Wing span: about 49’ (varied by model)
Length: 35’ 3” Height: 9’ 4”
Gross Weight: 8000+ lbs (5,400 empty)
Max cruise: 191 kts Range: 1330nm
Fuel: 200 gal
Jacobs L-6, 330 HP, (early models)
Pratt & Whitney R-985, 450 HP, (later)
The Ellen Jane started life as a Beech 18 and the Beech 18 started life as an optimistic vision by Walter Beech. He wanted to build something more modern than the cabin class biplanes of his competition. It was quite a gamble as there was no clear market for such an airplane in 1935. The first twin beech flew in January of 1937.
While initial domestic orders were slow, the Beech 18 found favor with charter operators, businessmen in a hurry and foreign airlines. WWII gave it a chance to shine and it served in all theaters of the war. Thirty two versions were produced and over 200 modifications have been approved by the FAA. In all, over 9000 planes were built, the last one in 1969.
A quick Internet search for “beech 18” will yield over 300,000 hits and several million photos.
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