Beech Aircraft Company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1932 by Walter Beech as president, his wife Olive Ann Beech as secretary, Ted A. Wells as vice president of engineering, K.K. Shaul as treasurer, and investor C.G. Yankey as vice president.

The company began operations in an idle Cessna factory. With designer Ted Wells, they developed the first aircraft under the Beechcraft name, the classic Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing, which first flew in November 1932. Over 750 Staggerwings were built, with 270 manufactured for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. [citation needed]

Beechcraft was not Beech's first company, as he had previously formed Travel Air in 1924 and the design numbers used at Beechcraft followed the sequence started at Travel Air, and were then continued at Curtiss-Wright, after Travel Air had been absorbed into the much larger company in 1929. Beech became President of the Curtiss-Wright's airplane division and VP of sales, but became dissatisfied with being so far removed from aircraft production and quit to form Beechcraft, using the original Travel Air facilities and employing many of the same people. Model numbers prior to 11/11000 were built under the Travel Air name, while Curtiss-Wright built the CW-12, 14, 15, and 16 as well as previous successful Travel Air models (mostly the model 4)


The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative wing stagger (the lower wing is farther forward than the upper wing). It first flew in 1932. At the height of the Great Depression, aircraft executive Walter H. Beech and airplane designer Ted A. Wells joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the "Staggerwing", was first flown on November 4, 1932. During its heyday, it was used as an executive aircraft, much as the private jet is now, and its primary competition were the Waco Custom Cabin and Waco Standard Cabin series of biplanes. The Model 17's unusual negative stagger wing configuration (the upper wing staggered behind the lower) and unique shape maximized pilot visibility and was intended to reduce interference drag between the wings (although it was later found to have negligible effect).[1] The fabric-covered fuselage was faired with wood formers and stringers over a welded, steel tube frame.[1] Construction was complex and took many man-hours to complete. The Staggerwing's retractable conventional landing gear, uncommon at that time, combined with careful streamlining, light weight, and a powerful radial engine, helped it perform well. In the mid-1930s, Beech undertook a major redesign of the aircraft, to create the Model D17 Staggerwing. The D17 featured a lengthened fuselage that improved the aircraft's handling characteristics by increasing control leverage, and the ailerons were relocated to the upper wings, eliminating interference with the flaps. Braking was improved with a foot-operated brake linked to the rudder pedals. CLICK ON THE PICTURE AT LEFT TO GO TO ARCHIVE PAGE

Beechcraft C90 King Air First flight May 1963 Introduction September 9, 1964 Status Active service Primary users United States Army United States Navy,  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force,  Philippine Navy.  Produced 1964–present Number built 3,100+ Unit cost US$3.775 million  Developed from Beechcraft Queen Air Variants, Beechcraft Super King Air, The Beechcraft King Air family is part of a line of American utility aircraft produced by Beechcraft. The King Air line comprises a number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families. The Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with the name "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996 (although it is still often used to differentiate the 200 and 300 series King Airs from their smaller stablemates). The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

The Beechcraft Super King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by Beechcraft. The Model 200 and Model 300 series were originally marketed as the "Super King Air" family, but the "Super" was dropped in 1996.[3] They form the King Air line together with the King Air Model 90 and 100 series.[4] Beechcraft currently offers the 250 (design. B200GT[5]) and the larger 350i (B300[5]) models.[6] The 350ER (B300CER[5]) is available to government, military and commercial customers for special mission operations[7] such as aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection and surveillance.[8] The Beechcraft 1900 regional airliner was derived from the Model B200 King Air.[9] The Super King Air family has been in continuous production since 1974,[10] the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft in its class. It outlasted all of its previous competitors; the only other pressurized multi engine turboprop utility aircraft now in production is the Piaggio P.180 Avanti. CLICK ON PICTURE AT LEFT TO GO TO ARCHIVE PAGE

Beechcraft 1900 ContinentalConnection.jpg A Continental Connection Beechcraft 1900D Role Regional airliner, cargo, and corporate aircraft Manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corporation Raytheon Aircraft Company[1] First flight September 3, 1982[2] Introduction February 1984 Status In service Primary users Silver Airways Ameriflight Produced 1982-2002 Number built 695 Unit cost US$ 4.995 million (2001)[2] Developed from Beechcraft Super King Air The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop fixed-wing aircraft that was manufactured by Beechcraft. It was designed, and is primarily used, as a regional airliner. It is also used as a freight aircraft and corporate transport, and by several governmental and military organisations. With customers favoring larger regional jets, Raytheon ended production in October 2002.[3] The aircraft was designed to carry passengers in all weather conditions from airports with relatively short runways. It is capable of flying in excess of 600 miles (970 km), although few operators use its full-fuel range. In terms of the number of aircraft built and its continued use by many passenger airlines and other users, it is one of the most popular 19-passenger airliners in history. CLICK ON PICTURE AT LEFT TO GO TO ARCHIVE.

The Beechcraft Starship is a twin-turboprop six- to eight-passenger pressurized business aircraft produced by Beech Aircraft Corporation (now Textron Aviation). Development of the Starship began in 1979 when Beech decided to explore designs for a successor to its King Air line of turboprops that would fly faster and carry more passengers.  The design was originated by Beechcraft in January 1980 as Preliminary Design 330 (PD 330).[citation needed] On August 25, 1982, Beech contracted with Scaled Composites to refine the design and build an 85% scale proof-of-concept (POC) aircraft. One of the significant changes made to the design by Scaled Composites was the addition of variable geometry to the canard.  The POC aircraft first flew in August 1983.  This aircraft had no pressurization system, no certified avionics, and a different airframe design and material specifications than the planned production Model 2000. Only one POC was built and it has since been scrapped.  Prototypes were produced even as development work was continuing—a system demanded by the use of composite materials, as the tooling required is very expensive and has to be built for production use from the outset. Beech built three airworthy full-scale prototypes. NC-1 was used for aerodynamic testing and was the only Starship equipped with conventional electro-mechanical avionics.  NC-2 was used for avionics and systems testing and NC-3 was used for flight management system and powerplant testing. NC-1 first flew on February 15, 1986. The program was delayed several times, at first due to underestimating the developmental complexity and manufacturing learning curve of the production composite construction, and later due to the technical difficulties of correcting a pitch damping problem and developing the stall-warning system. By the end of development, the Starship had grown larger in cabin volume than the King Air 350 while having the same gross ramp weight of 15,010 lb (6,808 kg). Starship development cost $300 million.  The first production Starship flew on April 25, 1989