Fleet Feature: Beechcraft Duchess

The Beechcraft Duchess is one of the highlighted aircraft at our  Florida flight school. Students studying for their commercial multi-engine license or multi-engine add-on training have the opportunity to get in the Beechcraft Duchess cockpit. 

The Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess is a work of art to many aircraft lovers. The twin-engined, cantilever, low-wing, light cabin monoplane, is a perfect trainer. The special plane has also been purchased by private pilots for personal use around the world for over 50 years now. 

The Beechcraft Duchess was developed as the next step up from the single-engine Beechcraft Musketeer. The Duchess took its first flight in 1974. It wasn’t until May of 1977 that the Model 76 hit the skies. Feeling like they finally made the ideal design, Beechcraft pursued certification received it the following year in 1978. 

Why Pilots Love the Beechcraft Duchess 

It’s not a surprise that the Beechcraft Duchess was a hit. The aircraft was marketed to the personal use light twin, light charter, and multi-engine training markets. The fan base potential was vast and the demand was high. 

The Beechcraft Duchess features individual seats for one pilot and three passengers. It comes with 180 lbs. of luggage capacity in a separate compartment. The plane is perfect for private use and charter flights. Doors on each side of the cabin make for easy access. 

The aircraft’s two 180 hp Lycoming 0-360 engines can turn in different directions, eliminating the critical engine during single-engine operation. The T-tail aids stability and handling, while the pilot can also make use of electric trim and flap controls. The wings feature honeycomb construction fastened by bonding in place of rivets, creating a more aerodynamic and cost-effective aircraft. 

Notable Stats

  • Length: 29ft 0.5in
  • Wingspan: 38ft 0in
  • Height: 9ft 6in
  • Gross Weight: 2,446lb
  • Cruise speed: 177mph
  • Range: 898 miles
  • Rate of climb: 1,248 ft/min

Where Can You Try a Beechcraft Duchess 

Despite all of the benefits and fan following, Beechcraft stopped producing the Duchess in 1982. There was an economic recession at the time, and the combination of expensive product liability laws and a decrease in demand led to the Beechcraft being shelved. 

During its production run, Beechcraft manufactured 437 Duchesses, man of which can still be found at local airports today. The majority of remaining Duchesses are found at flight schools across the nation as it’s such a great trainer. 

If trying out a Beechcraft Duchess yourself sounds like a great idea, why not take the opportunity to fly one yourself? Find out more about our commercial multi-engine license or multi-engine add-on training today, or get in touch with any questions. 

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