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Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)

Utility / Trainer Aircraft

Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)

Utility / Trainer Aircraft


The United States Army Air Corps took on the civilian-minded Beechcraft Model 18 as the C-45 in 1939.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1941
MANUFACTURER(S): Beech Aircraft Corporation - USA
OPERATORS: Canada; United Kingdom; United States

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Beechcraft UC-45 (Expeditor) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2 + 7
LENGTH: 34.15 feet (10.41 meters)
WIDTH: 47.67 feet (14.53 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.68 feet (2.95 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 6,173 pounds (2,800 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 7,496 pounds (3,400 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior radial engines delivering 450 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 224 miles-per-hour (360 kilometers-per-hour; 194 knots)
RANGE: 1,181 miles (1,900 kilometers; 1,026 nautical miles)
CEILING: 26,017 feet (7,930 meters; 4.93 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,850 feet-per-minute (564 meters-per-minute)


Series Model Variants
• C-45 - Six-seat transport model; 11 examples produced.
• C-45A - Eight seat multi-purpose transport model; 20 examples produced.
• C-45B - Based on C18S model; 223 examples produced; later redesignated to UC-45.
• C-45C - Based on 18S model
• C-45F - Based on C18S; seven-seat passenger transport; later redesignated to UC-45F.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor) Utility / Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/26/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Beechcraft C-45 was based on the Beech Aircraft Corporation's civilian-minded Model 18 "Twin Beech" series. First flight for the original company design was recorded on January 15th, 1937 and the aircraft was introduced that same year attempting to find its place in the peacetime market. Ultimately, with the onset of world war on the horizon, the US military adopted the Model 18 in many guises including the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) which designated the type as the "C-45". It went on to become a fixture within the inventories of the USAAF (later the USAF), the US Navy and the USMC and saw additional service overseas with British and Canadian forces through Lend-Lease. In all, some 9,000 Model 18 aircraft were built covering 32 different variants in the family line. Production spanned from 1937 to 1970. While the Model 18 served as the basis for the C-45, it was also the origin of the "Navigator" and "Kansan" lines of the USAAF/USAF and the USN/USMC. The C-45 went on to see considerable operational service in World War 2 and the Korean War in the light transport, VIP transport and mission liaison roles.

Externally, the Model 18 was a basic design featuring a short nose assembly, framed cockpit position, tapered fuselage, low-set wing assemblies and a n H-style tail unit. The engines were fitted into streamlined nacelles at each wing leading edge. The undercarriage consisted of a tail-dragging arrangement to include two main landing gear legs and a tail wheel. Power was served through the pairing of Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial piston engines of 450 horsepower each powering twin-bladed propellers. This supplied a maximum speed of 225 miles per hour with a cruising speed nearing 211 miles per hour. Range was out to 1,200 miles with a service ceiling of approximately 18,500 feet. The standard operating crew for a single C-45 was two pilots and up to nine passengers depending on the internal cabin configuration. Additionally, the cabin space could also be optimized for photo-reconnaissance equipment, MEDEVAC and light cargo-hauling. Overall, however, there proved no notable differences between the military C-45 and civilian Model 18 airframe.

Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor) (Cont'd)

Utility / Trainer Aircraft

Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor) (Cont'd)

Utility / Trainer Aircraft

The US Army Air Corps eventually placed orders for over 1,300 C-45 aircraft and, of these, most (1,137) were delivered in the C-45F configuration (seven-seat passenger transport). Other variants included the original C-45, the C-45A, C-45B, C-45C, C-45D, C-45E, C-45G and C-45H models - differing mainly in internal configuration and expected role. The "Expeditor II" and "Expeditor III" names were given to British (Royal Navy) and Canadian (Air Force) examples, respectively, under Lend-Lease.

After World War 2 and into the volatile 1950s, the US military charged Beechcraft with refurbishing some 900 C-45 airframes and these were reconstituted into USAF service as the C-45G (autopilot, R-985-AN-3 radial engines) and C-45H (sans autopilot, R-985-AN-14B engines) of which many went on to serve into the 1960s (approx. 1963). Some were assigned to Strategic Air Command (SAC).

Every branch of American service eventually fielded some form of the Model 18, such was the reach of this fine little airplane.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (224mph).

Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Beechcraft UC-45 (Expeditor)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1,300)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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