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Beechcraft 18 / C-45 Expeditor / AT-11 Kansan




Beech began in 1935 the development of a six/eight-seat commercial transport identified as the Beech Model 18. Designed by Ted Wells, this was a a low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with a semi-monocoque fuselage of light alloy, a cantilever tail unit incorporating twin end-plate fins and rudders, and electrically retractable tailwheel landing gear. Float or ski landing gear later became optional. The initial engine installation was two 239kW Wright R-760-E2 radial engines mounted in wing leading-edge nacelles, and accommodation for two crew and six passengers.

The initial Model 18A was first flown on 15 January 1937 and the first one was delivered to the Ethyl Corporation in that year at an equipped price of $32,752.

An improved Model 18B with lower-powered engines also sold in small numbers.

The Model D18-C Expeditor could be converted to a Model E18-S if Pratt & Whitney engines replaced the original Continentals.

The Model 18D of 1939 had 246kW Jacobs L-6 engines, giving improved performance. Only 34 of these were sold in 1940, but the wartime demand for these aircraft was to total more than 4,000.



In total the US forces used purchase-built and impressed Model 18s as light transports under the overall designations C-45 (1,401 USAAF aircraft) and JRB (377 US Navy aircraft), the same basic airframe was used in larger numbers as a trainer.




The first US Army Air Corps order, placed during 1940, was for 11 aircraft under the designation C-45, for use as staff transports. These were similar to the civil Model B18S. Subsequent procurement covered 20 C-45As for use in a utility transport role, with interior and equipment changes being made in the 223 C-45Bs that followed. Some of these aircraft were supplied to the UK under Lend-Lease, being designated Expediter I in RAF service. The USAAF designations C-45C, C-45D and C-45E were applied respectively to two impressed B18S civil aircraft, two AT-7s completed for transport duties, and six AT-7Bs similarly modified. Major and final production version for the USAAF was the seven-seat C-45F, with a slightly longer nose and of which at least 1,137 were built. Lend-Lease deliveries served with the Royal Navy and RAF as Expediter IIs, and with the Royal Canadian Air Force as Expediter IIIs. All of the C-45 designations were changed to a new UC-45 category in January 1943.

The RCAF received its first Expeditors in 1939 and flew them until the Services were unified in 1968. Retirement from the Canadian Forces came in 1970.

In 1941, the Beech AT-7 Navigator was introduced to provide navigation training, equipped with three positions for trainee navigators, plus a dorsal astrodome and 336-kW (450-hp) R-985-25 radials. A total of 577 were built, being followed by six AT-7As with float landing gear and a large ventral fin. Nine AT-7Bs, basically winterized AT-7s were built to USAAF order: five were supplied to the UK, one being used by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands during his wartime exile. The AT-7C final version of the Navigator had R-985-AN-3 engines, production totalling 549.


The AT (advanced trainer) version of the Model 18 appeared during 1941. The AT-11 Kansan (originally named Kansas) with R-985-AN-1 engines, for the USAAF was a bombing and gunnery trainer. It incorporated a small bomb bay capable of holding up to 1000 lb of light bombs, had small circular portholes in place of the standard rectangular cabin windows, a redesigned nose to provide a bomb aiming position, and two 7.62mm machine-guns, one in the nose, the other in a dorsal turret.
AT-11 Kansan
The AT-11 was the standard WW II bombing trainer; about 90 percent of the more than 45,000 AAF bombardiers trained in AT-11s. Student bombardiers normally dropped 100-lb. sand-filled practice bombs. In 1943, the AAF established a minimum proficiency standard of 22 percent hits on target for trainees. Combat training missions were flown taking continuous evasive action within a ten-mile radius of the target and final target approaches had to be straight and level and no longer than 60 seconds. After September 30, 1943, these missions were generally flown using the Norden Bombsight and the C-1 automatic pilot, the aircraft being guided by the bombardier student during the bombing run. 
Production from 1941 to USAAF orders totalled 1,582 and of them, 36 were converted for navigation training as AT-11As. Twenty-four AT-11s ordered by the Netherlands for service in the Netherlands East Indies were, instead, taken on charge by the USAAF. They were delivered to the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School at Jackson, Mississippi, in early 1942.


The last of the US Army Air Force's wartime versions of the Beech Model 18 were photographic reconnaissance F-2s. 14 civil Model B18S were purchased and converted with cabin-mounted mapping cameras and oxygen equipment. They were supplemented later by 13 F-2As with four cameras, converted from C-45As, and by 42 F-2Bs, which were conversions from UC-45Fs: these had additional camera ports in both sides of the fuselage.


