1998, the first production T-6A Texan II makes its maiden flight. Four other production aircraft would join the first to conduct flight tests in preparation for first delivery in 1999.

• On Dec. 22, 1998 - exactly 53 years to the day from the first flight of the famed Beech Bonanza - the new Raytheon Premier I takes to the skies for the first time. The new entry-level business jet flew a successful 62-minute debut, paving the way for certification efforts in 1999.

• The new Raytheon Premier I entry-level business jet completes more than 700 flight hours toward certification, and validates all critical performance numbers.


• On March 23, 2001, the future of business aviation arrives. Raytheon Aircraft celebrates the Federal Aviation Administration certification of the new Premier I business jet. The Premier I is the first certified business jet with a composite fuselage, the first clean-sheet business jet certified by Raytheon Aircraft, and the first new airplane certified by Raytheon Aircraft in more than a decade.

• In an April 17, 2001, ceremony Raytheon Aircraft officially rolls out the second of its composite fuselage business jets. The super mid-size Hawker Horizon has transcontinental range and seating for up to 13.

• On May 30, 2001, James E. Schuster is named Chairman and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft.

• On June 22, 2001, the innovative Premier I achieved an important milestone when first delivery was enthusiastically received by Troy Eaden.

• On Aug. 11, 2001, the new super mid-size business jet, the Hawker Horizon, conducts its maiden flight. The composite-fuselage jet flew a 2 ½-hour mission from Wichita's Beech Field that tested the aircraft’s flying qualities, engine operation, low-speed handling and climb performance. The aircraft flew to 10,500 feet and operated at speeds up to 225 knots.

• At NBAA 2002, Raytheon Aircraft announced the return of the Hawker and Beechcraft brands. Both known worldwide for their high performance, reliability, and large, comfortable cabins the brands represent corporate-flown aircraft (Hawkers) and those certified for single-pilot flight (Beechcraft).

• On May 6, 2003, Raytheon Aircraft introduces the Hawker 400XP at the 2003 European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition. This new Hawker is a critical step in the company's overall strategy to create distinct branding references for our customers. The aircraft was formerly known as the Beechjet 400A.

• On Oct. 7, 2003, Raytheon Aircraft introduces the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suites for the Beechcraft King Air 350 and B200. The cockpit upgrades mark a long line of product enhancements for the King Air line, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2004.

• On Jan. 20, 2004, Raytheon Aircraft celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Beechcraft King Air. The original Beechcraft King Air Model 90 lifted off from Beech Field in Wichita on this date, and flew on to become most successful business aircraft of all time. The King Air family today remains a highly versatile aircraft line.

• On May 25, 2004, the 100th Premier I is delivered to a business in Virginia, marking the beginning of a long production run for the speedy and roomy business jet.

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