October 6, 2011

Jetcraft Corporation’s 50th Anniversary

Jetcraft Corporation’s 50th Anniversary (PDF format) »

September 2011 – Business aviation has evolved considerably in the past half century. And, so has Jetcraft. By successfully identifying industry trends and compelling business opportunities, Jetcraft (formerly Raleigh-Durham Aviation) has made strategic decisions that have enabled the company to succeed by remaining at the forefront of innovation.

Here are some of the major milestones in Jetcraft’s history, with context added to illustrate the company’s ability to identify trends and successfully take action.


In the 1960s, business aviation came into its own. Bill Lear created the Learjet, the first purpose-built business jet aircraft. Jetcraft’s founder, Charles “Bucky” Oliver, immediately sees the potential of Bill Lear’s vision.


  • 1961: Aviation entrepreneur Charles “Bucky” Oliver acquires an FBO named Raleigh-Durham Aviation

  • 1964: Raleigh-Durham Aviation obtains advanced certification approval for Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) PART 135, which enables the company to pursue the growing charter market

  • Mid-60s: Raleigh-Durham Aviation becomes a leading Learjet dealer

  • 1967: Raleigh-Durham Aviation becomes the first Learjet 25 customer, goes on to operate several Learjet 25s and performs demonstration missions on Learjet’s behalf


The business aviation industry was further characterized by the growing popularity of ‘light’ business jets in the 70s. Cessna emerges as a leading aircraft OEM, offering a range of light jets and making ‘point to point’ jet travel a practical reality within the continental United States. Raleigh-Durham Aviation contributes to the success of the Cessna Citation, as a growing fleet goes into service.


  • Early-70s: Raleigh-Durham Aviation is one of the founders of the Aviation Academy of North Carolina

  • 1975-1977: Bucky Oliver sells Raleigh-Durham Aviation and starts Raleigh-Durham Aircraft Sales. Initially, the company sells Cessna turboprop and piston aircraft

  • Late-70s: Now selling Cessna jets and often referred to as “the Citation People”, Raleigh-Durham Aircraft Sales becomes one of Cessna’s largest dealerships and one of the first Cessna Citation service stations


The business aviation industry matured in the 1980s with the growing professionalism of corporate flight departments. The proliferation of multinational companies created the need to provide efficient air transportation for managers with global travel needs. In response, corporate flight departments became increasingly sophisticated at acquiring and operating aircraft. Jetcraft successfully adjusts its service offering to reflect emerging needs.


  • 1986: Raleigh-Durham Aircraft Sales acquires American Aircraft Leasing, a company dedicated to leasing commercial and corporate aircraft – an innovative alternative to ownership

  • 1987: Raleigh Durham Aircraft Sales renamed Jetcraft Corporation


Business aviation goes truly global in the 1990s, with the growing popularity of new long range/large business jets. In response to the increasingly intercontinental orientation of business aviation, Jetcraft evolves to become a leading OEM-independent re-marketer of all classes of business aircraft.


  • Late-90s: Jetcraft starts to provide brokerage services for long range business jets, including Bombardier Challengers and Globals, Gulfstreams and Dassault Falcons


The new millennium has witnessed tremendous growth in business aviation outside North America and Western Europe. As new markets have emerged, so have the corresponding opportunities and challenges. Expertise in trans-national legal, technical, regulatory and operational issues have become increasingly important, as has the need to market aircraft to a broad customer base efficiently. Jetcraft dedicates itself to becoming a leading global re-marketer of business aircraft.


  • 2001: Jetcraft-ed™ is launched. The program brands and markets premium quality pre-owned aircraft which meet extraordinarily stringent standards of ownership history and maintenance, etc.

  • 2003: “JetCoast” program launched in partnership with Midcoast Aviation and Bombardier Aerospace to provide a turnkey solution for acquiring and completing select new Challenger 604s. Program later extended to Challenger 605s

  • 2007: Jetcraft launches Jetcraft Avionics LLC, a provider of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) for aftermarket business and wide body aircraft using Elbit-Kollsman’s state-of-the-art EVS-II and AT-HUD

  • 2008: World-leading aircraft trader Jahid Fazal becomes co-owner of Jetcraft and opens first international sales office in Basel, Switzerland, complementing the company’s six US offices


Jetcraft Corporation is an international leader in new and pre-owned business aircraft sales, acquisitions and trades. Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Jetcraft has sales offices/representation in five US cities; Basel and Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE and Moscow, Russia. The company’s 50-year track record in aircraft transactions has earned it a world class customer base and one of the strongest global networks in the industry. For more information, please visit www.www.jetcraft.com.

Visit Jetcraft at NBAA 2011, October 10 – 12, Las Vegas, Nevada. Jetcraft will be present at the NBAA static display, with several aircraft available for public viewing.


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