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The Beech 65/70/80/88 Queen Air

Country of origin  
United States of America


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Photo © Jarrod Wilkening

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Photo © Andreas Barowski
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Photo © Manuel Marin - Iberian Spotters
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65 - Two 255kW (340hp) IGSO480A1E6 Lycoming fuel injected supercharged flat six piston engines driving three blade constant speed propellers. B80 - Two 285kW (380hp) Lycoming IGSO540A1D piston engines.

65 - Max speed 385km/h (208kt), max cruising speed 344km/h (186kt), long range cruising speed 267km/h (144kt). Range with reserves and standard fuel 1682km (908nm), with optional fuel 2670km (1442nm). B80 - Max speed 400km/h (215kt), max cruising speed 362km/h (195kt), typical cruising speed 335km/h (181kt). Range with reserves 1950km (1053nm).

65 - Empty 2324kg (5123lb), max takeoff 3719kg (8200lb). B80 - Empty 2394kg (5277lb), max takeoff 3992kg (8800lb).

Wing span 15.32m (50ft 3in), length 10.82m (35ft 6in), height 4.33m (14ft 3in). Wing area 27.3m2 (294sq ft).

One or two pilots and up to nine passengers in commuter configuration, or six passengers in executive transport role.

1001 Queen Airs of all models built (404 Model 65s & A65s, 42 Model 70s, 510 Model 80s and 45 Model 88s), including U8F Seminoles for the US Army.

Utility, light executive transport and commuter airliner


The versatile Queen Air is Beech's largest and heaviest piston twin apart from the WW2 era radial powered Beech 18.

The prototype Model 65 Queen Air made its first flight on August 28 1958, with deliveries of production aircraft in late 1960 marking the beginning of a production run that would last almost two decades. This first model combined the wings, undercarriage, Lycoming engines and tail surfaces of the Model E50 Twin Bonanza with a new and substantially larger fuselage. A Queen Air 65 established a new class altitude record of 34,882ft in 1960.

Many variants subsequently followed, including the 3630kg (8000lb) max takeoff weight Model 80 with more powerful 285kW (380hp) engines and swept fin and rudder. This model evolved into the A80, the first to be offered as a commuter airliner. Introduced in 1964, the A80 had a redesigned nose and interior, increased wing span and a 227kg (500lb) greater takeoff weight. The pressurised 88 had round windows and the longer wingspan of the A80 and a 3992kg (8800lb) MTOW.

The Model B80 was the last major production model and appeared in 1966. It featured the longer span wing and the 88's MTOW. The model A65 was essentially a Model 65 with the swept fin and rudder of the Model 80, and entered production in 1967. The Model 70 entered production in 1969, it featured the longer span wings, 3720kg (8200lb) MTOW and 255kW (340hp) engines. Production of the Queen Air ceased in 1977.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.