This Beechcraft Model 18 (or “Twin Beech”, as it is also known) is a six to 11-seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation from 1937 to 1969 – (over 32 years, the world record at the time).  It is one of the world’s most widely used light aircraft and was sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft, and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, 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), photo-reconnaisance, and “mother ship” for target drones – including United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) C-45 Expeditor, AT-7 Navigator, AT-11 Kansan; and United States Navy (USN) UC-45J Navigator, SNB-1 Kansan, and others.

In World War II, over 90% of USAAF bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.

In the early postwar era, the Beech 18 was the pre-eminent “business aircraft” and “feeder airliner.” Besides 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, skydiving, freight, weapon – and drug – smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing, and stunt aircraft.

Personally, the thing gives me the twitch. We very rarely get involved with live TV but “Prized Apart” was one. A big budget Saturday night game show running over 6 weeks I think. It was filmed at Farnborough airport and the mission appeared simple enough; get a Beech 18, paint it, fly it into Farnborough then every Saturday night open the door for that weeks smiling winner. The problem was some particularly strange and brutal weather. Freezing fog, damp, mist, rain and overnight minus loads degree. The washable paint just never dried properly. Every morning it was like cornflakes you could just wipe off. I think we repainted the bleedin thing 4 times before we gave up and vinyl wrapped it, getting charged £1200 for one night in a Farnborough hangar. The Production were so happy they had agreed a fixed price! Thank God it bombed and there wasn’t a second series..

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We say goodbye to an old friend. Off for some much deserved TLC at a new museum home.. #avgeeks #bestofbritish https://t.co/Lo4otmNrx5

5th February 2020

Flashback to warmer skies, Malta 2004.. #avgeeks #avgeek https://t.co/je6Foawkqy

5th February 2020

Yeah. Long story. Still getting therapy.. #ukfilm #filmproduction #avgeeks #ju52 https://t.co/aV8HHQ709X

30th January 2020

Private Jet interior refresh complete! New carpets, new veneer, new seats, new leather side walls. Stunning. Camera tested RGBW lighting throughout plus working monitors. Available for your next shoot! #ukfilm #privatejet #filmproduction https://t.co/hK9ObBGfxx

30th January 2020

A break from flying stuff, how about this, an Alfa Typo 33 Racer. Came to visit us for a photoshoot. Quite a thing.. https://t.co/bxPKKcffxu

24th January 2020

..and just when you think the workshop will be empty, the next project arrives! #ukfilm #filmproduction #seaking https://t.co/EGUAXvwQlH

21st January 2020

This one we’ll call studio ready too. It’s off. #ukfilm #bell206 #filmproduction https://t.co/9M3HNF1qrZ

21st January 2020

So that’s come out ok... #ukfilm #augusta109 #filmproduction https://t.co/1hzB0kdsgI

21st January 2020

Talking of paint. The 109 has also been in the shop and is getting a new coat of paint as we speak. Going to look pretty mean... #ukfilm #augusta109 https://t.co/RJlyObMR0l

20th January 2020

Jetty has made good progress. New skids, sliding door removed and new instrument panel fitted. Tomorrow it gets a coat of paint then it’s off to the studios.. #ukfilm #jetranger #propbuild https://t.co/DsZdLh7jis

20th January 2020

RT @Hoddy1982: Now this is close, Ukrainian close https://t.co/PPDWyzusKi

17th January 2020

RT @1917FilmUK: Discover how Sam Mendes and the creators of #1917Film planned out one of the many intense moments from the critically accla…

16th January 2020

Filming on/in/around Airliners. The most common request we receive is that of a production wishing to film inside an airliner. Be that…
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Published 03.01.2012 by simon

It's often the case that a production will wish to change the appearance of an aircraft to be used in…
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Published 17.09.2011 by simon