(Picture credit to jetforums.net)
This beautiful piece of machinery is a twin engine turboprop aircraft that allows 6 - 8 passengers to fly onboard. This is a pressurized business aircraft that was produced by Beech Aircraft Corporation.The Starship is noteworthy for its carbon fiber composite airframe, canard design, lack of centrally located vertical tail, and pusher engine/propeller configuration.Carbon fiber composite was used to varying degrees on military aircraft, but at the time the Starship was certified, no civilian aircraft certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had ever used it so extensively. Beech chose carbon fiber composite for its durability and high strength-to-weight ratio. According to Beech, the Starship weighs less than it would have if it were built from aluminum. Nonetheless, the empty weight of production aircraft exceeded the target by several thousand pounds. Beech sold only eleven Starships in the three years following its certification. Beech attributed the slow sales to the economic slowdown in the late-1980s, the novelty of the Starship, and the tax on luxury items that was in effect in the United States at the time. The last Starship, NC-53, was produced in 1995.
There are three different models of the Starship.
Conceptual 85% scale prototype, one built by Scaled Composites.
Initial production version. 20 produced including three pre-production airworthy prototypes.
Beech did not serialise the 2000A as a distinct model and it was not issued a new FAA type certificate.
The final 2000A configuration had tuning-fork-type noise dampers and improved insulation to reduce cabin noise and redesigned exhaust stacks for more efficient engine airflow. Stall strips placed on the front wing to enhance stall behavior were removed. Elimination of the stall strips reduced stall speed by up to 9 knots (10 mph; 17 km/h), which allows the 2000A to takeoff from shorter runways.he 2000 had standpipes in the fuel tanks to artificially limit fuel capacity so the aircraft would meet a target payload weight. The standpipes were removed in the 2000A, increasing fuel capacity by 31 US gal (117 L) Both the maximum ramp weight and takeoff weight were increased by 500 lb (227 kg) and zero fuel weight was increased 400 lb (181 kg).
Beech produced a kit to upgrade serial numbers NC-4 through NC-28 to 2000A specifications.
As of 2010 there are 9 starships that hold an active registration with the FAA.
hree Starships are registered in Oklahoma (NC-29, NC-35 & NC-45), one in Texas (NC-50), one in Colorado (NC-51), and four are registered to Beechcraft in Wichita, Kansas (NC-2, NC-8, NC-19 & NC-24)
Crew: 1 or 2
Capacity: 6 -8
Length: 46 ft 1 in
Wingspan: 54 ft
Height: 12 ft 11 in
Empty weight: 10,085 lb (Standard)
Gross weight: 15,010 lb (Max Ramp Weight)
Max takeoff weight: 14,900 lb
Fuel capacity: 565 gallons, or 3785 lbs
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A turboprop, 1,200 shp (890 kW) each
Propellers: 5-bladed McCauley, 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m) diameter
Maximum speed: 334 knots (385 mph)
Cruise speed: 307 knots (353 mph)
Stall speed: 97 knots (112 mph) max weight with flaps retracted & idle powe
Minimum control speed: 94 knots (108 mph) flaps retracted
Range: 1,514 nm
Service ceiling: 41,000 ft
Rate of climb: 2,748 ft/min
While we need more business aircraft and general aviation why not combine the best of both worlds with this absolutely beautiful unique aircraft? It gives those a fast general aviation aircraft while being able fly into RSVM airspace and do long hauls. I think those who love flying business jets around would love to see this aircraft!