Beech built a total of 4,526 C-45 military version for the Army Air Forces between 1939 and 1945 in four versions, the AT-7 "Navigator" navigation trainer, the AT-11 "Kansan" bombing-gunnery trainer, the C-45 "Expeditor" utility transport anf the F-2 for aerial photography and mapping. The AT-7 and AT-11 versions were well-known to WW II navigators and bombardiers, for most of these men received their training in these aircraft. Thousands of AAF pilot cadets also were given advanced training in twin-engine Beech airplanes. 


In June 1948, under a general revision of the USAF designation system, all of the surviving F-2 photo/reconnaissance aircraft were redesignated RC-45A. Similarly, AT-7, AT-7C and AT-11 s dropped their A prefix: at the same time a small number of drone-directors converted from UC-45Fs and given the designation CQ-3 became instead, DC-45Fs.

The US Navy and US Marine Corps used more than 1,500 Model 18s. Initial versions were similar to the US Army's F-2, this being designated JRB-1, and followed by a JRB-2 transport, and JRB-3s and JRB-4s equivalent to the C-45B and UC-45F respectively. The designations SNB-1 (320 aircraft), SNB-2 (509 aircraft and 376 SNB-2C) and SNB-3 were applied respectively to aircraft that were equivalent to the USAAF's AT-11, AT-7, and AT-7C. US Navy ambulance and photographic versions were the SNB-2H and SNB-2P respectively; the SNB-3Q was an electronic counter-measures trainer.

During 1951-2, about 900 in-service USAF UC-45E, T-7 and T-11 aircraft were re-manufactured to zero-time condition and modernised, and given the new designations C-45G and C-45H. The C-45G had an autopilot and R-985-AN-3 engines, the C-45H no autopilot and R-985-AN-14B engines. At the same time, US Navy SNB-2s, SNB-2Cs, and SNB-2Ps were remanufactured under the designations SNB-5 and SNB-5P. Later, with introduction of the tri-service unified designation scheme in 1962, in-service SNB aircraft were redesignated TC-45J and RC-45J respectively in the training and photographic roles.




Post war Beech resumed manufacture of the civil Model 18, and in 1953 introduced a larger and improved version of the D18S. Known as the Super 18 (E18S), the prototype was flown for the first time on 10 December 1953. Structural improvements included external refinements to reduce drag, Geisse safety landing gear for cross-wind operations, a separate flight deck, and improved soundproofing. Wingspan was increased and integral steps fitted. All-up weight was increased with the cabin accommodating five to seven passengers. Some were supplied to the French Armee de l’Air.
E18S Super 18
Progressive improvements continued throughout the production of 754 Super 18s, the last examples of the final Model H18 version being built during 1969. The H18 Super-Liner is an advanced version with more engineering im­provements than any previous model, including electric cowl flaps, a redesigned exhaust system, lightweight props, and automatic oil coolers.

In September 1963 Beech introduced optional factory-installed retractable tricycle landing gear which had been developed by Volpar Inc. of Los Angeles, California. Some other options include fuel injection, air conditioning, an autopilot and weather radar.

Post-war production of the Model 18 finally come to an end in with the tri-gear H18S Super 18 leaving the factory in 1969. In 1969, the last 10 planes were sold to Japan, ending a 32-year production cycle.



Pacific Airmotive Super 18S N36068


In 1940 Volpar offered conversion of Beechcraft 18 to executive light transport with tricycle or conventional gear, redesigned nose, custom interior etc.
 Volpar 18 NC19452
 C-45G N8823Z
 Volpar also offered conversions of standard Beech 18s to Volpar Turbo 18 standard, with tricycle landing gear and TPE331 turboprop engines kits, and also the lengthened turboprop-powered 15-passenger Volpar Turboliner, first flying in December 1964. Conversions offered by other manufacturers have included the nine-passenger Dumod I and 15-passenger Dumod Liner retaining the original Pratt & Whitney R‑985 radial piston‑engines, offered by Dumod Corporation with larger win­dows and glass-fiber control surfaces; and Pacific Airmotive Corporation'’ 10-passenger PAC Tradewind and turboprop-powered PAC Turbo Tradewind. The Tradewind, a re­manufactured D-18, offering tricycle gear, new windscreen, increased fuel capacity and other updated equipment.
 Volpar Super 18 NC343V


Pacific Airmotive Tradewind


Available from Hamilton Aviation in late 1981 were the Hamilton Westwind II STD and Westwind III turboprop-powered conversion of 17-and eight-passenger capacity respectively. The Westwind III was powered by 579 ehp United Aircraft of Canada turboprops.

In production for over 32 years, more than 9100 airplanes in 32 variants were built.




In 1964 Conrad International Corp offer an FAA certified re-worked C-18S, Certified at 10,200 MTOW, modifications at Ft. Lauderdale included tricycle gear, oval passenger windows, airstair door, cargo doo and executive interior for nine passengers.




