Raytheon Company is based in Wichita, Kansas and in 2006 employed 8,000 people around the world, the majority of them in Kansas. Walter H. and Olive Ann Beech founded Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1932 to manufacture and develop business aircraft. During World War II, the company produced 7,400 aircraft for the U.S. military. In 1947, they released the first Beech Bonanza, Model 35. The Bonanza remains in production by Raytheon, which bought Beech in 1980.

Though Raytheon is primarily known as a military contractor, it also manufactures the Hawker and Beechcraft lines of aircraft, which are heavily used in commercial aviation. Military versions of those airplanes are also available. Raytheon Aircraft Company also supplies military forces around the world with the T-6A training aircraft.