Beech Expeditor, RCAF 1477

  • Status: Not on display

    32 Years in Production

    The Beech Expeditor first flew in January 1937 and remained in production until 1969. This is a record for the length of time any aircraft has been in production and bears testimony to its success.

    A total of 5,200 aircraft were built, all in the United States. The Model 18 was used around the world. It acquired various designations and names. In RCAF service, the military version was known as the ‘Expeditor’. They were used as a light transport aircraft and as a trainer for pilots and navigators and served in the RCAF from 1943 until 1969.

    The display aircraft, RCAF 1477 is an Expeditor 3N. It was built in 1951, and retired from military service in 1968. It was used in civilian flying until 1975, when it was given to the museum by Mr. K.D. Olson. The aircraft was then restored to its earlier configuration and livery by volunteers from Canadian Forces Base, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

    The Beech Model 18 is still used extensively by various commercial operations. The aircraft was adapted to operate on wheels, skis or floats. It transported fishermen into the various remote lodges in the northern parts of Canada. The aircraft was used extensively for transporting fish out of the north to processing plants.

    Crash Landings

    While the Beech 18 Expediter is legendary for its rugged construction, in the event of a very hard (crash) landing, it is not uncommon for an engine to snap off the mount and roll ahead of the wreckage like a large bowling ball.

    In one instance in 1996, a California skydiving operator landed in a plowed field during a forced landing due to fuel exhaustion. One engine rolled nearly 500 feet ahead of the airplane while the other smashed through the tail plane. The pilot walked out unharmed and the airplane was successfully sold for scrap.

    Specifications

    • Wingspan: 14.53 m (47′ 8″)
    • Length: 10.34 m (33′ 11″)
    • Height: 2.82 m (9′ 3″)
    • Engines: Two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr.
    • Cruise Speed: 274 km/h (170 mph)
    • Max. Range: 1,448 km (900 miles)

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