|Model 76 Duchess|
|1978 model Beech 76 Duchess operated by the National Test Pilot School at the Mojave Airport|
|Role||Four-seat cabin monoplane|
|First flight||September 1974|
|Primary user||Flight schools|
Developed as Model PD289 (Preliminary Design 289), the prototype was unveiled on November 4th, 1974, although it had first flown in September 1974.:409–410 The design used components and the bonded wing construction from Beechcraft's single-engined Musketeer line.:55
The first production version flew on 24 May 1977, and the name "Duchess" was chosen through a company competition. Construction of the Duchess was set for a new factory built at the Liberal Division, with deliveries beginning early in 1978.:473
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. The Duchess is an all-metal low-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. It seats four.
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.:56
The Duchess wing is of aluminum honeycomb construction fastened by bonding, rather than rivets, to reduce cost and produce a smoother aerodynamic surface.
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.", while Gerald Foster said: "[Beechcraft's] interest in T-tails was perhaps an affectation triggered by their wide use on jet airliners". The later Piper Seminole also adopted a T-tail.
- 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.
The aircraft remains popular with flight training schools.
- Beechcraft - Tested one Duchess to investigate its spin recovery characteristics in conjunction with NASA.
- National Test Pilot School - Operates one Beechcraft Duchess.
- Purdue University - Uses a Duchess modified with air sampling equipment as Airborne Laboratory Atmospheric Research (ALAR).
- Scaled Composites - Uses one Duchess as a test aircraft.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1980–81.
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 3 passengers
- Length: 29 ft 0 1⁄2 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
- 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)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
- Green, William: Observers Aircraft, page 48. Frederick Warne Publishing, 1980. ISBN 0-7232-1604-5
- Collins, Richard L. "What Happened to the Piston Twin?". Flying. Bonnier Corporation. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
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- Phillips, Edward H. (1992). Beechcraft: Pursuit of Perfection (2nd ed.). Eagan, Minnesota: Flying Books. ISBN 0-911139-11-7.
- "To provide increased final assembly facilities". Aviation Week & Space Technology: 15. 20 December 1976.
- "Beech Plans to Close Plant at Liberal, Kan". Aviation Week & Space Technology: 27. 18 February 1985.
- Phillips, Edward (8 June 2017). "The "Baby Beechcraft" - Part Two". KingAir Magazine.
- 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.
- Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 84. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
- Montgomery, MR & Gerald Foster: A Field Guide to Airplanes, Second Edition, page 92. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. ISBN 0-395-62888-1
- 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.
- "Beech 76A Duchess". NTPS. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Army Instrumentation Facility: Airborne Laboratory Atmospheric Research (ALAR)". Purdue University. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Rutan Voyager". Smithsonian: National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Scaled Composites: SpaceShipOne" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. p. 3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- Taylor 1980, pp. 268–269.
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