“So that’s another 1,400 American jobs lost”

The Obama administration once again does what it seems to do well and often.  

Put an end to jobs for Americans:

Hawker-BeechcraftLate Thursday the Obama administration abruptly knocked Kansas aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft out of contention for a $1 billion project to make a fleet of lightweight counterinsurgency aircraft for the Air Force. Hawker Beechcraft is, understandably, disturbed and asking questions.

The Air Force has notified Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that its Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from competition to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion, the company said.

The company had hoped to its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer, would be chosen for the Light Air Support Counter Insurgency aircraft for the Afghanistan National Army Corps. The chosen aircraft also would be used as a light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.

The piston planes are designed for counterinsurgency, close air support, armed overwatch and homeland security, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/ud7FDM).

Hawker Beechcraft officials said in a news release that they were “confounded and troubled” by the Air Force’s decision. The company said it is asking the Air Force for an explanation and will explore all options.

Hawker Beechcraft said it had been working with the Air Force for two years and had invested more than $100 million to meet the Air Force’s requirements for the plane. It noted that the Beechcraft AT-6 had been found capable of meeting the requirements in a demonstration program led by the Air National Guard.

“We have followed the Air Force’s guidance close, and based on what we have seen, we continue to believe that we submitted the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft,” the company said.

The company has said that winning the contract would have kept its T-6 production line running after 2015. About 1,400 employees in 20 states – including 800 at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita – work on the AT-6 and T-6 programs for Beechcraft and its U.S. suppliers and partners.

So that’s another 1,400 American jobs lost. And it gets worse. By knocking Hawker Beechcraft out, the Pentagon has limited the “competition” to one company, a company that is not only not an American manufacturer, it’s a government-owned entity with ties to our enemies.

Read the rest, digest it, and pass it on.

This man must be beat in 2012.

Must. Be. Beat.

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  • That’s funny. Spend $100 million on tooling and prototypes – and then get shoved aside so more money goes to Brazil. Not even for an American competitor – doesn’t look like anyone else in the US has the capacity or desire to make something like this.

    Hmmm.  Kind of makes you wonder where Obama’s planing to bug out to once his time in office is up, doesn’t it?

    • Anonymous

      I just had a vision of Michelle on the beach in Rio and it almost lost me my breakfast.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they can get jobs building planes for Boeing in South Carolina.


    Um… I hear Gibson Guitars is looking for skilled craftsmen.

    Never mind.

    Perhaps they can get “green jobs” from companies that the Obama administration has been subsidizing.

    Oh, yeah.

    Well, let ’em go on food stamps, then. According to Pelosi, that’s good for the [email protected]:disqus


    • Getting Pelosi out of office would be good for the economy.  It’s been 3 years now, with the ‘smartest’ people in office EVAR!~!1! – and we’re still looking at no budget at all…

      It’s a hell of a way to run a railroad…

  • There are so many pieces to these procurement deals that boggle the mind.  WTO requirements, treaty requirements, etc…  But there’s one piece I think people are missing….

    $950 million for 35 planes?   For the Afghani Air Corps?  

    That’s more than the going rate for a fully loaded 737.  And we’re dumping in a billion for their air extradition and close air support?  

    • Anonymous

      Brian, I really don’t bust on people for spelling, but it’s “interdiction,” not “extradiction.” Two very, very different things.


      • You are right…there is a difference.  What happens when I comment way too early in the AM.  

    • Brian informs us that the project in question here is:

      … for their [Afghani] air extradition…

      Wow.  So they’re going to use a light attack aircraft to capture criminals wanted in other nations and then transport them to those other nations (extraditing them) to stand trial.  The things we learn from the chicosphere here on Wizbang are certainly “interesting.”

      • Rodney, I really would like to thank you for once again proving that I have said before about your comments.  You find a small piece that is wrong, and then harp ad infinitum.

        Rodney G. Graves, Jesus Bully, Wizbang.  

        Now, if you would like to answer my previous comment.

        $950 million for 35 planes?   For the Afghani Air Corps?  

        • I’d like to thank Brian for proving yet again that he comments on that which he knows naught of, thus earning a place in the chicka-sphere.

