Beechcraft D18S Twin Beech

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

The Beechcraft Model 18 made its first demonstration flight in 1937 and production continued for an impressive thirty-two years, with move than 9,000 aircraft built. The low-wing, all-metal, twin-engine monoplane was originally intended as a six-to-eight passenger executive or feeder airline transport, but eventually thirty-two versions were built. The highly adaptable design became a mail plane, a utility aircraft, and a distance and speed record breaker. Military versions included personnel transport, photo reconnaissance, and trainers for navigators and bombardiers.

The success of the Beech 18 ensured the success of Beech Aircraft Corporation throughout the 1940s. Beech introduced the D-18S model in October 1945, with structural modifications for increased payload and new engines and landing gear. Mike Mitchell operated N522B as an air ambulance for fifteen years, flying it a million and one-quarter miles and transporting nearly fifteen thousand patients.