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1938 Prairie Airways Twin Beech
History of the Beech 18 Museum’s Beechcraft S18D CF-BKO
Beechcraft S18D, c/n 178, CF-BKO, has been restored to appear as it did when Prairie Airways of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada took delivery of it on July 17, 1938. It was the eleventh example built of the Beechcraft model 18 and as the model suffix “D” indicates, was powered by two Jacobs L-6MB engines of 330 hp each. Only six Model 18D's were manufactured but one Wright powered 18A and two Jacobs 285 hp 18B's were subsequently converted to model 18D’s with the installation of Jacobs 330 hp engines.
CF-BKO was completed on June 20, 1938 and was undergoing flight tests at Beech Field when The Wichita Beacon for Friday, July 8,1938 asked if its readers were puzzled by the two new red Beech 18’s at the Beech factory with large letters on their fuselages. The article revealed that they were Canadian registration letters and the craft were being built for Prairie Airways to carry passengers and mail. The first, CF-BKN, c/n 177 left the next day for delivery while the second, CF-BKO, c/n 178 was due to be delivered as soon as the flight tests were done, which turned out to be July 16.
The maximum gross weight was 6,700 lbs. but four months after delivery that was increased to 7,200 lbs. by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce following a complete new stress analysis and new flight tests. With an empty weight of 4,300 lbs., the useful load was 2,400 lbs., which compared very favorably with the competition.
It's interesting that of the twenty-nine prewar civilian Beech 18s produced, only three still exist:
1-  The Beech 18 Museum’s CF-BKO, c/n 178
2-  The other Prairie Airways S18D, c/n 177 on display at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ.
3-  The very first model 18, c/n 62, N15810, the prototype 18A, that is currently being restored at Gnoss Airfield in Novato, California.
Additional Information
Model: S18D
c/n: 177, mfg July 17, 1938
Number Built: 2
Gross Weight (lbs): 7,200
Empty Weight (lbs) 4,556
Wingspan (ft): 47’ 8”
Length (ft): 31’ 11”
Total Times (hrs): 5,400+
Type Certifcate: A-684, issued June 15, 1938
Registration: CF-BKO
Selling Price: $37,750.00
Cruise Speed 9mph) 195
Landing Speed (mph) 55
Range (mi): 1,200
Engines: Jacobs R-915MB (L-6)
Output (hp): 330

- Additional Aircraft History

- Operations at Prairie Airways and Problems

- Additional Owner History

- Model S18D Specifications

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