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Hawker Beechcraft may split

| Business Aviation, Hawker Beechcraft | 2012/10/22

Hawker Beechcraft plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a standalone company.  Talks between Hawker Beechcraft and Superior Aviation Beijing Co. have ended without agreement.

The company has now announced plans to emerge from Chapter 11 protection as Beechcraft Corporation. A letter to customers signed by Hawker Beechcraft chairman Bill Boisture and executive vice president Shawn Vick said the company’s main goal is to ensure the company completes reorganization “in a strong operational and financial position.”

That may leave it without Hawker product lines “or a closure of the entire jet business,” as a result of strategic or financial considerations. The company says it will focus on other holdings, including piston lines and refurbishments, which are seen to “have high growth potential.”

“In consultation with its key creditor constituents,” the letter says, the company is “evaluating its strategic alternatives for Hawker product lines” (emphasis added). Specifically, that could include sale of some or all associated product lines. If no suitable bids are received, the jet lines could be shuttered altogether. The company says it will focus instead on those areas it has identified as having high growth potential. That includes turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft as well as parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbs. While the company’s discussions with Superior are over, it still retains a $50 million deposit from the company, which it says is “now fully non-refundable” and the property of Beechcraft. The company says it has sufficient liquidity to complete its restructuring and has announced that it will develop and file a Joint Plan of Reorganization which will be the subject of a hearing on Nov. 15, 2012.

Hawker Beechcraft agrees to deal with Superior

| Hawker Beechcraft | 2012/07/09

Hawker Beechcraft announced Monday that Superior Aviation Beijing Co. will acquire the company for $1.79 billion.

Should the sale be complete, Superior intends to maintain Hawker Beechcraft’s existing operations while also investing substantial capital in the company, and its business and general aviation product line.

The transaction with Superior would not include Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company, which would remain a separate entity.

“Superior has had a long-standing interest in the commercial aircraft business of Hawker Beechcraft, having first approached the company several years ago regarding a potential strategic partnership. With Superior’s previous experience operating a U.S. business and its demonstrated ability to quickly restore a business to profitability after emerging from Chapter 11, we believe a transaction with Superior would maximize value for Hawker Beechcraft and its stakeholders,” said Robert Miller, Hawker Beechcraft CEO. “Importantly, this combination would give Hawker Beechcraft greater access to the Chinese business and general aviation marketplace, which is forecast to grow more than 10 percent a year for the next 10-15 years. We look forward to working toward a definitive agreement.”

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Hawker 400XPR Engine Test Article Completes First Flight

| Business Aviation, FJ44, Hawker Beechcraft, Williams International | 2012/05/10

 Hawker 400XPR Engine Test Article Completes First Flight 

WICHITA, Kan. (May 7, 2012) – Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) today announced the successful first flight of the Hawker 400XPR engine test article. This was the first flight of an upgraded aircraft with new Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines.

The Hawker 400XPR upgrade combines the increased power of the Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines with the superior aerodynamics of genuine Hawker Winglets. Also available are optional Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ avionics and a number of system enhancements that significantly improve performance, operating cost and resale value. The company anticipates certification in September 2012.

“The first flight of the Hawker 400XPR engine test article is a major milestone and significant achievement for our design and production teams,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Hawker Beechcraft GCS. “Hawker Beechcraft and its partners spent countless hours and great effort to ensure the Hawker 400XPR exceeds the needs our customers require in their light-jet aircraft. We continue to see great demand for this upgrade in the market and look forward to certification and deliveries commencing later in the year.”

Hawker Beechcraft offers customized XPR upgrade packages for existing Hawker/Beechjet 400 owners as well as XPR Factory Completed Aircraft for those who do not currently own an aircraft. Both the XPR upgrade and Factory Completed Aircraft include performance, cost and reliability enhancements that are available only through Hawker Beechcraft. Importantly, the enhancements are the exclusive factory-designed, engineered and supported upgrades available for the Hawker/Beechjet 400.

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Hawker Beechcraft Reaches Agreement with Lenders to Reduce Debt, Strengthen Company for the Future

| Business Aviation, Hawker Beechcraft | 2012/05/03

Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement with a significant number of its senior secured lenders and senior bondholders on the terms of a financial restructuring plan that will strengthen the company for the future and eliminate approximately $2.5 billion in debt and approximately $125 million of annual cash interest expense. To implement the terms of the prearranged restructuring expeditiously, Hawker Beechcraft and certain of its subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The terms of the prearranged restructuring agreement will take effect when the company’s reorganization plan is confirmed by the Court and the Chapter 11 case is concluded.

