GRIVely
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Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:56 am

I was in an office park at the south end of Dulles runway 19 walking to lunch at 1255 ON Monday when I noticed what appeared to be a Starship departing 19R. My attention was first attracted by the very odd engine noise and then I saw the long, thin fuselage, unusual wing planform, and the telltale canards. My understanding was that Beech was trying to suppress Starships and had, according to reports, actually destroyed the jigs for the airframe.

Anyone have any thoughts or information on this sighting?

Thanks in advance.

The GRIV
 
71Zulu
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:27 am

Bob Scherer is Mr Starship and he says there are 5 flying in the US

N8244L
N8074S
N45FL
N8285Q
N514RS

http://bobscherer.com/Pages/Starship.htm
Clickable links only please!
 
rfields5421
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:57 am

Quoting GRIVely (Thread starter):
My understanding was that Beech was trying to suppress Starships

From Bob's FAQ

Quote:
Why is Raytheon scrapping it's fleet of Starships?

Raytheon's response:

"In regards to your Starship query, we are indeed decommissioning the fleet. We made the business decision that because of the low number of aircraft in service, and the specialized parts necessary to keep the aircraft flying, that it did not make sense from a business standpoint to continue to support the aircraft."

Also, the Starship was 'sold' with a promise of free maintenance - and a separate company did the maintenance. Again from Bob's page

Quote:
To help boost Starship sales, Raytheon management had the brilliant idea of offering free maintenance to buyers. In the end, this program probably had more to do with Raytheon's decision to discontinue the Starship than anything else and helped falsely earn the Starship a reputation of being a maintenance hog.

Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) was responsible for doing the "free" maintenance for Starship owners. To understand what happened, it's important to point out that RAS is a separate company from Raytheon.

As with any service business, aircraft maintenance has its slack periods. But when RAS facilities had slack periods in the early 90's, many of them found Starships on the ramp to work on. They would work on the Starships whether they needed it or not and many of these airplanes were still owned and operated by Raytheon.

Even if the Starship was owned by a private party, owners didn't care how big the invoice was because Raytheon was paying the tab. With nobody questioning the invoices, one can imagine the scale of the billings that took place.

Periodically, Raytheon would ask RAS to explain why the Starship fleet was so expensive to maintain. And naturally, RAS would respond that the Starship was a very complex airplane that was difficult to work on. Raytheon accepted these claims and continued paying the maintenance bills. But in reality, the free maintenance program was a billing machine for RAS and nobody at Raytheon had the incentive to figure it out and end it..

So free maintenance resulted in record billings to Raytheon, souring management's view of the Starship and frightening prospective customers. Raytheon management bought the RAS line that the Starship was complex and difficult to work on, eventually putting the red ink to bed by killing Starship production.

Of the five aircraft listed above - four were last listed on FlightAware in flights what would not have made an IAD trip today, however N8285Q has tracking blocked - so that was probably the one you saw.
 
GRIVely
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:35 am

Thank you for the kind replies.

GRIV
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:43 am

One is apparently making a trip around Eastern Europe...  
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No plane, no gain.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:09 pm

Yes. Flightaware's last reported flight for that aircraft is YYR-UAK on Oct 17.

Obviously the start of a TATL trip.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:46 pm

Quoting GRIVely (Thread starter):
I was in an office park at the south end of Dulles runway 19 walking to lunch at 1255 ON Monday when I noticed what appeared to be a Starship departing 19R. My attention was first attracted by the very odd engine noise and then I saw the long, thin fuselage, unusual wing planform, and the telltale canards. My understanding was that Beech was trying to suppress Starships and had, according to reports, actually destroyed the jigs for the airframe.

Any possibility it might have been a Piaggio P180 Avanti ? There are some similarities.

Avanti:



Starship:

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
rampart
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:50 pm

Not to doubt the OP's spotting abilities, but did you eliminate the possibility that it wasn't a Piaggio Avanti? Canard, pointy nose, sleek looking, very distinctive engine noise. I would guess that a Starship would be larger, and distinguishable with a much different wing plane with no tail plane that the Avanti has. I've never seen a Starship outside of a museum (let alone in flight), but do see Avantis almost daily around MMU and CDW in NJ.


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Avanti
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Photo © Jaysen F. Snow - Midwest Tail Chasers

Starship


-Rampart
 
MountainFlyer
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:10 pm

N8285Q was purchased by a winery owner at ALW when I was a flight instructor there. He is a very nice guy. One of my fellow instructors and I walked to his hanger on the ramp one day when he was there, and he gave us an exclusive tour of the plane and even fired it up for us.

We saw it flying a number of times, and from the looks of Bob's website, it's still there (NC-50).
SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
 
aerodog
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:36 pm

True story...as I recall it was at the 1987 NBAA Convention in New Orleans where both the Starship and Avanti aircraft were displayed on the convention floor nearly adjacent to each other.

The doors had yet to open for the NBAA crowd, Learjet CEO Bib Stillwell was admiring his pride and joy when he looked up on top of the Raytheon exhibit and there stood Raytheon CEO Brainerd Holmes and Beechcraft CEO Linden Blue looking down at Bib and the Avanti.

Bib points over at the adjacent Starship and says in his booming Australian voice, "I say mate, it looks like an insect!"

Linden shot back, "And yes, it eats guppys."
 
GCT64
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:11 pm

Quoting GRIVely (Thread starter):
walking to lunch at 1255 ON Monday when I noticed what appeared to be a Starship departing 19R.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/VNR179

Avantair Avanti shown on Flightaware as departing IAD at 1253L on Monday - this looks to be your aircraft (VNR179 = N179SL).
Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A388,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,(..53 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
rampart
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:13 pm

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 10):
Avantair Avanti shown on Flightaware as departing IAD at 1253L on Monday - this looks to be your aircraft (VNR179 = N179SL).

Good, but that's interesting. Would indicate that the Avantair grounding has been lifted? A whole bunch of them flying around today.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-ne...safety-expert-and-furloughs-pilots

-Rampart
 
GRIVely
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RE: Beech Starship Departing IAD 1255 12 Nov 12?

Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:29 am

Rampart,

Thanks for the Avanti confirmation. I had forgotten about the similarity to a Starship. Especially from the port side low angle I saw.

Cheers,

GRIV

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