The Microsoft Flight Simulator team is thrilled to announce our latest release in the Local Legends family: the Beechcraft Model 18!
One of the great classics of the sky, the Model 18 is a twin-engine, low-wing monoplane that lifted off on its maiden flight in January of 1937 and then took the aviation world by storm. Frequently called the “Twin Beech” or, less commonly, the “Beech 18,” the aircraft is crewed by two and seats six passengers in typical configurations. The Model 18 is one of the most successful airframes ever developed due to its power, range, ruggedness, and broad-spectrum utility. More than 9,000 were produced during a continuous manufacturing run that lasted from 1937 to 1979, one of the longest in the history of aviation. Not just a workhorse, the Model 18 is also an iconic beauty, a ruggedly attractive machine that looks great from any angle, especially in the air. Recreated in exquisite detail by Carenado, Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Local Legend V: Beechcraft Model 18 is ready today for sim aviators to pilot throughout the Flight Simulator world!
After the 1933 debut of their successful Model 17 “Staggerwing” biplane, Beechcraft conceived of an aircraft to fulfill a wide range of needs with an emphasis on the business and burgeoning commuter airline sector. The design that would become the legendary Model 18 comprised metal construction, a twin vertical stabilizer empennage, and a standard undercarriage that could accommodate floats, amphibious floats, or even skis. Powered by two burly Pratt & Whitney “Wasp Junior” radial engines, engineers reasoned the aircraft could undertake a broad range of missions throughout all types of operating conditions.
The Model 18 has proven to be one of the most versatile and most robust aircraft ever manufactured. With power to spare thanks to its two muscular radial engines, the Twin Beech has served needs that include passenger and cargo service, business and executive transport, scientific, fire suppression, and mapping, among others. During the Second World War, more than 4,500 of the aircraft were used for the war effort, being used by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army Air Forces, and a number of allied nations. It performed tasks that included forward observation, reconnaissance, bombing, and a wide variety of training mission types.
Subsequent to World War II, the Model 18’s excellent short field performance, reliability, and capaciousness made it a favorite with Air America in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Today, despite its age, the Model 18 serves in more than a dozen countries throughout the world, a testament to its solid design and rugged construction.
The Model 18 features a slightly-swept main wing with a span of 47 feet, 8 inches, a traditional undercarriage, and a twin-fin empennage that consists of a horizontal stabilizer and two vertical stabilizers. It is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior 9-cylinder radial engines that each produce up to 450 horsepower. The Beech 18 has a range of 1,130 miles, climbs at 1,200 feet per minute, and has a service ceiling of 20,500 feet above sea level. It cruises at 211 miles per hour, stalls at 77 mph, and has a top speed of 230.
The Beechcraft Model 18 is ready to take to the skies in the awesome digital-double world of Microsoft Flight Simulator now! The package includes ten liveries, a historic Navy, Aviator’s Club, Xbox Aviator’s Club, and seven civil variations. Local Legend V: Beechcraft Model 18 is available for both PC and Xbox for USD $14.99 in the in-sim marketplace. Purchase it now and roar through the skies in one of the great standouts of aviation!