As part of the prearranged restructuring, Hawker Beechcraft obtained a commitment for $400 million in Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing, which will enable it to continue paying employees, suppliers, vendors and others in the normal course of business.

Robert S. (Steve) Miller, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, Inc., said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our largest lenders and bondholders on a solution to stabilize and improve our capital structure. In the last three years, the company has made aggressive transformational changes in all operational functions, and today’s announcement represents the next step forward. Restructuring our balance sheet and recapitalizing the company in partnership with our debtholders will dramatically improve Hawker Beechcraft’s ability to compete in a rapidly changing environment.”

Hawker Beechcraft continues to operate in the normal course of business and serve its customers around the world. All orders for available products will be fulfilled and the company’s commitment to providing the best products and service in the industry remains unchanged. Further, the company will comply with all Department of Defense acquisition and maintenance contracts, as well as agreements with international air forces including, but not limited to, the recently announced sale of T-6C+ trainer aircraft to Mexico. Hawker Beechcraft is also committed to moving forward with its bid to provide the U.S. Air Force with the AT-6 in support of the Light Air Support contract.

Reorganization Plan

A prearranged Chapter 11 filing means the company has secured the support of a majority of its lenders and senior bondholders for its proposed financial restructuring prior to the Chapter 11 filing with the Court. Financial institutions representing more than two-thirds the company’s bank and senior bond debt are parties to the agreement.

Upon confirmation by the Court and consummation of the plan, equity ownership in Hawker Beechcraft will be transferred to holders of the company’s secured debt, bond debt and certain other unsecured creditors.

Business Continuity

Hawker Beechcraft will continue its operations without interruption and meet its ongoing commitments to customers during the restructuring process. Specifically, deposits and progress payments will be secure and all customer orders for available products will be fulfilled. The company believes the size of the DIP financing commitment will be sufficient to maintain adequate and stable working capital and liquidity positions. The company expects to meet its obligations to its suppliers and employees in the ordinary course during the recapitalization process.

Miller continued, “As we have worked to develop this long-term plan to recapitalize the company and strongly position Hawker Beechcraft for the future, our employees have continued to build the best airplanes in the world and provide our owners with the most comprehensive global customer support in the industry. The protections provided by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the financing commitment we have obtained put Hawker Beechcraft in a great position to continue to do so throughout the restructuring process.”

Financing

The agreement includes a commitment from certain members of the senior lender group to provide $400 million in DIP financing, which the company expects will ensure sufficient liquidity during the reorganization process. Upon approval, this DIP facility will be available to fund Hawker Beechcraft’s operations, pay its suppliers and vendors, and for other corporate purposes.

Background on Chapter 11

Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows a company to continue operating its business and managing its assets in the ordinary course of business. The U.S. Congress enacted Chapter 11 to encourage and enable a company to continue to operate while restructuring its business, thereby preserving jobs and maximizing the recovery for all its stakeholders.

Important Note

The transaction described above is subject to numerous closing conditions and is not an offer to sell securities or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities.

The company’s legal representative is Kirkland & Ellis LLP, its financial advisor is Perella Weinberg Partners LP and its restructuring advisor is Alvarez & Marsal.

This release is not intended as a solicitation for a vote on the Plan of Reorganization.

Hawker Beechcraft, Inc., the parent company of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.

Media contact:
Nicole Alexander
+1.316.676.3212
Nicole_Alexander@hawkerbeechcraft.com
www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

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Hawker 900 featured in Flying Magazine

| Hawker 900XP | 2009/10/29

The Hawker 900 is featured on the cover of the October 2009 Flying magazine.  The article is very comprehensive (and positive) and does a nice job of explaining the changes that the aircraft has undergone in the past to bring it to the current model.

Read More: http://www.flyingmag.com/pilot-reports/jets/hawker-900xp

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The Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A featured in most recent Pilot Journal.

| Hawker Beechcraft, Premier IA | 2009/09/27

The Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A was featured in the most recent issue of Pilot Journal.

The article was very thorough and also included a few paragraphs from different owner/operators.  Jack Roush is always an interesting character and made his affection for the aircraft well known.  I believe that his aircraft is painted in the color scheme of a World War II P-51 Mustang.

There are quite a few other articles of interest to the business aviation professional or enthusiast.  I would suggest picking up a copy (or getting a subscription) if you have any interest in the Premier 1A.