Beechcraft M18R

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Beechcraft M18R

ROCAF

Background

Spoiler

In the late 1930s, the management of Beechcraft predicted that there would be a demand for a new aircraft design called the Model 18, which would have a military application. As a result, they expanded their main production facilities. The design of the Model 18 was mostly traditional for that era, featuring twin radial engines, an all-metal semi-monocoque structure, fabric-covered control surfaces, and a “tail-dragger” undercarriage. However, the twin tail fins were less commonly seen.

Beech initiated discussions with the Chinese government regarding a bomber trainer in 1939. This variant featured a transparent plastic nose, an upper fuselage equipped with a solitary gun turret, and a machine gun positioned in a tunnel on the rear floor. Additionally, it was equipped with internal bomb racks. The production received an initial boost when Nationalist China purchased six M18R light bombers from the company for a sum of US$750,000. At least one of the latter was flown by the American Volunteer Group, the “Flying Tigers.” The main role the the M18R in ROCAF service was to perform light bombing missions, as well as training duties.

Not much is known about the service record of the aircraft in ROCAF hands (Atleast i cant find it), however, atleast one of the aircraft survived the war.

Presumably the last surviving airframe was used after the war as a training aircraft until the ROCAF bought AT-11’s from USN stock in 1950.

Technical Data

Specifications

Length - 10.44 m

Wingspan - 14.53 m

Height - 2.97 m

Empty Weight - 2,458 kg

Gross Weight - 3,402 kg

Engine - 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-A1 (310 kW each)

Max Speed - 362 km/h

Max Range - 1,900 km

Service Ceiling - 7,900 m

Rate of Climb - 9.4 m/s

Crew - 2 Pilots, 2 Gunners, 1 bombardier

Armament

10 x 100 lb Bombs in internal bomb bay

20 x 25 lb Bombs in internal bomb bay

1 x 2 x 7.62mm M1919 Browning machine guns in dorsal turret

1 x 7.62mm M1919 Browning machine gun in ventral turret

Images

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Sources

Spoiler

Thanks to @ShyWoof for helping me find data on this aircraft.

Beech Aircraft And Their Predecessors Pelletier (PDF)

Legacy Flight Museum, “Beechcraft Model 18” (PDF)

Polmar N. - Historic Aircraft, A Most Versatile Aircraft

PILOTFRIEND - Beech Model 18 history, performance, and specifications

Beechcraft Model 18 - Wikipedia

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From “A History of Chinese Aviation” 2008