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 O.A. Beech Staggerwing
Late in 1936, Ted Wells and the Beech engineering staff initiated a major upgrade program to keep the Model 17 in production, and make it more competitive.  The Model E17-series was developed in parallel with the Model D17-series as a less expensive alternative.  The Model E17 had virtually replaced the B17 and C17 on the production line by mid-1937, and featured most of the technical improvements (including the lengthened fuselage) incorporated into the Model D17, but retained the semi-cantilever empennage of the earlier Model 17s.

Beechcraft E17B NC19467, c/n 231, was originally delivered to Dr. Neill P. Johnson, of Stockton, CA.  Subsequently registered to Raymond Perth of Sanborn, Iowa in 1955.  Owned by James Scott of Lansing, MI, it was in an accident about 1973 during take-off. 

Dr. Scott donated the remains to the Staggerwing Museum.  This promoted the formation of the Staggerwing Employees Restoration Society of Wichita, KS.  This Society was formed from current day Beechcrafters as well as many employees from Beech who were retired.  They had undertaken the rebuilding of this project as a donation to the Museum and a memorial to Olive Ann Beech.  When put on display at the Staggerwing Museum, it became known as the O.A. Beech Staggerwing.

The Museum decided to display the O.A. Beech Staggerwing without any fabric covering to show the variety of materials and details of the Staggerwing structure. The load carrying structure of the fuselage is made from sturdy welded steel tubing. The angularity of this structure is faired smoothly with birch plywood formers and spruce strip stringers.

The wing construction is typical of the "wood and fabric" era. Each rib is built individually in a jig fixture, using spruce strips and mahogany plywood gussets. Joints are glued and clamped with many small nails to increase strength. The main spars are spruce. Mahogany plywood is used to add stiffness with the least penalty in weight. The leading edges are covered with a thin aluminum sheet to preserve the airfoil contour between the ribs.

Steel interplane I-struts are streamlined with balsa wood for lightness. One vestige of the “old school” was the use of wires to carry loads between the wings. However, the streamlined dual wires are arranged close together to minimize the aerodynamic drag on the airspeed.

The landing gear can be retracted inward and upward into the fuselage center section. It is activated by a chain and slide tube mechanism, which is driven by an electric motor. An auxiliary hand crank is provided for emergency retraction, or extension.
Additional Photos
Additional Information
  Model: E17B
c/n:231, mfg. Aug 16, 1938
Number Built: 54
Gross Weight (lbs): 3,350
Empty Weight (lbs): 2,120
Wingspan (ft): 32'
Length (ft): 25' 11 1/4"
Engine: Jacobs E-830-1 (L-5)

Model E17B Specifications

Type Certification: TC 641, issued May 22, 1937
Registration: NC19467
Selling Price: $10,931.00 (in l938)
Cruise Speed (mph): 177
Landing Speed (mph): 45
Fuel- STD/OPT (gals): 76/125
Range (mi): 600
Output (hp): 285

Staggerwing Museum
P.O. Box 550 - Tullahoma, TN 37388
P:(931)455-1974 - F:(931)455-1994
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