The Beech 1900 19 seat commuter was chosen along with the smaller 1300, both developments of the King Air 200, and the C99 for Beech's reentry into the regional airliner market in 1979.
The most obvious change from the King Air 200 to the 1900C is the substantially lengthened fuselage (17.63m/57ft 10in compared to 13.34m/43ft 9in). Other changes include more powerful engines, a modified tail with tailets, and stabilons on the lower rear fuselage.
Development of the 1900 commenced in 1979, with first flight occurring on September 3 1982. US FAA certification was awarded in November 1983, prior to the 1900C's entry into service in February the following year. The first ExecLiner corporate transport version was delivered in mid 1985.
During the course of 1900C production a wet wing was introduced increasing fuel capacity by 927 litres (204Imp gal/245US gal), while military transport, maritime patrol and electronic surveillance versions were offered.
Beech announced the improved 1900D at the US Regional Airlines Association meeting in 1989, with the prototype, a converted 1900C, first flying on March 1 1990. Production switched to the improved model in 1991, with first deliveries (to Mesa Air) that November. The main change introduced on the 1900D was the substantially deeper fuselage with standup headroom. In addition it also introduced larger passenger and freight doors and windows, twin ventral strakes and auxiliary horizontal fixed tails, while more powerful engines and winglets improve hot and high performance.
The 1900D has sold particularly well. For example the 1900D's biggest customer is Mesa Airlines, a United Airlines feeder, which has placed total firm orders for 118. A 1900D delivered to Impulse Airlines in Australia in March 1997 was the 500th 1900 built.
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