Throughout its 84 year long history, Beechcraft has brought to the table some of the most innovative designs and concepts in the aviation industry. With such a storied history, Beechcraft has seen some hits and some misses in its 84 years, but continues to push the envelope when it comes to aviation design up until this day. From designing planes used in the fighting during the second world war, to those made for personal use, to regional aircrafts, the history of Beechcraft is a fascinating one for anyone interested in modern day aviation.
To begin, one would have to start during the very early years for Beechcraft in the 1930’s. Beechcraft was first founded in 1932 by Walter H. Beech and his wife Olive Ann, and their first model ever produced was their historic Model 17. The Model 17 is more commonly known as the classic Beechcraft Staggerwing, and was designed for speed in mind. Originally created in mind for the ever busy business traveler, the Staggerwing outshone even military persuit airplanes during the time in air speed races. A few years later, Beechcraft came out with their second model of plane, the Model 18 or Twin Beech, and this aircraft continued production all the way until 1970. The Twin Beech held a record for continuous production, with 33 years, until the record was broken by another Beechcraft plane, the Beechcraft Bonanza.
During the 1940’s the speed and innovation of Beechcraft planes wasn’t lost on the military strategists of World War II, and 7,400 Beechcraft planes were used for the military fight. Even those planes used in the second world war that were not of Beechcraft origin, were inspired by the design and speed of the original Beechcraft Model 17. Once the war came to an end, Beechcraft got back to business making aircrafts designed for the modern business traveler, and 1947 saw the first production of the now famed Beechcraft Bonanza, the plane to finally overtake the record set by the Twin Beech.
In the years after the war, Beechcraft continued to produce a myriad of different airplane models and designs all suited for personal and business use. With their history of speed and innovation, Beechcraft continues to be a name respected by aviation enthusiasts and military personnel alike up until this day.