Beechcraft Queen Air

The Beechcraft Queen Air is a twin-engined light aircraft produced by Beechcraft in several versions from 1960 to 1978.

Based upon the Twin Bonanza, with which it shared key components such as wings, engines, and tail surfaces, but featuring a larger fuselage, it served as the basis for the highly successful King Air series of turboprop aircraft.

It is often used as a private aircraft, a utility, or a small commuter airliner.

Production ran for 17 years.



This is the initial version of the Queen Air, powered by two Lycoming IGSO-480s producing 340 hp (250 kW).

Fitted with short span (45 feet 10+12 inches (13.98 m)) wings and a straight unswept tail.

It had a gross weight of 7,700 lb (3,500 kg).

Usually referred to as a “straight 65”.

316 built from 1959 to 1967.


First produced in 1967 the A65 is very similar to the straight 65.

The major change was the addition of a swept tail with a dorsal fin.

Available fuel was also increased, with a maximum capacity of 264 US gal (220 imp gal; 1,000 L) when auxiliary tanks are fitted.

A dedicated airliner version, the A65-8200 Queen Airliner was available with an increased gross weight of 8,200 lb (3,700 kg).

A total of 96 A65s were built between 1967 and 1970.


Introduced in 1968.

This aircraft is similar to the A65 in that it is powered by the 340 hp (250 kW) Lycoming IGSO-480, however it has the longer wing of the 80 series.

This allows the 70 to have a greater lifting ability than the 65 but a lower fuel burn and operating cost than the 80.

It is, essentially, an A65 with the B80 wing. Its gross weight is 8,200 lb (3,700 kg).

A total of 35 were built between 1969 and 1971.


First flying on June 22, 1961 and certified on February 20, 1962, the Queen Air 80 (also known as the Model 65-80) was the first of the Queen Airs to have the swept tail, although it retained the short-span wings of the Model 65.

It was powered by a more powerful Lycoming IGSO-540 which produced 380 hp (280 kW).

Gross weight on the 80 is 8,000 lb (3,600 kg).

148 built from 1962 to 1963.


The Queen Air A80 (also known as the Model 64-A80) was introduced in 1964, and had a new wing, wingspan increasing from 45 feet 10+12 inches (13.98 m) to 50 feet 3 inches (15.32 m).

Other major changes to the A80 included a redesign of the aircraft nose, an increase in fuel capacity and a 500-pound increase in take-off weight to 8,500 lb (3,900 kg) gross weight.

121 built between 1964 and 1966.


Introduced in 1966 the B80 was to be the final production model.

The B80 was by far the longest produced Queen Air with production lasting some 12 years.

Available with 380 hp Lycoming IGSO-540-A1A or 360 hp (270 kW) Lycoming IGSO-540-A1D engines.

Its major improvement was the increased gross weight to a 8,800 lb (4,000 kg).

A total of 242 aircraft were built from 1966 to 1977.


Introduced in 1965 the model 88 is a pressurized version of the Queen Air.

This aircraft featured round cabin windows that make the 88 look quite similar to a 90 series King Air.

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

Sales were slack due to its higher sales price and lower useful load as compared to the B80.

Only 47 examples were ever produced of which two were converted to King Air standard and the model 88 aircraft was removed from production in 1969.

The first two models of the King Air’s official designation were BE65-90 and BE65-A90 owing to its Queen Air heritage.


This is a modification performed in the aftermarket by supplemental type certificates (STCs) to the BE65.

It resolves the biggest issue of the Queen Air design, the engines.

This is accomplished by replacing the rather cantankerous (if operated incorrectly) six-cylinder Lycoming IGSO-480s and Lycoming IGSO-540s, with the far more robust eight-cylinder Lycoming IO-720.

This presents the major advantage of not having a gearbox or superchargers to cause maintenance and reliability problems.

However, the loss of the supercharger does limit the cruising altitude to below fifteen thousand feet.

The other advantages gained are the overall increase in power to 400 hp (300 kW) per engine as well as a gross weight increase in most models.

The gross weights are increased to 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) in all the short-wing aircraft (65, A65, 80), 8,200 lb (3,700 kg) in the 70, and 8800 in the other long-wing aircraft (A80, B80, 88).

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

The Excalibur Queen Air can be recognized by the noticeably smaller engine cowlings and lower-set engines.


(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)

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