Beech Musketeer

The Beech Musketeer is a single-engine, piston aircraft with a fixed gear. The Musketeer Models 23, A23, A23A, A23-24 are low-wing airplanes produced by Beechcraft between the years 1963 and 1970. It seats up to 3 passengers and 1 pilot.

 

Specifications

 

Exterior Dimensions

Wing span: 32 ft 9 in
Length: 25 ft
Height: 8 ft 3 in

Weights

Max TO weight 2,550 LBS (Model A23-24, A24) 2,400 LBS (Model 23, A23, A23A)
Empty Weight:  1,410 LBS (Model A23-24, A24) 1,325 LBS (Model 23, A23, A23A)
Fuel capacity: 60 GAL

Engine

Manufacturer: Lycoming
Model: IO-360-A2B6  (Model A23-24, A24)
Horsepower: 200 HP
Overhaul (HT): 2000hr TBO
Years before overhaul: 12

Manufacturer: Lycoming
Model: IO-346-A   (Models 23, A23, A23A)
Horsepower: 165 HP (160 HP on 1963)
Overhaul (HT): 1500hr TBO
Years before overhaul: 12

 

Performance specifications on Beech Musketeer Super III Model A23-24

Horsepower: 200.00Gross Weight: 2,550
Top Speed: 137Empty Weight: 1,410
Cruise Speed: 130Fuel Capacity: 60
Stall Speed (dirty): 52Range: 643
 
Rate of Climb: 880Rate of Climb (One Engine):
Service Ceiling: 14,850Ceiling (One Engine):
 
TakeoffLanding
Ground Roll: 950Ground Roll 660
Takeoff Roll Over 50 ft: 1,380Landing Roll Over 50 ft: 1,300

 

VIEW PERFORMANCE SPECS ON MUSKETEER 23

VIEW PERFORMANCE SPECS ON MUSKETEER A23-A23A

 

 

History

The Beech Musketeer is a family of single-engined, low-wing, light aircraft that was produced by Beechcraft. The line includes the Model 19 Musketeer Sport, the Model 23 Musketeer, Custom and Sundowner, the Model 23-24 Musketeer Super III the retractable gear Model 24-R Sierra and the military CT-134 Musketeer.

The Musketeer line was in production from model years 1963 to 1983, during which time a total of 4,366 were produced. The type certificate for the Musketeer family of aircraft has been owned by Hawker Beechcraft since March 26, 2007.

Variations

Beech 23 Musketeer and Custom
The first of the line was the Model 23. It was introduced under the “Musketeer” name as a 1963 model at an initial price of $13,300 and was powered by a Lycoming O-320-D2B engine of 160 bhp (120 kW). The next year this engine was replaced by the Continental IO-346-A engine of 165 bhp (123 kW). This engine was not a success and was in turn replaced by the Lycoming O-360-A4J engine of 180 bhp (130 kW) starting with the B23 Musketeer Custom of 1968. In 1970 the C23 version was introduced also under the name “Musketeer Custom”. In 1972 the C23 was renamed the “Sundowner”. When properly equipped, the B23 and C23 are approved for limited aerobatics.

A total of 2,331 Beechcraft 23s of all variants were manufactured by the time production was completed 20 years later in 1983.

Beech B19 Musketeer Sport
The Beech 19 was introduced as a 1966 model year. Despite having a lower model number, it was a later variant and was a lower-powered trainer version of the Model 23. It lacked the 23's third side window and had a Lycoming O-320-E2C powerplant of 150 bhp (110 kW). The Sport was introduced in 1966 with a standard price of $11,500. When properly equipped, the A19, B19, and M19 Sports are approved for limited aerobatics.

The Model 19 was named the “Musketeer Sport” and a total of 922 were built over the 15 years of production which ended with the 1979 model year.

Beech 23-24 Musketeer Super III
Along with the introduction of the lower-powered Model 19 in 1966, Beechcraft also introduced a higher-powered version of the Model 23 Musketeer and named it the Beechcraft 23–24 Musketeer Super III. This upgraded model had a Lycoming IO-360 fuel injected powerplant which produced 200 bhp (150 kW), 35 hp (26 kW) more than the standard Model 23 Musketeer of that year. This model initially sold for a price of $16,350 in 1966.

Development

In 1966 a single demonstration Model 23-24 was equipped with a constant speed propeller. In succeeding years approximately one third of production aircraft were delivered with the constant speed propeller.

The Super Musketeer typically has a useful load of 1050 to 1080 pounds – giving it one of the highest payloads of four-cylinder, fixed gear, simple single-engined aircraft available. Most Model 23-24s were produced in a four-seat configuration. A very small number were produced with a 4+2 configuration with the baggage area convertible to seat two children. This configuration option was more common on the Sierra models that followed the Model 23-24.

One of the few weaknesses of the Model 23-24 was that it had a simple heat distribution system that provided warm air via the firewall to the area under the instrument panel only. This meant heat to the rear seat passengers was less than optimal. Later aircraft featured increasingly better ducting designs that provided heat to all four seating positions.