          • And what is your justification of this Rodney?  Seriously?  If we’re going to pull out the “I know more about aviation than you do”….PLEASE bring it on.

          • Anonymous

            He always flees after a couple of middle-school snark attempts. He’s a coward as well as a bully.

          • Opines another founding member of the chickasphere.

          • Rodney exposed for the clueless yip he is.  

            You know, it’s quite funny how I’m lumped with (what appears to be) an Obama supporter because I *gasp* actually talk to people and lean to a more libertarian bent.  

            Rodney, I’m still waiting for you to debate actual issues instead of grammar or reference mistakes.

            /setting up this one….c’mon Rodney…..here Jesus Bully Bully Bully…

  • herddog505

    Color me cynical, but Soros is involved in this somehow…

    But I really don’t know why anybody would whine about these so-called jobs.  Quite aside from the fact that they are to make weapons for the military-industrial complex that enriches Wall Street, don’t you people realize that the best stimulus for our economy is food stamps and unemployment checks?  Nancy Pelosi, the greatest Speaker of the House in our history, says so.  And Barry’s doing everything that he can to see to it that as many Americans as possible take advantage of those programs.


    • Haven’t you heard?  Peolsi and Reality haven’t been on speaking terms for YEARS now…

      • THey spoke at one point?

        • More like nodded in the hallway, I think.  At this point, Pelosi wouldn’t recognize Reality if it came up and gave her a business card and a wedgie.

          • Anonymous

            That just gave me the most hilarious and scary image ever. Thanks JL.

      • Jay

        Pelosi and Reality haven’t been on speaking terms for YEARS now…

        Careful, she agreed with Darrell Issa about SOPA being a bad law…  There MIGHT be hope for her yet. Maybe…

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure a great many people have spoken to N. Pelosi. What I have trouble even imagining is Pelosi actually speaking in return. I get the impression she’s a rather shrill bitch.

  • Anonymous

    Once again Rick is for a free market, except when aerospace is involved, and is for cutting government spending, except where aerospace is involved.

    Buying aircraft for the Afghan Air Force does not seem to be a good use of taxpayer money to me. 

    That said, military aircraft are procured according to strict rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulations and the Defense supplement, along with the terms of the Request for Proposals.  Does politics and considerations of domestic employment come into it?  I’m sure it does – look at the reversal on the tanker contract – but Air Force acquisition professionals are supposed to make the decision based on the merits.

    The Tucano, made by Embraer in Brazil, which won the contract is a proven aircraft, a superior turboprop, as opposed to the piston-driven Hawker Beechcraft.  WTF would you buy piston when you can get a turboprop?

    Shouldn’t the quality of the aircraft come first?

    The Brazilian Air Force has also bought several models of U.S. aircraft. 

    Basic rule of trade: don’t expect to sell if you don’t buy.


    • Anonymous

      Chico, for one, the article is incorrect — the T-6 Texan II is a turboprop plane, not a piston engine. It has a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine. And it’s proven, too — the US Air Force has been using them for about 10 years, and they’re also used by five other nations. The Tucano, the Embraer aircraft, is an almost 30-year-old design.

      And as far as the “free market” goes, I believe that the federal government should show a bias towards domestic manufacturers for military hardware. Even when it’s being bought to be given to another nation. Not an absolute rule, but definitely a preference.


      • Anonymous

        Well, I thought I had heard something about Brazil considering F-18s, and it’s true:



        RIO DE JANEIRO, March 20 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made a strong pitch for the Boeing F-18 jet fighter in a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but she did not indicate if her government had decided to buy the U.S.-made plane, the White House said on Sunday.
        “The F-18 issue did come up. President Rousseff raised it,” White House aide Dan Restrepo told reporters in Rio de Janeiro, referring to the leaders’ bilateral meeting in Brasilia on Saturday that kicked off Obama’s five-day Latin American tour.
        Brazil is weighing a multi-billion dollar bid to modernize its air force, and Obama has made promoting exports to boost U.S. jobs back home a central part of his trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.


