The aviation industry has always been a dynamic industry if not an outright turbulent one. And this has been the history of the Hawker jet. However, Hawker jet history goes way back to the early days of jet production and before. The company was started post-World War I as H.G. Hawker Engineering with Australian test pilot Harry Hawker as a lead partner. Harry Hawker got his start with Sopwith Aviation Company and continued through the first World War. Following the World War in 1920 along with two others Harry bought out a bankrupt Sopwith Aviation to start the Hawker company. A decade later the company started a long history of acquisitions, mergers, division splits, and being sold with name changes to suit.
Just in the 1930's H.G. Hawker Engineering became Hawker Aircraft Limited to become Hawker Siddeley Aircraft . Along the way acquiring or merging with Gloster Aircraft Company, Armstrong Siddeley, Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, and Avro. This fluid history has continued to the present day with Hawker Beechcraft.
Hawker was huge name for Britain's World War II aviation efforts, producing bombers and fighters. This relationship with the British military was only strengthened post-war and as the jet age dawned, Hawker jets were at the forefront. Hawker Siddeley actually developed strong divisions to work those government contracts including missile systems. That government relationship continues to this day with Hawker jets being used in the British military.
In the 1960's Hawker Siddeley started its work in private business jets. The work grew and continued through more mergers, acquisitions, sales, and name changes. It actually had a stint being a part of the British nationalized company British Aerospace. Finally, the executive jet division lands in current days as Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. It is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas with office/plants in the United Kingdom, Mexico, and the less exotic Arkansas.
Currently, the mix of Hawker and Beechcraft kind of blend two brands of jets. But because of development history, the two brands of jets actually remain separate. Current production of Hawker jets include:
Hawker 400XP is a light jet with a range around 1,800 miles.
Hawker 750 is a light-midsize jet with a range around 2,500 miles.
Hawker 850XP is a midsize jet with a range around 2,900 miles.
Hawker 900XP is a midsize jet with a range around 3,400 miles.
Hawker 4000 is a super-midsize jet with a range around 3,600 miles.
Purchasing a pre-owned Hawker jet will probably come from one of three makers. The afore mentioned British Aerospace is one, the current Hawker Beechcraft is an obvious one also, and there is a Raytheon make that held Hawker jet as a company. Raytheon purchased the business jets division from British Aerospace. Currently, one of the largest fleet holders of Hawker jets is NetJet fractional ownership program.
Hawker Military History Books
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