Beech 60 Duke

The Beech 60 Duke was produced by Beechcraft between the years 1968 and 1982. It is a twin-engine piston aircraft configured as a cantilever low-wing aircraft with a conventional Tail. Pressurization, retractable landing gear and constant-speed propellers are features of the Model 60 with seating for four to five passengers and 1 pilot is most common.

 

Specifications

 

Exterior Dimensions

Wing span: 39 ft 3 in
Length: 33 ft 10 in
Height: 12 ft 4 in

Interior Dimensions

Cabin Height: 4 ft 4 In
Cabin Width: 4 ft 2 in
Cabin Length: 11 ft 10 in
Cabin Door opening: 47 1/2 in. high x 26 1/2 in. wide

Weights

Max TO weight: 6,775 lb
Empty Weight:  4,100 lbs
Maximum Payload: 1,928
Fuel capacity: 142 gal

Engine

Manufacturer: Lycoming
Model: TIO-541-E1C4
Horsepower: 380 hp
Overhaul (HT): 1600hr TBO

Standard Avionics

Dual Digital Nav/Coms
3 axis Autopilot
Color Radar
ADS-B

 

Performance

Horsepower: 380.00Gross Weight: 6,725
Top Speed: 249Empty Weight: 4,100
Cruise Speed: 236Fuel Capacity: 142
Stall Speed (dirty): 76Range: 824
 
Rate of Climb: 1,615Rate of Climb (One Engine): 319
Service Ceiling: 31,300Ceiling (One Engine): 15,700
 
TakeoffLanding
Ground Roll: 1,253Ground Roll 1,590
Takeoff Roll Over 50 ft: 1,660Landing Roll Over 50 ft: 2,340

 

 

History

 

The Beechcraft 60 Duke is an American-built twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft created by Beechcraft. It has retractable tricycle landing gear and a pressurized cabin. It has two Lycoming engines with turbochargers that also pressurize the cabin with bleed air.

Design

Development of the Beechcraft 60 began in early 1965, and it was designed to fill the gap between the Beechcraft Baron and the Beechcraft Queen Air. On December 29, 1966, the prototype made its first flight. On February 1, 1968, the FAA issued the type certificate. Distribution to customers began in July 1968. The passenger cabin is fitted with club seating and entry is by means of a port-side airstair entry door in the rear fuselage.

Model A60

Model A60, which came onto the market in 1970, represented an advancement over the Baron, with an improved pressurized cabin utilizing advanced bonded honeycomb construction, lighter and more efficient turbochargers, and improved elevators. The last variant, the B60, was introduced in 1974. The interior arrangement was renewed and the engine efficiency again increased by improved turbochargers. Model 60 was, despite its very good performance, only a moderate seller, principally because the complicated technology demanded a high expenditure on maintenance. Production was stopped in 1983.

Model B60

Most of the Duke B-60s still flying have retained their original equipment. Electro-mechanical systems, which were highly advanced when the aircraft was introduced, were superseded in other aircraft with simpler I/C controlled mechanical parts. The aircraft uses turbocharged Lycoming TIO541-B4 engines that develop 380 hp each. Other systems, parts, and FAA certified technicians are increasingly difficult to locate. Normally, pilots figure 45 gallons per hour, plus another 40 gallons for each takeoff and climb as typical fuel consumption for cross country planning. Owners compare the Beechcraft B60 to classic sports cars—noting that they do not fly Dukes to economize. One area of particular maintenance concern involves the original construction of the tail section from a magnesium alloy, making that section of the airframe a common and expensive target of corrosion if not detected and treated quickly.

Modifications

Some Dukes have been modified by Rocket Engineering of Spokane, Washington, replacing the Lycoming reciprocating engines with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 or -35 turbine engines. Called the Royal Turbine Duke conversion,[9] the modification increases fuel capacity by 28 gallons and the maximum useful load by 400 pounds. Take-off length required is shortened by over 1,500 feet to only 1,000 feet and the landing distance is reduced by over 2,000 feet to only 900. The maximum rate of climb is increased from 1,600 feet per minute to 4,000 feet per minute, reducing the time to climb to 25,000 feet from 25 minutes to 9 minutes. Cruise speed is increased to 290 knots at 29,000 feet. This modification does have some disadvantages as it increases fuel burn from 56 gallons per hour to 66 and lowers the certified ceiling from 30,000 feet to 28,000.

Operation

Corporate and private pilot owners purchased the Duke. Most were registered in the United States but examples were exported to many countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Iceland, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and the United Kingdom. One Duke was flown by the Jamaica Defense Force. Many remain in service in the early twenty-first century.

In reviewing the aircraft in 2008, Rick Durden of AVweb stated, “Built to the quality standards of a King Air, the six-place Duke sported 380-hp, Lycoming TIO-541 engines – rare beasts, those – which means when both come due for overhaul, the choice is the overhaul or buying a small house in the Midwest. The assertive lines of the airframe made for a startlingly attractive airplane, but led to high costs of manufacture and, surprising to the casual onlooker, horrendous drag. There are those who claim that the Duke was purposefully designed to be about 30 knots slower than it could easily have been on the available power simply because otherwise it would have been faster than the flagship of the Beech line, the King Air. The roughly 230-knot max. cruise speed is only marginally less than that of a King Air 90 and about the same as a Cessna 421, which carries more on slightly less horsepower. While the Duke shares the delightful handling of the Beech line, should pilots have the joy of single-engine operation, they will be up against the highest rudder-force of any piston twin – 150 pounds at Vmc – which happens to be the maximum the FAA allows.