        The Rafale seemed to be favored by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But Dilma Rousseff, who succeeded him, seemed to be in favor of the F-18

        Betcha that F-18 contract will be worth a lot more than this itsy-bitsy turboprop contract.

        As I said, you can’t sell if you don’t buy. Looks like one hand is washing the other.

        Of course it will suck if Boeing does not get the Brazil contract, but looks like there’s a deeper game going on.

        • Anonymous

          Its possible Chico. Maybe he is playing up Brazil to be our best buddy for the future. My problem with it is that four the last three years we have listened to him and the rest of the democrats crying “jobs,jobs,jobs” and promising everything and the kitchen sink to make it all better. What keeps happening is the exact opposite. 
          The oil production in the gulf is restricted and billions are sent to Brazil. The Canadian line is put off. Boeing is screwed. We have the solyndra type business deals. His buddy at GE outsources one of his corporations headquarters. Oil shale development as well as coal mining is more restrictive.Gibson guitars,the auto dealerships,healthcare,ext…
          I am all for investment in the future,but not at the cost of our present and near future.

      • Jay

        And as far as the “free market” goes, I believe that the federal government should show a bias towards domestic manufacturers for military hardware. Even when it’s being bought to be given to another nation. Not an absolute rule, but definitely a preference. 

        That would be great, if our government wasn’t spending so much money on things we don’t need

      • The T-6 Texan II is a turboprop plane, and is a development of the Pilatus PC-9, modified significantly by Beechcraft in order to enter the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s. Pilatus PC-9 made it’s first flight in 1984, 27 years ago. It’s not a ‘new design’. It’s just a modification, or improvement. The T-6A Texan II entered in service in 2001.

        The A-29 Super Tucano came from the  EMB-312G1, designed in the 90’s. His maiden flight was in 1999, and entered in service in 2004. He’s a Light Attack Aircraft, and can be used as a Trainer.

        That’s very different from an aircraft made to be a trainer, and now modified to be a LAA. It’s not his main purpose, and it’s inferior when compared with a COMBAT proven (not training) aircraft, as the Super Tucano. 

        Brazil is finishing it’s FX-2 process, and one Company will be chosen to provide at least 36 Fighters to Brazilian Air Force, and later, 48 Aircraft to Brazilian Navy. More aircrafts will be bought to the Air Force, up to 120 units.

        So it’s better to think twice before calling Brazil a terrorist friend, like they said that we’ve TIES with Iran, because we sold 15 trainer in the 90’s, whilst USA sold hundreds of military aircrafts, like F-14, F-5 and F-4, which are under operation today.

        So if you want Boeing to have a better chance in FX-2, against Dassault Rafale and SAAB Gripen NG, it’s better please Brazil, and not make it an enemy.


    • The Tucano, made by Embraer in Brazil, which won the contract is a proven aircraft, a superior turboprop, as opposed to the piston-driven Hawker Beechcraft.  WTF would you buy piston when you can get a turboprop?

      Apples…oranges.  Depends on the mission at hand and how it’s going to be fixed.

      Again, bigger issue is why we are putting in a billion worth of planes and support.

      • Brian informs us:

        The Tucano, made by Embraer in Brazil, which won the contract is a
        proven aircraft, a superior turboprop, as opposed to the piston-driven
        Hawker Beechcraft.

        As usual…

        The Aircraft which was in competition with the Tucano was the AT-6 Texan II, a turboprop training A/C converted for dual role Training/Light Attack and Interdiction (not to be confused with Extradition).

      • Cat got your tongue?

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-6_Texan_II – It’s a turboprop also.

      BTW, I’d probably look at the purpose and the following reasons before buying one or the other (piston or turbo)

      1.  Lower fuel costs at lower horsepowers – turbos are thirsty beasts, and though Jet A-1 or JP-4 is cheaper than avgas, a 100-360 HP engine uses less avgas than a turbo.  Supply problems, however… a turbo can (if properly equipped) run on pretty much anything that’ll flow that’ll burn, maintenance problems notwithstanding, and road diesel is perfectly usable, as long as you pay real close attention to residue buildup in the hot section of the turbine.  Aviation piston engines are a lot more finicky, but they’re a bit more frugal on sippin’ the fuel. Diesel’s everywhere, avgas not so much…

      2. Maintenance expertise – could be a wash, depending.  If the power plants on the airframe are removed and sent to a depot for maintenance, that’d save on local costs.  Piston engines are bit less finicky for field maintenance, you could do a teardown and rebuild under a tree, where you wouldn’t want a tree anywhere near a disassembled turbine.

