Beechcraft Model 18 …..  Fast Facts  


  • The Beechcraft Model 18 (or “Twin Beech”, as it is also known) is a six to 11-seat twin engine, low-wing, tailwheel, light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.

  • Its first flight was on January 15, 1937.  Over 9,000 (in 32 variants) were produced from 1937 to 1970; making it one of the world’s most widely used light aircraft.  It was sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nose-wheels, skis or floats.  It was also used as a military aircraft.

  • During and after World War II, over 4,500 Beech 18s saw military service-as light transport, light bomber (for China), aircrew trainer (for bombing, navigation and gunnery) for the US Navy, US Army, Royal Air Force and Canadian Air Force, photo-reconnaissance and “mother ship” for target drones.  In World War II, over 90% of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.

  • The USAAF called the transport version C-45 Expeditor. Trainer versions were designated, AT-7 Navigator and AT-11 Kansan. The Navy models were designated UC-45J Navigator and SNB-1 Kansan.

  • In the early postwar era, the Beech 18 was the pre-eminent “business aircraft” and “feeder airliner.” In addition to carrying passengers its civilian uses have included aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish seeding, dry ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air mail delivery, ambulance service, numerous movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon and drug smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing and stunt aircraft. 

  • Many are privately owned around the world, with over 300 in the United States still on the FAA Aircraft Registry as of December 2014.

The Museum’s Beech Model D18S was built in 1946 and donated by Carl Jordan, in 2013.  It was located at the Essex Sky Park and a group of volunteers disassembled it and loaded it onto a trailer and hauled it to Martin State airport.  The plane has been reassembled and the interior has been renovated.  It will be painted as a C-45H that was flown by the Maryland Air National Guard in the 1950s