Owners report buying a Duke partially because of its looks, but selling it because of the cost of keeping it running. They describe King Air maintenance costs in a piston-twin airframe and recognize that the value of the airplane is entirely dependent on the engines. A gear-up landing means an engine teardown and propeller replacement, along with some sheet metal work. The cost is so high in relation to the value of the airframe that, in many cases, the insurance company will consider the airplane a total loss.”

Production figures

Beechcraft 60 : 125
Beechcraft A60 : 121
Beechcraft B60: 350

Beech 60 Duke (1968-1970) Serial Numbers P-4 through P-139, 141-146, 148, 149, 151


Data from PlanePHD

Twin engine piston aircraft with retractable landing gear. The 60 Duke seats up to 5 passengers plus 1 pilot.

  • Engines: Lycoming TIO-541-E 380 HP
  • Overhaul (HT): 1,600 Hrs
  • Years before overhaul: 12

Performance specifications

  • Horsepower: 2 x 380 HP
  • Best Cruise Speed: 236 KIAS
  • Best Range (i): 824 NM
  • Fuel Burn @ 75%: 41.2 GPH
  • Stall Speed: 76 KIAS
  • Rate of climb: 1,615 FPM
  • Rate of climb (1 engine out): 319 FPM
  • Ceiling: 31,300 FT
  • Ceiling (1 engine out): 15,700 FT
  • Takeoff distance: 1,253 FT
  • Landing distance: 1,590 FT
  • Takeoff distance over 50ft obstacle: 1,660 FT
  • Landing distance over 50ft obstacle: 2,340 FT

Weights

  • Gross Weight: 6,725 LBS
  • Empty Weight: 4,100 LBS
  • Maximum Payload: 1,928 LBS
  • Fuel capacity: 142 GAL

Beech A60 Duke (1971-1973) Serial Numbers P-123, P-127 through P-246


Data from PlanePHD

Twin engine piston aircraft with retractable landing gear. The A60 Duke seats up to 5 passengers plus 1 pilot.

  • Engines: Lycoming TIO-541-E 380 HP
  • Overhaul (HT): 1,600 Hrs
  • Years before overhaul: 12

Performance specifications

  • Horsepower: 2 x 380 HP
  • Best Cruise Speed: 240 KIAS
  • Best Range (i): 824 NM
  • Fuel Burn @ 75%: 41.2 GPH
  • Stall Speed: 76 KIAS
  • Rate of climb: 1,601 FPM
  • Rate of climb (1 engine out): 307 FPM
  • Ceiling: 30,800 FT
  • Ceiling (1 engine out): 15,100 FT
  • Takeoff distance: 2,006 FT
  • Landing distance: 1,318 FT
  • Takeoff distance over 50ft obstacle: 2,626 FT
  • Landing distance over 50ft obstacle: 3,065 FT

Weights

  • Gross Weight: 6,775 LBS
  • Empty Weight: 4,175 LBS
  • Fuel capacity: 142 GAL

Beech B60 Duke (1974-1977) Serial Numbers P-247 through P-445


Data from PlanePHD

Twin engine piston aircraft with retractable landing gear. The B60 Duke seats up to 5 passengers plus 1 pilot.

  • Engine: Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 380 HP
  • Overhaul (HT): 1,600 Hrs
  • Years before overhaul: 12

Performance specifications

  • Horsepower: 2 x 380 HP
  • Best Cruise Speed: 233 KIAS
  • Best Range (i): 1,010 NM
  • Fuel Burn @ 75%: 41.2 GPH
  • Stall Speed: 73 KIAS
  • Rate of climb: 1,601 FPM
  • Rate of climb (1 engine out): 307 FPM
  • Ceiling: 30,000 FT
  • Ceiling (1 engine out): 15,100 FT
  • Takeoff distance: 2,006 FT
  • Landing distance: 1,318 FT
  • Takeoff distance over 50ft obstacle: 2,626 FT
  • Landing distance over 50ft obstacle: 3,065 FT

Weights

  • Gross Weight: 6,775 LBS
  • Empty Weight: 4,425 LBS
  • Maximum Payload: 1,928 LBS
  • Fuel capacity: 142 GAL

Beech B60 Duke (1978-1982) Serial Numbers P-446 through P-596


Data from PlanePHD

Twin engine piston aircraft with retractable landing gear. The B60 Duke seats up to 5 passengers plus 1 pilot.

  • Engine: Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 380 HP
  • Overhaul (HT): 1,600 Hrs
  • Years before overhaul: 12

Performance specifications

  • Horsepower: 2 x 380 HP
  • Best Cruise Speed: 233 KIAS
  • Best Range (i): 1,010 NM
  • Fuel Burn @ 75%: 41.2 GPH
  • Stall Speed: 73 KIAS
  • Rate of climb: 1,601 FPM
  • Rate of climb (1 engine out): 307 FPM
  • Ceiling: 30,000 FT
  • Ceiling (1 engine out): 15,100 FT
  • Takeoff distance: 2,075 FT
  • Landing distance: 1,318 FT
  • Takeoff distance over 50ft obstacle: 2,626 FT
  • Landing distance over 50ft obstacle: 3,065 FT

Weights

  • Gross Weight: 6,775 LBS
  • Empty Weight: 4,425 LBS
  • Maximum Payload: 1,928 LBS
  • Fuel capacity: 142 GAL

 

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