Engines: 2 x Wright R-760-E2, 320 hp / 239kW
Crew: 2
Passengers: 6


B18S / C-45C / F-2 / RC-45A / UC-45 / JRB-1


D18C Expeditor
Engines: 2 x Continental

Engines: 2 x 246kW Jacobs L-6

Engines two 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B Wasp Junior.
Gross Wt. 8750 lbs.
Empty Wt. 5770 lbs.
Fuel capacity 206-286 USG.
Wing Span: 47ft 7in (14.5m)
Length: 32ft (9.74m)
Height: 9ft 8in (2.95m)
Top speed: 230 mph.
Cruise: 211 mph.
Stall: 77 mph.
Initial climb rate 1190 fpm.
Range 985 sm.
Ceiling 20,500 ft.
Takeoff distance (50’) 1760 ft.
Landing distance (50’) 1460 ft.
Seats 5-7.


C-45 Expeditor 18S
Engines: 2 x 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney R985-AN-1
Wingspan: 47 ft. 8 in.
Length: 33 ft. 11.5 in.
Loaded weight: 8,727 lb.
Max. Speed: 218 m.p.h.
Ceiling: 26,000 ft.
Typical range: 1,200 miles at 160 m.p.h. at 5,000 ft. with normal load.
Seats: 2 plus 6 passengers.

Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985, 450 hp.
Prop: Hamilton Standard Constant speed 95 in.
Pwr loading: 17.7 lbs/hp.
Wing span: 49 ft 8 in.
Wing area: 310 sq.ft.
Wing loading: 31.2 lbs/sq.ft.
Length: 35 ft 2.5 in.
Height: 10 ft 5 in.
Seats: 5 pax.
Crew: 2.
MTOW: 9700 lbs.
Max ldg wt: 9400 lbs.
Empty wt: 5910 lbs.
Fuel cap: (Std) 198 USG, (with aux.) 318 USG.
Max cruise: 214 mph.
Maneuvering speed: 153 mph.
Stall, clean: 93 mph, Flap & U/c: 84 mph.
Vmc: 94 mph.
T/o dist: 1455 ft, (50 ft) 1980 ft.
Ldg dist: 1036 ft, (50 ft) 1850 ft.
ROC S/L: 1410 fpm.
SE ROC: 255 fpm.
Service ceiling: 21,000 ft.
SE Service ceiling: 7750 ft.
Max endurance @ 155 mph, std fuel, no res: 4.2 hr, 651 sm.
Max range with aux fuel, no res: 6.7 hr, 1038 sm.


E18S Super 18
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-14-ANB
Empty weight: 6150 lb
Loaded weight: 9300 lb
Max speed: 234 mph at 5000 ft
Cruise: 207 mph at 5000 ft
ROC: 1250 fpm
Wingspan: 49 ft 8 in
Length: 35 ft 2.5 in
Height: 9 ft 6 in
Wing area: 361 sq.ft


H18S Super 18
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B, 336kW
Take-off weight: 4491 kg / 9901 lb
Empty weight: 2651 kg / 5844 lb
Fuel capacity: 198-318 USG
Wingspan: 15.15 m / 49 ft 8 in
Length: 10.73 m / 35 ft 2 in
Height: 2.84 m / 9 ft 4 in
Wing area: 33.51 sq.m / 360.70 sq ft
Max. speed: 354 km/h / 220 mph
Cruise speed: 298 km/h / 185 mph
Stall: 87 mph
Initial climb rate: 1400 fpm
Ceiling: 6525 m / 21400 ft
Range: 3060 km / 1901 miles
Takeoff distance (50’) 2072 ft.
Landing distance (50’) 1850 ft.
Seats 9-10
Undercarriage: tri-gear

C-45A / F-2A / RC-45A / UC-45A
Range: 850 mile (with 2,500 pounds of cargo or six pax).

C-45B Expediter I /  UC-45B / JRB-3

C-45F Expediter II / Expediter III / F-2B / RC-45A / UC-45F / JRB-4
Seats: 7


UC-45 Expeditor
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior radial, 450hp each.
Length: 34.15ft (10.41m)
Width: 47.67ft (14.53m)
Height: 9.68ft (2.95m)
Maximum Speed: 224mph (360kmh; 194kts)
Maximum Range: 1,181miles (1,900km)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,850ft/min (564m/min)
Service Ceiling: 26,017ft (7,930m)
Accommodation: 2 + 8
Empty Weight: 6,173lbs (2,800kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 7,496lbs (3,400kg)

AT-7 Navigator / T-7 / C-45D / SNB-2
Navigation trainer.
Engines: 2 x 336-kW (450-hp) R-985-25
Seats: 3.

