Textron Aviation Incorporated is the leading general aviation authority and home to the Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker aircraft brands. The company is a subsidiary of Textron Inc., an American industrial conglomerate that started as a textile business in 1923. Founded by Royal Little in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Special Yarns Corporation, the company produced synthetic yarns for the manufacture of rayon, a niche product at the time. In 1938, little changed the company name to the Atlantic Rayon Corporation and became the major producer of parachutes and other textiles used during World War II. After the war, the company made products for civilians, prompting another company name change to “Textron” – a combination of “tex” from textiles and “tron” from synthetic fabrics like Lustron.
During the 1950s and 60s, the company began to move away from textile manufacture and set its sights on expanding and diversifying with the purchase of several other manufacturing companies, including Bell Helicopter. However, it was not until 2014 when Textron Inc. purchased Beechcraft that the company formed Textron Aviation, which also included Cessna and Hawker.
With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide.
Inducted in 2022.
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