The fixed-gear Model 23-24 was produced only between 1966 and 1969. A total of 369 Musketeer Super IIIs were completed before it was superseded by the Model 24 Sierra. These were serial numbered MA-1 to MA-369 and were the only models to have a “MA” serial number, making them easier to distinguish than other members of the Musketeer line. In the last few airframes of the series a new instrument panel with the same “vertical tape” gauges that were used in the early Sierras was introduced. These models were known as the A24 and are not to be confused with the first Sierras, which were designated A24R models. Other than the instrument panel these aircraft were mechanically identical to the earlier A23-24 model.

A further change in marketing policy in 1971 was to mark the disappearance of the name Musketeer, and simultaneously production of the Musketeer Super was discontinued. The three remaining aircraft became known instead as the Sundowner C23 (formerly Custom), Sport B19 (Sport) and Sierra A24R (Super R). The designations were changed again in 1974 to indicate engine horsepower, the three types becoming respectively Sundowner 180, Sport 150 and Sierra 200. Well over 4,400 Musketeers of all types had been built when production was suspended in 1984.

Beech CT-134 Musketeer
The Canadian Forces purchased twenty-four 1971 model B23 Musketeers, with the first CT-134 arriving at CFB Portage la Prairie on March 23, 1971. The initial batch of CT-134s was replaced in late 1981 with twenty-four 1982 model Beechcraft C23 Sundowners, which were designated by the CF as CT-134A Musketeer II.

Design

The main difference between the Musketeer line and other similar light aircraft is the Musketeer's landing gear. While the competitive Cessna 172s use spring-steel main gear, the Piper PA-28 Cherokees use oleos and the Grumman American AA-5s use fiberglass-sprung main gear, the Musketeer family use a trailing idler link gear system with a compressed rubber puck suspension system. This gives the aircraft quite different landing characteristics compared to the competition; light touchdowns are often accompanied by the idler links skipping and producing a landing that is less-graceful than anticipated. Nevertheless, with practice, smooth landings are easy to accomplish.

As a result of this type of landing gear design, Beechcraft did not design or offer wheel fairings for the fixed gear models. Several aftermarket manufacturers have designed and tested wheel fairings for Musketeers.

Variants

Beech 23 Musketeer (1963) Serial Numbers M-1, M-2, M-4 through M-554
Four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Lycoming O-320-D2B (1500 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,300 lb (1,043 kg), first certified February 20, 1962.

Beech A23 Musketeer II (1965) Serial Numbers M-3, M-555 through M-900
Four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 165 hp (123 kW) Continental IO-346-A (1500 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), first certified June 7, 1963.

Beech A23A Musketeer (1966-1968) Serial Numbers M-901 through M-1094
Four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 165 hp (123 kW) Continental IO-346-A (1500 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,400 lb (1,089 kg), first certified November 5, 1965.

Beech A23-19 (Beech 19 Sport) (1966-1967) Serial Numbers MB-1 through MB-288
Two or four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) O-320-E2C (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,200 lb (998 kg), first certified December 9, 1965.

Beech A23-24 (Beech Musketeer 24) (1966-1969) Serial Numbers MA-1 through MA-363
Four or six-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Lycoming IO-360-A2B6 (2000 TBO), or when equipped with a constant speed propeller a Lycoming IO-360-A1B or A1D piston engine, gross weight of 2,550 lb (1,157 kg), first certified March 7, 1966.

Beech A24 (Beech Musketeer 24) (1970) Serial Numbers MA-364-368
Four or six-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Lycoming IO-360-A2B6 (2000 TBO), or when equipped with a constant speed propeller a Lycoming IO-360-A1B or A1D piston engine, gross weight of 2,550 lb (1,157 kg), first certified February 5, 1970.

Beech 19A (Beech Sport 19 A) (1968-1969) Serial Numbers MB-289 through MB-460
Two or four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) Lycoming O-320-E2C (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,250 lb (1,021 kg), first certified August 31, 1967, approved in the aerobatic category March 12, 1968.

Beech M19A (Beech Sport 19) (1969) Serial Numbers MB-461 through MB480
Two-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) Lycoming O-320-E2C (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,250 lb (1,021 kg), first certified December 9, 1969, including in the aerobatic category.

Beech B19 (Beech Sport 19 B) (1970-1978) Serial Numbers MB-481 through MB-905
Two or four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 150 hp Lycoming O-320-E2C (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,250 lb (1,021 kg), first certified February 13, 1970, including in the aerobatic category.

Beech B23 (Beech Musketeer / Sundowner 23 B) (1968-1969) Serial Numbers M-1095 through M-1284
Four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a Lycoming 180 hp O-360-A4J/A4K (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,450 lb, first certified December 13, 1967 and in the aerobatic category November 22, 1968.

Beech C23 (Beech Musketeer / Sundowner 23 C) (1970-1983) Serial Numbers M1285 through M2392
Four-seat light cabin aircraft, fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A4J/A4K (2000 TBO) piston engine, gross weight of 2,450 lb, first certified February 13, 1970 including in the aerobatic category.

 

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