Plane maker Beechcraft wins $1.4 billion deal

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Newly reorganized Beechcraft Corp. says it has received a $1.4 billion plane order in a deal believed to be the largest propeller aircraft order by value in general aviation history.

The Wichita-based manufacturer said Thursday the order to build 105 King Air 350i aircraft, valued at $788 million, came from Wheels Up, a new private aviation membership company. Beechcraft also was named the maintenance provider for Wheels Up in North America and Western Europe.

Beechcraft said in a news release that the first 35 planes will be delivered between now and mid-2015 with nine deliveries this year. The deal includes options for 70 more aircraft as Wheels Up expands over the next two to three years.

Beechcraft Corp., formerly Hawker Beechcraft, emerged in February from bankruptcy protection.

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