News – Going Cuckoo and the Birth of Textron Aviation

By me

For another intermission between posts, I’ve decided to stop my regular programming for a bit and veer off into “short news” territory ๐Ÿ™‚ . The reasons behind this temporary change of tone are two bits of information that I believe my readers could find interesting – the first of which concerns my admission of defeat at the hands of modern social media ๐Ÿ˜€ .

In an attempt at some self-promotion, I’ve decided to get with the 21st century program and open Achtung, Skyhawk! a Twitter account ๐Ÿ™‚ . While the latter’s very concept is completely at odds with the extensive articles I publish here, it does have some very good uses, the first of which is as a message board for fresh articles and interesting photos coming to this site. Additionally – though this is of regional importance only – it will also find use as an information system for announcements of rare and exciting aircraft visiting Zagreb, as well as for keeping track of aircraft movements to and from the Croatian register ๐Ÿ™‚ .

The second bit of news though has considerably more effect on the GA landscape – and had, ironically, been brought to my attention by none other than Cessna’s Twitter account ๐Ÿ˜€ . In a move that will likely stir up the distribution of power on the light aircraft market, Cessna’s parent company Textron has announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Beechcraft, newly independent from its previous owner Raytheon. Along with the remnants of Hawker – itself collateral damage from Beechcraft’s recent bankruptcy – these two companies will now be integrated into a wholly new entity called Textron Aviation, all the while still retaining their familiar brand identities. With Bell Helicopters already under its umbrella, Textron is – for better or worse – fast becoming the VW Group of the GA world… ๐Ÿ™‚

With these interesting times ahead, it is only fair that I return to form with a topical photo – a Hawker that was a Mitsubishi before becoming a Beech after being bought by Raytheon… and now integrated with Cessna into Textron :D.

Visiting Zagreb from Ankara, Turkey to pick up passengers, TC-IBO (or rather its cockpit) was manufactured in 2001

Visiting Zagreb to pick up passengers, this 2001 Beechjet from Turkey is quite symbolic of the rough financial ride many GA manufacturers had experienced since the 80s. While light piston props had managed to hold their own without much ado, bizjets were particularly vulnerable to these “design sales”, which often led to production histories that were straight out of a classic comedy film…

2 thoughts on “News – Going Cuckoo and the Birth of Textron Aviation

  1. Reblogged this on N281DF and commented:
    This could be an amazing partnership and opportunity or one of the companies are going to get power strong and put the other one down.

    • There’s also a third, more frightening, alternative: that this move paves the way towards a sort of duopoly a-la Airbus and Boeing. Consider the fact that there are only FOUR companies that can offer both a large palette of light prop aircraft and the means to mass produce them: Textron (Cessna, Beech), Piper, DAHER (TBM Socata) and Diamond. It is not outside the realm of possibility that the latter three might consolidate in some manner to counter Textron… something like DAHER and Diamond or Piper and Diamond. Similarly, if you add smaller bizjets and bizprops into the equation, the situation is even more grim: Textron (again with the combined might of Cessna, Beech and Hawker), Bombardier (Learjet) and Dassault. Even the large-cabin segment sees the same “faces”: Textron (Cessna), Bombardier (Challenger & GLEX), Dassault and Gulfstream…

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