Beechcraft Celebrates First Flight

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Tuesday August 20, 2013

The inaugural flight of the first production AT-6 light attack aircraft celebrated at Wichita's Beechcraft Company Tuesday.

The AT-6 should look somewhat familiar to Wichitans. That's because it's the attack version of the T-6 trainer known as the Texan Two. The noticeable differences are the weapons carried under the wings and a flying tiger paint scheme.

Military sales have always been and will continue to be a large part of Beechcraft's business plan.

Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture says, "This airplane's got a great future and a lot of the future of the (Beechcraft) defense company is committed here."

Beechcraft Defense Chief Pilot J.D. O'Malley says, "We estimate the sale of maybe up to 1,000 of this type of airplane."

After the inaugural flight consisting of two low level fly-byes Beechcraft test pilot Dr. Lionel Alford described the plane as, "Pretty effective weapon even though it's in a very small compact package . But great for border patrol, great for low threat environments, precision munitions."

As for marketing the plane, Beechcraft Defense Company President Russ Bartlett says, "We'll take it around the world and demonstrate it to potential customers. And we'll continue to use it for training."

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