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Hawker Beechcraft has announced that it is officially out of bankruptcy, and the company has a new name. It will be called Beechcraft Corporation.
Company officials said it has a dramatically reduced debt load and the support of shareholders.
A federal bankruptcy judge in New York gave approval to Beechcraft's reorganization plan on Feb. 1, but it did not become effective until Feb. 15.
Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture met with employees of the Wichita plant Tuesday to talk about the company's future. He said the focus will be on the Beechcraft turboprop and military trainer aircraft, and he said with a new financial structure, the company will be able to invest more in the development of those products.
Boisture said the company has made changes to its facilities in Wichita, and he said Beechcraft will sell the Hawker jet programs and facilities to other aircraft makers. He said the company is committed to staying in Wichita, and he expects the workforce to remain stable at around 3,300.
Boisture said there should be no layoffs with the reorganization, and he said the company is sized for its markets. He said one goal for this year is to find a launch customer for the AT-6 Light Air Support aircraft, and if the company doesn't win a contract from the Air Force, there may have to be some interim steps taken until a new customer is found. Boisture said the company will have to make sure the world markets know that Beechcraft is back, soundly financed and well capitalized and able to develop new products.
(in photo at left, Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture talks with reporters about the company's emergence from bankruptcy)