The Beechcraft King Air was introduced in 1964, and has proved to be one of the world’s most popular turboprop twins. While the folks in Wichita have been steadily working away, delivering more than 7,000 King Airs of various flavours since then, the corporate backdrop has been anything but stable. Multiple ownership changes and a bankruptcy filing during the course of the King Air’s production life have played out, with Beechcraft recently becoming part of Textron Aviation (TA). A visit to TA’s website reveals a new corporate tagline, “Gaining Altitude. Together.” The “together” is the combination of Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker under a single corporate umbrella. Clyde Cessna and Walter Beech had last worked together in 1927 at Travel Air Manufacturing Company. Separately both left to found their own aircraft companies, and after 87 years apart these two storied marques are back together.
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