Blog : Historical Feature

Muscle Beech – the Mighty Turbo Barons

Muscle Beech – the Mighty Turbo Barons

Despite being manufactured in small numbers, the Model 56TC and A56TC were the most powerful Barons built and helped pave the way for development and production of the distinctive Model 60 Duke. The decade of the 1950s and 1960s had been good to Beech Aircraft Corporation, and the company’s executive vice president, Frank E. Hedrick,…

Walter Beech and the Dole Race to Hawaii

Walter Beech and the Dole Race to Hawaii

Soon after “Lucky Lindy’s” solo flight from New York to Paris in May 1927, Wichita’s Travel Air Company was deluged with orders for airplanes capable of flying nonstop to Honolulu. Competing in the trans-Pacific free-for-all would be risky business, but Walter Beech welcomed the challenge. In June 1927, anyone walking past the office of Travel…

The Best Bonanza Ever?

The Best Bonanza Ever?

Starting with the Model E33A, in 1968 Beech Aircraft engineers dug deep into their airframe “cook book” to create the company’s most popular and versatile Bonanza – the Model 36 series. “The biggest, most versatile Bonanza ever built.” That was how Beech Aircraft Corporation described the new Model 36 Bonanza when it was certified in…

Baron – The Businessman’s Beechcraft, Part Two

Baron – The Businessman’s Beechcraft, Part Two

In 1968, Beech Aircraft Corporation engineers employed their airframe “cookbook” to create the versatile Model 58 Baron, followed later by the turbocharged 58TC and the pressurized 58P. By the late 1960s, the Beechcraft Model 55 series “Baron” and the muscular Model 58TC had proven to be highly successful additions to the company’s product line. It…

Baron – The Businessman’s Beechcraft, Part One

Baron – The Businessman’s Beechcraft, Part One

The Model 95-55 was aimed directly at the CEO who wanted fast, economical transportation at an affordable price ”Outstanding single event of the 1961 meeting was the introduction of the new Beechcraft Model 55 Baron, a fast, sleek, four- to five-seat twin-engine plane designed for the businessman-pilot. Ruggedly strong, yet extremely trim in appearance with…

C.V. Cessna — Wichita’s Aviator

C.V. Cessna — Wichita’s Aviator

Thanks to a group of aviation enthusiasts in Wichita, Kansas, in 1916 Clyde Vernon Cessna relocated to the “Peerless Princess of the Prairie” to pursue his dream of manufacturing and selling “aeroplanes.” At the beginning of the 20th Century on the Great Plains of America, wheat was king. It was the Midwest’s bread of life…

The “Baby Beechcraft” – Part Two

The “Baby Beechcraft” – Part Two

Beech Aircraft Corporation’s Model 76 “Duchess” and the Model 77 “Skipper” were welcome additions to the company’s product line, but the economic recession of 1981 clipped their wings During the three-day Beechcraft International Sales Roundup held in November 1975, two proposed aircraft were revealed to more than 800 Masters of Aircraft Salesmanship attending the event.…

The “Baby Beechcraft” – Part One

The “Baby Beechcraft” – Part One

During the early 1960s, Beech Aircraft Corporation’s Model 23 “Musketeer” marked the company’s foray into the highly competitive, entry-level segment of the general aviation industry. In the wake of World War II, America’s lightweight airplane market exploded as many pilots who had flown fighter and bomber aircraft came home and started flying schools across the…

Debonair!

Debonair!

In 1959, Beech Aircraft Corporation took aim at the expanding business flying market by launching the Model 33 to compete with the Cessna “Skylane” and Piper “Comanche.” In November 1959, Beech Aircraft Corporation’s president Olive Ann Beech challenged the company’s global sales personnel to meet the ambitious goal of $60 million in sales during the…

Walter’s Wooden Wonder

Walter’s Wooden Wonder

By 1940, all-metal airframes had become state-of-the-art, but the Beechcraft Model 26 was the first all-wood Beechcraft – an advanced trainer built specifically to transition pilots to multi-engine airplanes. World War II. It remains the bloodiest, most brutal and savage global conflict in human history. Although the war ended almost 72 years ago, its impact…