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Wings Over Kansas Aircraft Built by Hawker Beechcraft Aircraft Company – Wings Over Kansas

Aircraft Built by Hawker Beechcraft Aircraft Company


Model 17 Staggerwing

Considered by many to be the epitome of the most desirable aircraft to emerge from the golden age of aircraft, the model 17 Staggerwing is the aircraft that firmly cemented the Beech Aircraft Company’s reputation as manufacturers of prestigious and high performing aircraft. The Staggerwing name derived from the staggering of the top wing behind the lower wing. Mated to powerful radial engines (some of which were rated at over 700 HP), the model 17 set several performance records, including winning the 1936 Bendix Race.

Model 18 Twin

Similar in layout and profile to the much-vaunted Lockheed Model 12, the Beech Model 18 Twin would see production for over 30 years as one of the industry’s most versatile aircraft. With a little over approximately 8,000 units built, the Model 18 was a light transport that featured all-metal, semi-monocoque construction mated to various types of radial engines (320 HP Wright, 450 HP Pratt & Whitney, 525 HP Continental). During World War II, the Model 18 was adapted for use as a general duty light transport (UC-45), a navigator trainer (AT-7) and as a bombardier / gunner trainer (AT-11 & SNB). This aircraft was designed under the direction of Ted Wells, with approximately 8,000 aircraft built. Capable of hauling 8 – 9 passengers, the Model 18 was produced between 1937 until production ceased with the Model Super H18 in 1969. The utility of the aircraft was nearly unsurpassed, with useful loads for the H18 being 4,200 pounds. Following World War II, the Model 18 was one of the first twin-engined aircraft that was adapted for use as an executive transport for corporations.

Model 35 Bonanza “V-Tail”

Costing one-third as much as one of the post-war “Staggerwings”, the V-Tail Bonanza with it’s unmistakable profile would become one of the most highly recognizable personal aircraft ever built, making it one of general aviation’s classic aircraft. The V-tail concept (set at a 33-degree angle) combined rudder and elevators, and when mated to the 185 HP Continental engine, would propel this sleek aircraft to 175 MPH. Later models would utilize a 260 HP engine. The basic design came about as part of Walter Beech’s vision for an aircraft that could carry four people in car-like comfort at 180 MPH. The long lasting design continues to be produced with a more conventional tail.

Model 200 Super King Air

Introduced in 1973, the Super King Air provides superior levels of cabin comfort for corporate flight departments while offering the reliability of turboprop power plants. Since the first King Air 90 was delivered in 1964, King Airs have become an institution among the world’s elite corporations. Powered by two, 850 SHP (Shaft Horse Power) Pratt & Whitney Turboprop engines, the Super King Air 200 can cruise at speeds over 300 MPH. The cabin of this best selling turboprop can carry up to 8 passengers. For many years, Beech Aircraft utilized a Super King Air as it’s own corporate flight department that was appropriately named “The Free Enterprise”.

Model 1900 Commuter Airliner

Capitalizing on a well-proven airframe, in 1982, Beech extended the Super King Air to produce the Model 1900 Commuter Airliner. Airline deregulation, and the need to fill the rapid growth needs starting in 1978 for regional commuter airlines were key incentives to developing the 1900. Seating up to 19 passengers (pressurized), this aircraft utilized two, 1,100 SHP Pratt & Whitney PT6A Turboprop engines. Aside from the longer fuselage, noteworthy physical characteristics of this aircraft included the use of wing-like “stabilons” located on the aft fuselage (to improve longitudinal stability), and “tailets” that were installed on the undersurface of the horizontal stabilizer to provide increased directional stability. The Beech Model 1900 continues to serve as one of the principal commuter aircraft at airports worldwide.

Model 2000 Starship

A radical and bold departure from the King Air line of turboprop aircraft, the Beech Model 2000 Starship was envisioned as a new breed of aircraft intended to pave the way for a whole new generation of sleek, new business aircraft. With an 85 percent scale flying prototype built and tested in 1983, the Starship featured a tandem wing design consisting of a large aft main wing with vertical tip-sails and a smaller, variable geometry forward wing. The airframe utilized advanced composites consisting primarily of graphite / epoxy construction. Adding to the unique layout of the aircraft were two, 1,200 SHP Pratt & Whitney PT-6 pusher style engines that were set very closely together at the rear of the aircraft in order to reduce the engine-out adverse yaw that is common to conventional twin engine aircraft. Spectacular in appearance, the Starship’s performance / utility was somewhat compromised by certification requirements to the extent that production seating capacity was reduced from 8 to 6 passengers, selling price was increased to the point that a person could buy a jet, and production was terminated at close to 50 aircraft built.

Premier I

Having accomplished its first maiden flight on December 22, 1998, the Raytheon Premier I business jet is one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the entry-level business jet category. By utilizing advanced composite construction of the airframe, Raytheon was able to reduce total parts used in the construction of the airplane from approximately 16,000 down to 6,000. The Premier I composite fuselage consists of 2, filament wound cabin sections (1/8th inch carbon fiber filament that is pre-impregnated with epoxy) that are bonded together. Powered by Williams FJ44 engines (2,300 pounds of thrust each), the Premier I will possess a maximum cruise speed of 531 MPH, with a certified ceiling of 41,000 feet. The Premier I can carry up to 6 passengers, and can be used to travel up to 1,550 miles.