The former Hawker Beechcraft, now known simply as Beechcraft, has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a “dramatically reduced debt load” and “a stable, restructured balanced sheet,” announced the company on Feb. 19. “Today marks the rebirth of an 80-year-old aircraft manufacturing business with a globally recognized brand,” said Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture in the company’s release. He continued, “Our highly skilled and dedicated work force is focused on building aircraft of exceptional quality and reliability.” A federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 1 approved the company’s joint plan of reorganization; the change took effect on Feb. 15, states the release. Beechcraft, headquartered in Wichita, Kan., remains locked in the competition against Sierra Nevada of Sparks, Nev., to supply 20 light-attack airplanes to the Afghan air arm under the Air Force’s Light Air Support program. Beechcraft is offering its AT-6 against Sierra Nevada’s modified A-29.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.