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  • Beechcraft 18 (aka Twin Beech)




    The Beechcraft Model 18 is a 6- to 11-seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.

    General Information

    The Beechcraft Model 18 (or "Twin Beech", as it is also known), has been continuously produced from 1937 to November 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), over 9,000 were built, making it one of the world's most widely used light aircraft. Sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft, and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, skis, or floats, it was also used as a military aircraft.


     In the early postwar era, the Beech 18 was the pre-eminent "business aircraft" and "feeder airliner". Besides carrying passengers, its civilian uses have included aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish stocking, dry-ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air-mail delivery, ambulance service, numerous movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon- and drug-smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing, and stunt aircraft. Many are now privately owned, around the world, with 240 in the U.S. still on the FAA Aircraft Registry in August 2017.


    The design was mainly conventional for the time, including twin radial engines, all-metal semimonocoque construction with fabric-covered control surfaces, and tailwheel undercarriage. Less conventional was the twin-tailfin configuration. The Model 18 can be mistaken for the larger Lockheed Electra series of airliners, which closely resemble it. Early production aircraft were powered either by two 330-hp (250-kW) Jacobs L-6s or 350-hp (260-kW) Wright R-760Es. The 450-hp (336-kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985 became the definitive engine from the prewar C18S onwards. The Beech 18 prototype first flew on January 15, 1937.


    For more details of the development and design and operational history of the Twin Beech, as well as its numerous factory variants, and many third party conversions such as the Hamilton Westwind and Volper Turboliner, click here.


    The specifications below from Janes Fighting Aircraft of World War II are for the UC-45 Expeditor variant.




    Beech 18 Grovedale.jpg

    Beech 18 N321D.jpg

    Beech 18 N2313B.jpg

    Beech 18 red air to air.jpg


    Beech 18 red white.jpeg


    Crew: 2 pilots Capacity: 6 passengers
    34 ft 3 in (10.44 m)
    47 ft 8 in (14.53 m)
    9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
    Wing Area:
    349 sq ft (32.4 sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    5,420 lb (2,458 kg)
    Gross weight: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)
    2 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 "Wasp Junior" radial engines, 450 hp (340 kW) each
    Maximum speed: 225 mph (362 km/h, 196 kn)
    1,200 mi (1,900 km, 1,000 nmi) at 160 mph (260 km/h; 140 kn) and 5,000 ft (1,500 m)
    Rate of Climb:
    1,850 ft/min (9.4 m/s)
    Service Ceiling:
    26,000 ft (7,900 m)

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    Thanks Onetrack. Done in a bit of a hurry because I had to go out and be back at a certain time. Copy and paste is playing silly beggars. The same photo was in twice as well, which I saw and corrected, but I didn't proof read to pick that up. Problem now resolved. 

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    I'm sure it isn't a two pilot plane. There's controls for two but is flown by one They are built strong and heavy. The Empty wt to max weight   ratio is pretty grim . You'd be flat out making money with it, but it's a REAL plane. Nice IF you had the money to run it. Nev

    Edited by facthunter
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    The notes say the specs are for the UC-45 Expeditor variant which is a military variant. Specs from  Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. as used by Wikipedia. Maybe it's the miliary spec which requires 2 pilots. I cross-checked with another source I use, all-aero.com, which has specs on a number of variants. They list either seats in total (eg. 7 seats), or crew :2

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    Any operator can require two pilots but the minimum is ONE as it is on most twins with less than 11 passengers..If you read much from pilots who have flown the Twin Beech, you will notice they all fly single pilot unless they are doing a check. The POH will confirm what I say. and IF you are in the RHS  unless the operation stipulates a Co pilot is part of the normal operation, you can't log the time. Occupation of a seat with controls requires it's own precautions be observed if you are a passenger. Even a King Air is certified single pilot as is the turbo prop Banderante.. No one would ever purchase a B 18 IF it required two qualified pilots. every time it went into the sky.'

      The Focker Friendship  F-27 operated single pilot in some countries with what was called a radio operator in the RHS and that carried over 30 passengers. Nev

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    Those pictures show a pilot and person sitting in the right hand seat. The first one suggests a pilot undergoing instruction, going by the clothing. The last one is indeterminate. I'd guess that it shows two people wearing similar polo-neck shirts

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