AT-7A / T-7A

Engines: 2 x 336-kW (450-hp) R-985-25
Undercarriage: floats

AT-7B / T-7B / C-45E
Number built: 9

AT-7C Navigator / T-7C / SNB-3
Engines: 2 x R-985-AN-3

Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-14B

AT-11 Kansan / Kansas / T-11 / SNB-1
six/seven-seat bombing and gunnery trainer
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1, 336kW (450 hp)
Span: 14.50m (47ft 8in).
Length: 10.41 m (34ft 2in).
Height: 9 ft. 7 3/4 in 
Max T/O weight: 3959 kg (8,727 lb).
Max speed: 215 mph at sea level.
Cruising speed: 150 mph
Operational range: 850 miles
Service Ceiling: 20,000 ft
Bomb load: 1000 lb
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm (0.3-in) machine-guns
Original Cost: $67,000

AT-11A / T-11A
Navigation training conversion of  AT-11.
Engines: 2 x R-985-AN-1

Engines: 2 x R-985-AN-3, 450 hp
Empty weight: 5,785 lb (2624 kg)
Loaded weight: 9,000 lb (4082 kg)
Span: 47 ft 7 in (14.5 m)
Length: 33 ft 11 in (10.3 m)
Height: 9 ft 3 in (2.8 m)
Wing Area: 349 sq ft (32.4 sq m)
Undercarriage: tailwheel.

C-45H Expeditor
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-985, 450 hp  
Span: 47 ft 8 in 
Length: 34 ft 2 in 
Height: 9 ft 2 in 
Max weight: 9,300 lb
Maximum speed: 219 mph 
Cruising speed: 150 mph 
Range: 1,140 miles
Service Ceiling: 18,200 ft 
Original Cost: $57,838


Undercarriage: tricycle

CQ-3 / DC-45F
Drone-directors converted from UC-45Fs









RC-45J Expediter
Photographic role

Volpar Turboliner II / Beechcraft 18

Engines: 2 x Garrett TPE 331-1-101B, 705 shp.
Seats: 17
Wing loading: 30.75 lb/sq.ft.
Pwr loading: 8.15 lb/hp.
Max TO wt: 11,500 lb.
Empty wt: 6820 lb.
Equipped useful load: 4442 lb.
Payload max fuel: 206 lb.
Range max fuel/cruise: 2041 nm/7.7 hr.
Service ceiling: 24,000 ft.
Max cruise: 243 kt.
Vmc: 84 kt.
Stall: 80-84 kt.
1.3 Vso: 104 kt.
ROC: 1500 fpm.
SE ROC: 225 fpm @ 111 kt.
SE ceiling: 13,000 ft.
Min field length: 3245 ft.
Fuel cap: 2025/3654 lb.

Volpar Turbo 18 / Beechcraft 18

Engines: 2 x Garrett TPE 331-1-101B, 705 shp.
Seats: 9.
Wing loading: 27.51 lb/sq.ft.
Power loading: 7.3 lb/hp.
Max TO wt: 10,286 lb.
Empty wt: 6200 lb.
Equipped useful load: 3844 lb.
Payload max fuel: 190 lb.
Range max fuel/cruise: 1822 nm/6.5 hr.
Service ceiling: 26,000 ft.
Max cruise: 253 kt.
Vmc: 85 kt.
Stall: 77-80 kt.
1.3 Vso: 100 kt.
ROC: 1700 fpm.
SE ROC: 560 fpm @ 109 kt.
SE ceiling: 14,000 ft.
Min field length: 2380 ft.
Fuel cap: 2025/3654 lb.
Undercarriage: tricycle

Dumod I

Engines: Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial
Passenger capacity: 15

Dumod Liner

Engines: Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial
Passenger capacity: 15

Hamilton Westwind II STD
Engines: 2 x 579 ehp United Aircraft of Canada turboprops
Passenger capacity: 17

Hamilton Westwind III
Engines: 2 x 579 ehp United Aircraft of Canada turboprops
Passenger capacity: 8

Pacific Airmotive Corp Tradewind

Passenger capacity: 10
Undercarriage: tricycle


Pacific Airmotive Tradewind
Engines Two 450hp P&W R-985-AN-4
Wingspan: 47'3"
Length: 37'9"
Useful load: 2200 lb
Max speed: 240 mph
Cruise speed: 219 mph
Stall sped: 78
Range: 1110-2000 mi
Ceiling: 17,000'
Passenger capacity: 10
Undercarriage: tricycle


Pacific Airmotive Corp Turbo Tradewind
Engine: 2 x turboprop
Undercarriage: tricycle




E18S Super 18


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