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Beechcraft Aircraft History


Founded in 1932 by Walter H. Beech, the Beechcraft company has been producing aircraft ranging from single engine piston airplanes to corporate and private jets. The company is based out of Wichita, Kansas. The first Beechcraft aircraft to take to the skies was an airplane called the Beech Staggerwing model 17 back in November of 1932.

For many years Beechcraft remained a family owned business run by Walter Beech and his wife Olive Ann Mellor Beech. In 1950, Walter Beech suffered from a heart attack and Olive Beech took the role of being the president and CEO of the company.

Olive Beech remained president and CEO up until February 8th, 1980 when during that time the company was purchased by the Raytheon Company. In 1994 Raytheon merged Beechcraft with their Hawker division. Just eight years later in 2002, the branding of Beechcraft was brought back to begin production back of their Kansas division.

In 2007 Raytheon sold Raytheon Aircraft to Hawker Beechcraft and they continue to product aircraft out of Wichita, Kansas which is an area shared with their leading competitor, the Cessna Aircraft Company.

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