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Hawker Beechcraft Corp. celebrates first anniversary

March 28, 2008, Wichiya, KS – This week, Hawker Beechcraft Corp. is celebrating another milestone in its rich history as an aviation leader—the first anniversary of Hawker Beechcraft Corp. as a private company.


March 28, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

March 28, 2008, Wichiya, KS – This week, Hawker Beechcraft Corp. is celebrating another milestone in its rich history as an aviation leader—the first anniversary of Hawker Beechcraft Corp. as a private company.
 
HBC has recently announced a record 2007 backlog, record international sales, an increased workforce to over 9,000 employees, an expanded product line with five new aircraft certified during the year, while introducing revolutionary products like the composite Hawker 4000.
 
On March 26, 2007, the company formerly called Raytheon Aircraft Co. was acquired from Raytheon Company by GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs and Onex Partners. Raytheon Co. announced it had signed a definitive agreement to sell Raytheon Aircraft Company on Dec. 21, 2006.
 
“There has always been great pride in the Hawker and Beechcraft names, and as Hawker Beechcraft Corporation we have returned to the company’s heritage,” said Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO of Hawker Beechcraft Corp. “The personal pride demonstrated by all of our employees is what makes us a great company. This has been one of the most successful years in our company’s history and, on behalf of every one of our more than 9,000 employees worldwide, I am proud to say that we are Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.”
 
Although the celebration honours the company’s first year as Hawker Beechcraft Corp., the company has a rich history as a pioneer in the aviation industry. In 1932, Beech Aircraft Corp. was founded in Wichita, Kan., by Walter H. Beech when he left an executive position with Curtiss-Wright Corp. to start manufacturing airplanes from scratch with his wife and business partner, Olive Ann Beech. Last year, the company celebrated its 75th year of aviation excellence.
 
“The Hawker and Beechcraft brands have revolutionized the aviation industry and continue today,” said Schuster. “Our company’s values have not changed since the company was founded in 1932. The Beech philosophy has always been one of quality, customer satisfaction and business integrity. These values continue as our guiding principles today.” 
 
From the pioneering flights of the very first Beechcraft Model 17 biplane known as the Staggerwing – to the breathtaking performance of today’s Hawker 4000 super-mid-size business jet featuring advanced composite material – the company is rich in heritage, achievement and innovation. Schuster said to Hawker Beechcraft customers in a letter one year ago, “Our new name celebrates these accomplishments, and for the first time in more than a quarter of a century we are an independent, private company.”
 
Over the past year, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation’s accomplishments have included:

*    Celebrated the 75th anniversary of Beechcraft

*    The Beechcraft Bonanza turned 60 years old and is still the most sought after single engine piston in the world

*    HBC certified and introduced five new aircraft into the marketplace – the Hawker 900XP, Hawker 750, Beechcraft King Air 350ER, King Air B200GT and King Air C90GTi

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*    The company secured multiple large fleet orders from NetJets Europe for 32 Hawker 4000s, and BJETS based in India and Singapore for 20 Hawker 850XPs and 900XPs, with an option for 10 additional aircraft

*    More than $160 million dollars were invested in research and development and facility improvements

*    The company achieved the highest backlog in its 75-year history in 2007 with 60 percent of bookings coming from international customers

*    HBC opened its International Sales Headquarters in Chester, U.K.

*    The company opened a new sheet metal facility in Chihuahua, Mexico

*    Hawker Beechcraft Services announced plans to build a new maintenance and service center in Indianapolis

*    HBC opened the first Hawker Beechcraft Authorized Service Center in India to support its Hawker aircraft

*    The Federal Aviation Authority presented HBC with the Diamond Award, its most coveted honor for aircraft maintenance excellence at HBC’s facilities in Bakersfield, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Wichita, Tampa, Van Nuys and Little Rock

*    The company supported several local organizations through the Hawker Beechcraft Charitable Fund with contributions totaling nearly $1 million, as well as participated in many important community events at Hawker Beechcraft locations across the world.

 
“I am pleased to say that today our company is stronger than ever – as is our commitment to our customers worldwide,” said Schuster. “As we begin our second year as Hawker Beechcraft, we keep in mind the values and priorities that have made our first year a success. We will continue to deliver the highest quality products and the best service and support.”