Beechcraft Duchess

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The Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess is an American twin-engined monoplane built by Beechcraft intended partly as a low cost introduction to twin-engine aircraft.[1][2]

Model 76 Duchess
Ntps-be76-N5410M-090123-02-cr8.jpg
1978 model Beech 76 Duchess operated by the National Test Pilot School at the Mojave Airport
Role Four-seat cabin monoplane
Manufacturer Beechcraft
First flight September 1974[1]
Introduction 1978[1]
Primary user Flight schools[1]
Produced 1978-1983
Number built 437
US registered 1979 model Duchess
1979 model Duchess

DevelopmentEdit

Developed as Model PD289 (Preliminary Design 289), the prototype was unveiled on November 4th, 1974, although it had first flown in September 1974.[1][3]:409–410 The design used components and the bonded wing construction from Beechcraft's single-engined Musketeer line.[4]:55

The first production version flew on 24 May 1977, and the name "Duchess" was chosen through a company competition.[1][3] Construction of the Duchess was set for a new factory built at the Liberal Division,[5] with deliveries beginning early in 1978.[3]:473

Production of the Duchess continued until 1983, with no significant changes.[6] A single example was tested with turbocharged engines in 1979, but did not proceed to production.[4]:56

DesignEdit

The Model 76 was designed as an economical twin-engine trainer for the Beech Aero Centers and to compete with the similar Gulfstream Cougar as well as the Cessna 310.[1][7] The Duchess is an all-metal low-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. It seats four.[8]

The Model 76 incorporates right and left "handed" Lycoming O-360 engines that turn in different directions to eliminate the critical engine during single engine operation.[9]

In 1979, a single example was converted to test the turbocharged versions of the engine. The cowlings were reshaped and the exhaust moved to accommodate the aft-mounted turbochargers.[4]:56

The Duchess wing is of aluminum honeycomb construction fastened by bonding, rather than rivets, to reduce cost and produce a smoother aerodynamic surface.[9]

T-tailEdit

The use of a T-tail on the Model 76 met with mixed critical reception when the aircraft was introduced. Plane & Pilot pronounced: "Outstanding design characteristics of the new Duchess include an aerodynamically advantageous T-tail, which places the horizontal surfaces above the propeller slipstream for better stability and handling.",[9] while Gerald Foster said: "[Beechcraft's] interest in T-tails was perhaps an affectation triggered by their wide use on jet airliners".[10] The later Piper Seminole also adopted a T-tail.

VariantsEdit

Model 76 Duchess
Four-seat, twin-engine (Lycoming O-360), low-winged trainer with bonded aluminum construction.
Model 76TC Duchess
Unofficial designation for single test aircraft using turbocharged Lycoming O-360.

OperatorsEdit

The aircraft remains popular with flight training schools.

SpecificationsEdit

 
1976 model Duchess instrument panel

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1980–81.[16]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 29 ft 0 12 in (8.85 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 0 in (11.58 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
  • Wing area: 181 sq ft (16.8 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.973:1
  • Airfoil: NACA 632A415
  • Empty weight: 2,460 lb (1,116 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,900 lb (1,769 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 100 US gal (83 imp gal; 380 L)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming O-360-A1G6D air-cooled flat-four engines, 180 hp (130 kW) each
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Hartzell HC-M2YR-2C(L)EUF/F(J)C 7666A constant speed propellers

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 158 kn (182 mph, 293 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
  • Stall speed: 60 kn (69 mph, 110 km/h) power off, flaps down, IAS
  • Never exceed speed: 171 kn (197 mph, 317 km/h)
  • Range: 780 nmi (900 mi, 1,440 km) at 12,000 ft (3,700 m), econ cruise
  • Service ceiling: 19,650 ft (5,990 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,248 ft/min (6.34 m/s)

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Green, William: Observers Aircraft, page 48. Frederick Warne Publishing, 1980. ISBN 0-7232-1604-5
  2. ^ Collins, Richard L. "What Happened to the Piston Twin?". Flying. Bonnier Corporation. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c McDaniel, William H. (1982). The History of Beech: Fifty Years of Excellence. Wichita, Kansas: McCormick-Armstrong Co. ISBN 0-911978-00-3.
  4. ^ a b c Phillips, Edward H. (1992). Beechcraft: Pursuit of Perfection (2nd ed.). Eagan, Minnesota: Flying Books. ISBN 0-911139-11-7.
  5. ^ "To provide increased final assembly facilities". Aviation Week & Space Technology: 15. 20 December 1976.
  6. ^ "Beech Plans to Close Plant at Liberal, Kan". Aviation Week & Space Technology: 27. 18 February 1985.
  7. ^ Phillips, Edward (8 June 2017). "The "Baby Beechcraft" - Part Two". KingAir Magazine.
  8. ^ Frawley, Gerard (2003). The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2003-2004. Fyshwick, ACT, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 1-875671-58-7.
  9. ^ a b c Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 84. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  10. ^ Montgomery, MR & Gerald Foster: A Field Guide to Airplanes, Second Edition, page 92. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. ISBN 0-395-62888-1
  11. ^ Stowell, Rick (2007). The Light Airplane Pilot's Guide to Stall/spin Awareness: Featuring the PARE Spin Recovery Checklsit. Rich Stowell, Master CFI-A. p. 447. ISBN 9781879425439.
  12. ^ "Beech 76A Duchess". NTPS. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Army Instrumentation Facility: Airborne Laboratory Atmospheric Research (ALAR)". Purdue University. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Rutan Voyager". Smithsonian: National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Scaled Composites: SpaceShipOne" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. 3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  16. ^ Taylor 1980, pp. 268–269.

External linksEdit