The Versatile Beech 18

From sculptural beauty to functional transport, the Model 18 is an airplane of many guises

A Model 18 has landed permanently on top of a volcano at a miniature golf course in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Bill Hull)

The Beechcraft Model 18 was manufactured continuously for an astounding 33 years, with nearly 9,000 of the twin-engine transports coming out of the Beech Aircraft factory in Wichita, Kansas. Over the years, the basic design generated 32 variants. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the Model 18 is an aircraft that seems to have been all things to all people.

There’s something about the Beech 18’s good looks and reliability that has inspired those who like to tinker. As this photo gallery attests, there is no shortage of ideas on how to keep the vintage aircraft flying—or at least on display.

See the gallery below for more photos of this perennial favorite.

Model 18

(Dale Strieter)

The Model 18 can also fly as a seaplane. After this airplane was sold to a buyer in Thailand in 1995, it traveled across the Pacific via freighter. At the harbor in Long Beach, California, a crane lifted the carefully-secured airplane onto the freighter’s deck.


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