      3. Runway conditions – turbines usually don’t have air filters, and what a pebble sucked off the runway on takeoff can do to a compressor section is a sin and a shame, and really expensive.  Piston engines have air filters, and usually don’t gulp huge amounts of air.  (Well, huge compared to turbines.)

      (And we won’t even talk about the avionics packages and maintenance thereof…)

      As far as the contract goes – eh.  I think that Afghanistan should be buying their own hardware like this, and not depending on us to vet any suppliers.  Let them pay their own money and make their own choices on this.

      • Anonymous

        Nice comparison.  While I love the sound of a piston driven plane, I don’t think there’s been one in the U.S. Air Force for years, except for trainers.  What was the last combat piston plane?  The A-6 Skyraider?  Even that was converted to a turboprop model.

        I get that both aircraft were turbos, despite what the article said.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s all get on the same page here – as JayTeaNH said – and I can verify (I work for HBC) – the AT-6 is NOT a piston-powered aircraft.  That being said, I’ve seen only what the AT-6 can do, as they don’t let Super Tucanos into the airspace above the plant here (the workers would probably revolt) .  I wholly agree with the aspect that you don’t want a foreign entity as your sole provider for a military product, even if it’s being used in an interdiction/border patrol support role.  The $950B price tag wasn’t only for the 35 planes as far as I know – there was support, spares, training and maintenance aspects that were included.  What fries my circuits is the fact that the Air Force (of which I’m a veteran) just said, in effect, “no, you’re not allowed on this playground any more…” and left it at that.  My company has put serious time/talent/treasure into this program, and there are probably AT LEAST 1,400 jobs on the line now because of the Air Forces’ decision, and mine could very well be included in that total.  Happy Holidays???  My ass….

  • Anonymous

    “Hawker Beechcraft said it had been working with the Air Force for two years and had invested more than $100 million to meet the Air Force’s requirements.” which of course is how you run a company if you are trying to be competitive, something profoundly lost of the (P)resident who has never held a non-goverment job or managerial position.

    I’m betting that he just made a bunch of new ‘Anybody But Obama’ voters as those people will be pissed off and they’ll let family and friends know why.

  • Anonymous

    Large amounts of money are invested in any military aircraft procurement competition.  It’s called “the cost of doing business.”

    • Anonymous

      Large amounts of money are invested in any democrat procurement to destroy competition. Its called “ass raping your country”

    • Well, “everybody has to have some skin in the game,” right, Chomsky?

      Except of course Obama and his corrupt donors on all these “green” schemes.

    • Anonymous

      Apparently there were no Obama campaign donation bundlers working for Hawker Beechcraft.

      It’s called “Obama’s method”.

  • Rodrigo Pimentel

    Maybe 1400 Jobs lost in Kansas, but many will be given to Florida if Super Tucan wins. Also many more will be made by Boeing if USA wins the competition for 36 Super Hornets in Brazil. USA would not loose and in a foreign policy point of view it would be wise to get in a closer relationship with Brazil. USA is loosing its influence to China and other emerging powers in South America. Better to think in a bigger scope.    

    • Anonymous

      How about the jobs associated with the pipeline from Canada?
      What about the ~200,000 jobs in Ohio from hydraulic fracturing?

      We are talking about more than a few good-paying jobs being “delayed” by the Obama Administration, just ’cause he thinks he needs the “watermelon” vote.

      • I don’t think he gets that if he really pushed job creation (Canada pipeline, drilling to get energy costs down, cutting back on regulation) he’d get re-elected.  His ideology won’t allow him to even conceive of the concept, much less even attempt to implement it.

        When you start believing the spin you’re throwing out to excuse your lack of action, you’re really in trouble.