Raytheon Aircraft Company Delivers 6000th Beechcraft King Air

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Forty-one years after rolling out the first example, Raytheon Aircraft Company announced this week it had delivered its 6000th Beechcraft King Air, a B200. The company last year celebrated the type's 40th anniversary with a special-edition King Air 350, which made its debut EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh then toured the U.S. until it was delivered in Las Vegas during the 2004 NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention. "The delivery of this 6,000th King Air, serial BB1884, is a tribute to all ... who have worked on this magnificent aircraft, said Randy Groom, president of Beechcraft. Beech announced the King Air on Aug. 14, 1963. The first example boasted a six-to-eight-seat cabin, a cruising speed of 270 mph, over-the-weather operating capability, and good slow-speed handling, permitting safe use of small fields and airstrips. By the first flight in January 1964, customers had placed orders worth more than $12 million. "Over the past 40 years Beechcraft has produced 20 different commercial models and a variety of special mission configurations to meet the needs of our commercial and military customers," Broom added.