Beech entered the field of pressurised general aviation aircraft following a first flight of the Beech Model 60 Duke on
29 December 1966. Slightly larger than the members of the Baron family, the Duke was intended as a luxury four/six-seat aircraft, and was provided with an extensive range of equipment as standard. Overall configuration was similar'to that of other Beech twin-engined models, but because it was intended for operation at a higher gross weight it had strengthened landing gear, and much more powerful Avco Lycom-ing TIO-541-E1C4 turbocharged engines. The pressurisation system installed in the then current production aircraft had an advanced controller which allowed selection of cabin altitude before takeoff or landing, and the system was able to maintain a 3050m cabin pressure altitude to a height of 7660m.
Only two revised versions of the original Model 60 appeared during the production run, the Model A60 and Model B60 introduced in 1971 and 1974 respectively. The first provided a 23kg increase, in maximum take-off weight, the second a slightly larger cabin and increased fuel capacity. Such an aircraft was by no means cheap and, by American standards, was built in comparatively small numbers, with a total of 596 completed by the end of production in 1983.
| ENGINE||2 x Avco Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 turbocharged flat-six piston engines, 283kW|
| Take-off weight||3073 kg||6775 lb|
| Loaded weight||2006 kg||4422 lb|
| Wingspan||11.97 m||39 ft 3 in|
| Length||10.31 m||34 ft 10 in|
| Height||3.76 m||12 ft 4 in|
| Wing area||19.78 m2||212.91 sq ft|
| Max. speed||455 km/h||283 mph|
| Cruise speed||402 km/h||250 mph|
| Ceiling||9145 m||30000 ft|
| Range||2165 km||1345 miles|
I only flew one a couple of times. It was actually big when compared to a Baron, but nowhere near the room of a 421. The cockpit was not always that easy to get into in the 421, in the winter. The Duke was definitely comfortable once you got seated.
The 340 was nearly as fast, on less gas, and had a lot more room. I liked the F-90 the best.
The Duke is 20+ knots faster than the 421 and won't flip on its back if you stall it.
Oh and have fun with the spar AD on the 421 too.....
|Scott Boyd, 06.05.2010|
As long as you have enough runway. It has about the same power as a 421 and not anywhere the same range. It also has a much smaller cabin and fewer seats.
I flew one a few times and wasn't overly impressed. The Baron, with the same engine was another story.
|edouard kohler, 12.11.2009|
Could not agree more with you. It is the most beautifull airplane to grace the sky and is also very strong, stable and friendly to fly. Someone said once: if an airplane is beautifull it will fly great. This is very true for the Duke. The bad rep comes from none Duke flyers and jalousy.
The Duke is a great airplane as long as you have a good mechanic. Keep it away from Beech service centers or you won't be able to aford it. I have had Dukes since 1992 and they are probably the most underated presurized twin on the market.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?