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Beechcraft Queen Air

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Beechcraft Queen Air
Type Utility aircraft
Business aircraft
Manufacturers Beech Aircraft Corporation
Designed by Beech Aircraft Corporation
Maiden flight 1958-08-28
Introduced 1960
Status Active service
Produced 1960-1977
Number built 930[1]

The Beechcraft Queen Air is a twin engined light aircraft produced by Beechcraft in several different versions from 1960 to 1978. Based upon the Twin Bonanza, with which it shared key components such as wings, engines, and tail surfaces, but featuring a larger fuselage, it served as the basis for the highly successful King Air series. It is often used as a private aircraft, a utility, or a small commuter airliner. Production ran for the best part of two decades.



This is the Queen Air powered by two Lycoming IGSO-480s producing 340 hp with a 1400 hour TBO. It had a gross weight of 7700 lb with useful loads around 2000 lb. It is easily recognized by its straight unswept tail. Usually referred to as a "straight 65". Produced from 1960 to 1966.


First produced in 1967 the A65 is very similar to the straight 65. The major change was the addition of a swept tail giving the aircraft a much more modern appearance. Available fuel was also increased. Production ended in 1971.


Introduced in 1968. This aircraft is similar to the A65 in that it is powered by the 340 HP Lycoming IGSO-480 however it has the longer wing of the 80 series. This allows the 70 to have a greater lifting ability than the 65's but a lower fuel burn than the 80 series. It is, essentially, an A65 with the B80 wing. Its gross weight is 8,200 lb and useful loads could be as high as 2,400 lb. Production ended in 1971.


Introduced in 1961 the model 80 was the first of the Queen Airs' to have the more modern swept tail. It was powered by a larger Lycoming IGSO-540 which produced 380 HP. Gross weight on the 80 is 8000 lb.


Introduced in 1964. The major changes to the A80 include a redesign of the aircraft nose, and a 500 pound increase in takeoff weight to 8500 lb gross weight. This aircraft was the first to feature the longer wing found on all subsuquent variants except the A65. This extension added around 2 ft to each side.


Introduced in 1966 the B80 was to be the final production model. The B80 was by far the longest produced Queen Air with production lasting some 12 years. Its major improvement was the increased gross weight to a 8,800 lb. This gave the B80 a useful load of well over 3000 lb. Production ended in 1978.


Introduced in 1965 the model 88 is a pressurised version of the Queen Air. This aircraft featured circular cabin windows that make the 88 look quite similar to a 90 series King Air. It also shares the engines and long wing of the B80. Sales were slack due to its higher sales price and lower useful load as compared to the B80. Only 45 were ever produced and the aircraft was removed from production in 1969. While the 88 in and of itself was not a success, when Beech replaced the Lycoming piston engines with a pair of Pratt and Whittney PT6s one of their most successful aircraft ever was born, the King Air 90. As a matter of fact, the first two models of King Airs official designation was BE65-90 and BE65-90A owing to its Queen Air heritage.


This is a modification performed in the aftermarket by supplemental type certificates (STCs) to the BE65. It resolves the biggest issue of the Queen Air design. This is accomplished by replacing the rather cantankerous Lycoming IGSO-480s and IGSO-540s with the far more robust Lycoming IO-720. This presents the major advantage of not having any gearbox or turbochargers to cause maintenance and reliability problems. The other advantages gained are the overall increase in power to 400 hp per engine as well as a gross weight increase in most models. The gross weights are increased to 8,000 lb in all the short wing aircraft (65,A65,80), 8,200 lb in the 70, and 8800 in the other long wing aircraft (A80,B80,88). The US Army installed this modification on all of their aircraft. The Excalibur Queen Air can be recognized by the noticeably smaller engine cowlings and lower set engines. This STC was originally designed and produced by Ed Swearingen who was well known for his work on the Twin Bonanza, Queen Air, and later Swearingen aircraft (Merlin and Metro). The ownership of this STC has changed hands many times over the years. The current owner is "Bemidji Aviation" which operates a fleet of Excalibur Queen Airs as well as other aircraft in the charter and freight roll in the upper mid-west of the United States. The status of the availability of the STC is unknown. By all accounts this package increases the overall performance of Queen Air significantly and makes it a must have addition to any Queen Air.

Production number details

This info provides a detailed account of production by Beechcraft by individual variant. Production numbers per year can be found in the Hawker Beechcraft serialization list[2][1] 65,A65= 339 70= 37 80,A80,B80= 509 88= 45 Total= 930

Military Operators

Military Operators included:

Specifications (Model 65 Queen Air)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1-2
  • Capacity: 9 passengers
  • Length: 35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)
  • Wingspan: 50 ft 3 in (15.32 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.33 m)
  • Wing area: 294 ft² (27.3 m²)
  • Empty weight: 5,123 lb (2,324 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,200 lb (3,700 kg)
  • Powerplant:Lycoming IGSO480 A1E6 flat-6, 340 hp (255 kW) each


For an explanation of the units and abbreviations in this list, please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/Units key.


See also

Related development

Designation sequence

Related lists

de:Beechcraft Queen Air

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beechcraft Queen Air".