Exhibits & Planes

This Expeditor was converted from an AT-11 Bombardier Trainer by Beech in 1953. After serving at various air force bases from 1953 to 1958, it was dropped from the USAF inventory. Acquired by the CIA airline, Air America, in 1960, it received a civilian registration of N-7950C.

The aircraft operated throughout Southeast Asia from 1960-1975. Early operations included humanitarian airlift in Laos and hauling supplies and refugees.

In 1964 it moved to Saigon and transported agents and supplies to remote airfields. After several accidents during this period, including an in-flight collision, it was used temporarily for spare parts in Bangkok, Thailand. Its final assignment was Tainan, Taiwan and was then donated to the U.S. Marine Corps Air/Ground Museum at Quantico, VA and is on long-term loan from them.

Although lovingly restored at Dover, the plane is on long-term loan from the Marine Corps Air/Ground Museum at Quantico, Virginia.

Mission

The USAAC first ordered this type of aircraft in 1940 under the designation C-45, for use as a staff transport. These aircraft were re-designated UC-45s in 1943. Other variants included the AT-7 Navigator, introduced in 1941 for navigator training. This had a dorsal astrodome and positions for three trainees. Some 577 of these were built. 1941 also saw the introduction of the AT-11 Kansan, which was a bombing/gunnery trainer. Production of the AT-11 totaled 1,582, and included 36 examples completed as the AT-11A navigation trainer. Another Model 18 variant was the F-2 photo-reconnaissance model, of which 69 examples were acquired. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps also procurred the Model 18, with a total of over 1,500 examples. The JRB-1 was the equivalent of the F-2, the JRB-2 was a transport, and the JRB-3 and -4 were the equivalent of the UC-45. The SNB-1, -2, & -3 were the equivalents of the AT-11, -7, and -7C, respectively. The F-2 was yet another variant of the Model 18 that was built to carry two to four aerial cameras and used for reconnaissance and aerial mapping. Only about 70 of the F-2 models were built. Other variants of the Model 18 included an air ambulance and a electronics countermeasure trainer. The Air Corps ordered eleven Beech Model B18S aircraft in late 1939 and designated them C-45.

The planes were essentially identical to the civilian version of the aircraft and used by the Army for light transport, staff and liaison missions. The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radials and cruised at 211 miles per hour carrying a maximum of six passengers and crew. The Air Corps ordered more than 1300 C-45s with most produced as the C-45F. During the early 1950s, Beech completely rebuilt 900 C-45s for the Air Force. They received new serial numbers and were designated C-45Gs and C-45Hs, remaining in service until 1963 for administrative and light cargo duties.