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Beechcraft Queen Air

The Beechcraft Queen Air, a twin-engine light aircraft, was produced by Beechcraft in various models from 1960 to 1978.

Derived from the Twin Bonanza and sharing essential components like wings, engines, and tail surfaces, it featured an enlarged fuselage and laid the groundwork for the highly acclaimed King Air series of turboprop aircraft.

Commonly utilised 

by militaries as a utility aircraft, its production spanned 17 years.



The original model of the Queen Air was equipped with two Lycoming IGSO-480 engines, each producing 340 hp (250 kW).

It featured wings with a short span of 45 feet 10.5 inches (13.98 m) and a straight, unswept tail.

The aircraft had a gross weight of 7,700 lb (3,500 kg) and was commonly known as the “straight 65.”

A total of 316 units were produced between 1959 and 1967.


Initially produced in 1967, the A65 closely resembles the straight 65.

The significant modification was the incorporation of a swept tail and a dorsal fin.

The fuel capacity was also expanded, reaching a maximum of 264 US gallons (220 imperial gallons; 1,000 litres) with auxiliary tanks installed.

The A65-8200 Queen Airliner, a specialised airliner variant, was offered with a higher gross weight of 8,200 pounds (3,700 kilograms).

Between 1967 and 1970, a total of 96 A65 aircraft were constructed.


Introduced in 1968, this aircraft shares similarities with the A65, being powered by the 340 hp (250 kW) Lycoming IGSO-480 engine.

However, it features the extended wing of the 80 series.

This design grants the 70 model a higher lifting capacity than the 65, while maintaining lower fuel consumption and operational costs compared to the 80.

Essentially, it is an A65 equipped with a B80 wing, and has a gross weight of 8,200 lb (3,700 kg).

Between 1969 and 1971, a total of 35 units were produced.


The Queen Air 80, also known as the Model 65-80, first took flight on June 22, 1961, and received its certification on February 20, 1962.

It was notable for being the first among the Queen Airs to feature a swept tail while maintaining the short-span wings of the Model 65.

Equipped with the more potent Lycoming IGSO-540 engine, it generated 380 hp (280 kW).

The 80 had a gross weight of 8,000 lb (3,600 kg), with 148 units produced between 1962 and 1963.


The Queen Air A80, also referred to as the Model 64-A80, debuted in 1964 with a new wing design, extending the wingspan from 45 feet 10.5 inches (13.98 m) to 50 feet 3 inches (15.32 m).

Additional significant modifications to the A80 comprised a nose redesign, augmented fuel capacity, and an increased take-off weight by 500 pounds to a gross weight of 8,500 lb (3,900 kg).

A total of 121 units were constructed between 1964 and 1966.


Introduced in 1966, the B80 was destined to be the final production model of the Queen Air series. With a production span of 12 years, it was the longest-produced variant.

It came equipped with either a 380 hp Lycoming IGSO-540-A1A or a 360 hp (270 kW) Lycoming IGSO-540-A1D engine.

The significant enhancement for this model was the increased gross weight, reaching 8,800 lb (4,000 kg).

Between 1966 and 1977, a total of 242 aircraft were manufactured.


Introduced in 1965, the Model 88 is a pressurised variant of the Queen Air.

This aircraft features round cabin windows, giving the 88 a resemblance to the 90 series King Air.

It also shares the engines and the extended wing of the B80.

However, sales were sluggish due to its higher sales price and lower useful load compared to the B80.

Only 47 units were ever produced, with two being converted to the King Air standard, leading to the discontinuation of the Model 88 in 1969.

The first two models of the King Air were officially designated as BE65-90 and BE65-A90, reflecting their Queen Air lineage.


This aftermarket modification, certified by supplemental type certificates (STCs) for the BE65, addresses the primary issue of the Queen Air design: the engines.

The modification involves replacing the temperamental six-cylinder Lycoming IGSO-480s and IGSO-540s—if not operated correctly—with the more reliable eight-cylinder Lycoming IO-720.

This eliminates the need for a gearbox or superchargers, reducing maintenance and enhancing reliability.

However, without the supercharger, the cruising altitude is limited to below fifteen thousand feet.

Additional benefits include an increase in power to 400 hp (300 kW) per engine and a gross weight increase for most models.

The gross weights are raised to 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) for all short-wing aircraft (65, A65, 80), 8,200 lb (3,700 kg) for the 70, and 8,800 lb for the other long-wing aircraft (A80, B80, 88).

The US Army National Guard has implemented this modification on some of their aircraft.

The Excalibur Queen Air is distinguished by its noticeably smaller engine cowlings and engines set lower.


(Queen Air B80)




4-9 passengers


35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)


50 ft 3 in (15.32 m)


14 ft 2+12 in (4.331 m)

Wing area

293.9 sq ft (27.30 m2)


NACA 23020 at root,

NACA 23012 at tip

Empty weight

5,277 lb (2,394 kg)

Max take-off weight

8,800 lb (3,992 kg)

Fuel capacity

214 US gal (178 imp gal; 810 L) normal,

264 US gal (220 imp gal; 1,000 L) with optional auxiliary tanks


2 × Lycoming IGSO-540 A1D supercharged,

Air-cooled flat-6 engines,

380 hp (280 kW) each


3 bladed Hartzell constant speed


Maximum speed

215 kn (247 mph, 398 km/h) at 11,500 ft (3,500 m)

Cruise speed

159 kn (183 mph, 294 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m),

45% power (econ cruise)

Stall speed

71 kn (82 mph, 131 km/h) wheels and flaps down, IAS


1,317 nmi (1,516 mi, 2,439 km) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m), 45% power

Service ceiling

26,800 ft (8,200 m)

Rate of climb

1,275 ft/min (6.48 m/s)

Take-off distance to 50 ft (15m)

2,556 ft (779 m)

Landing distance from 50 ft (15m)

2,572 ft (784 m)


Beech Aircraft and their Predecessors-Alain Pelletier.

National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Beechcraft Aircraft.

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