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Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)


Utility / Trainer Aircraft


United States | 1941



"The United States Army Air Corps took on the civilian-minded Beechcraft Model 18 as the C-45 in 1939."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/26/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this 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.

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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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Beechcraft UC-45 (Expeditor) Utility / Trainer Aircraft.
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior radial engines delivering 450 horsepower each.
Propulsion
224 mph
360 kph | 194 kts
Max Speed
26,017 ft
7,930 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
1,181 miles
1,900 km | 1,026 nm
Operational Range
1,850 ft/min
564 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Beechcraft UC-45 (Expeditor) Utility / Trainer Aircraft.
2 + 7
(MANNED)
Crew
34.2 ft
10.41 m
O/A Length
47.7 ft
(14.53 m)
O/A Width
9.7 ft
(2.95 m)
O/A Height
6,173 lb
(2,800 kg)
Empty Weight
7,496 lb
(3,400 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor) family line.
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.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,300 Units

Contractor(s): Beech Aircraft Corporation - USA
National flag of Canada National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States

[ Canada; United Kingdom; United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (224mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1300
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)
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Image of the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)
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Image of the Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor)
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
TRANSPORT
VIP SERVICE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Beechcraft C-45 (Expeditor) Utility / Trainer Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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