How many of you have flown our Beechcraft Duchess? Based at our Florida flight school, and larger than our other planes, the Duchess is an incredible aircraft. Our students fly her as part of their commercial multi-engine license or multi-engine add-on training – and you can too!
The Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess is a truly beautiful piece of machinery. A twin-engined, cantilever, low-wing, light cabin monoplane, she’s perfect to learn in, wonderful to own, and has been loved by pilots the world over since the 1970s.
Developed as the next step up from the single-engine Beechcraft Musketeer, the Duchess took its first flight in 1974. However, it wasn’t until May 1977 that the Model 76 was first flown. Having created the perfect design, Beechcraft pursued certification, granted the following year. The first Duchesses were then delivered in May 1978.
It’s no surprise the Beechcraft Duchess was an instant hit. Aimed at the personal use light twin, light charter, and multiengine training markets, it had a wide potential fan base and demand was considerable.
The Beechcraft Duchess features individual seats for one pilot and three passengers, and also comes with 180lb luggage capacity in a separate compartment – making it ideal for private use and charter flights. The cabin also features doors on each side for easy access.
The two 180hp Lycoming O-360 engines can turn in different directions, which eliminates 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. Finally, the wing features honeycomb construction fastened by bonding instead of rivets, making the Duchess more aerodynamic as well as cost-effective.
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
Sadly, despite being developed for low-cost, high-volume production, Beechcraft ceased making the Duchess in 1982 – an unfortunate result of the economic recession at the time, costly product liability laws faced by all aircraft manufacturers, and declining demand for light twin aircraft.
During its production run, Beechcraft built 437 Duchesses, and many still take to the skies today. The majority of models can be found at flight schools – like ours – as the Beechcraft Duchess still proves to be such a great trainer.
With a limited number of models of the Beechcraft Duchess out there, why not take the opportunity to fly one with us? Find out more about our commercial multi-engine license or multi-engine add-on training today, or get in touch with any questions!