Well, it happens to the best of us. Planning and growth turn out to be two separate things. In the case of Hawker Beechcraft you can likely point to the declining cachet of having your own jet. Courting smaller stuff (King Air buyers) and military prospects is a good risk mitigation strategy, but it isn’t where the real money was.
This news was something we began muttering about in 2005 for the industry in general, since there aren’t enough buyers for all the old and new stuff out there. The high margins enjoyed by the business aviation community does not translate into an infinitely extendable market after the party ended in the late 90’s and then again in 2008.
Silver lining: If you’ve been waiting to pounce on anything, now is a good time, but tomorrow is likely even better if you are the stoic delayed gratification type.
In my much more mundane and pedestrian world of Cessna 185 restoration (yes, our project plane costs less than any of our client’s cars, no joke…. ) I can offer a similar trend: Edo 3430 floats aren’t selling for what they were 10 years ago. Why? Same reason light and mid jets are seeing pricing tumults – there is too much new sexy stuff coming out to make the old stuff worth paying a lot for.
So, if you want an old set of EDO 3430’s (and yes “tight” as they say) or a Hawker 800 / 900 series that has some updated engines – 2012 might be a good year for you.