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The Beechcraft model 18, or Twin Beech is one of the most successful aircraft designs of all time. The prototype first flew on January 15, 1937 and over 9,000 were built in the next 32 years, production ceased in 1969. Designated the C-45 Expeditor by the Air Force, 5,000 were built during World War II and were used primarily as training and transport/utility aircraft. After the war many Beech 18’s were highly modified by various companies, one of the most recognized being by Volpar who installed tricycle landing gear, extended the fuselage, and installed Garrett TPE331 turboprop engines. Hamilton also stretched the fuselage, however they installed the Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop engine and retained the original style of landing gear.
The Twin Beech’s have been used in a variety of applications in addition to passenger transport. Some of these include aerial spraying, fish seeding, movie productions, skydiving, and freight. It was used officially in North and South America, several countries in Europe, Africa, and much of Asia.
N1047B BEECH 18S S/N 7728 AIR FORCE S/N 44-4734
After the war, N1047B was operated by Ward Air Service in Juneau. A photo of this aircraft in flight appears in the Time-Life series titled The Bush Pilots. The current configuration of the aircraft represents a typical C-45 that served with the 10th Search and Rescue Squadron operating out of Elmendorf Air Force Base during the 1940s.
The museum’s Beech was released by the U.S. Air Force in October 1956. In 1962, Edo floats were installed and its registration changed to reflect its conversion from a military C45F to a civilian model 18S, the new serial number, 7728, and a standard airworthiness certificate were also issued. After exchanging owners several times the aircraft was exported to Canada and registered there. In 1979 the Beech on floats arrived to new owners in Juneau, Alaska and was again registered in the U.S. It was briefly owned by the Alaska Coastal Airlines and then several others until 1987 when it was purchased by the Alaska Aviation Museum. It was flown here in 1988 and is now waiting for funds for restoration.
|Length:||34 ft 2 in||10.41 m|
|Wingspan:||47 ft 8 in||14.53 m|
|Height:||9 ft 8 in||2.95 m|
|Wing area:||349 ft²||32.4 m²|
|Empty weight:||6,175 lb||2,800 kg|
|Loaded weight:||7,500 lb||3,400 kg|
|Max takeoff weight:||8,727 lb||3,959 kg|
|Powerplant:||2 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1
"Wasp Junior" radial engines, 450 hp (336 kW) each
|Maximum speed:||225 mph||360 km/h|
|Range:||1,200 mi at 160 mph||1,900 km|
|Service ceiling:||26,000 ft||7,930 m|
|Rate of climb:||1,850 ft/min||9.4 m/s|
Boeing 737-290C built in 1981 - Pratt and Whitney JT8D-17 SER Turbo-jet engines
The Helio Courier was designed in 1949 as a light, C/STOL aircraft with emphasis on off-airfield operations. The wings are of conventional leading edge slats that deploy automatically when the aircraft's airspeed falls below a certain value (55-60 mph). The slats contribute to the Helio's outstanding short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability, and allow for stall/spin-proof controllable flight. In conjunction with the leading-edge slats, 74% of the trailing edge incorporates high lift slotted flaps, together with a stall fence atop each wing prevent loss of roll control at very low airspeeds, and allows for a turn radius within the wingspan of the airplane.
The Museum's Helio Courier was owned by Lowell Thomas, Jr. and was used to fly climbers and explorers throughout Alaska and in particular, Denali. Lowell donated the aircraft to the Museum in May 2010.
|Length:||30 ft 8 in||9.35 m|
|Wingspan:||39 ft 0 in||11.89 m|
|Height:||8 ft 10 in||2.69 m|
|Engine:||Lycoming GO-480-G1D6 geared 6-cylinder engine, 295 hp|
|Loaded weight:||3,600 lb||1,636 kg|
|Useful load:||1,320 lb||600 kg|
|Maximum speed:||148 knots||288 km/h|
|Range:||950 nmi||1,760 km|
|Service ceiling:||20,500 ft||6,250 m|
|Rate of climb:||1,200 ft/min||6.1 m/s|
Our USAF F-15A, Eagle was manufactured in 1974. It served at Elmendorf in the early 1980's and later returned to Elmendorf as a GITA bird: Ground Instruction Training Aircraft. Maintenance personnel used the aircraft to practice battle damage repairs and such for skills level training.