Beechcraft Lightning

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Role Civil utility aircraft
Manufacturer Beechcraft
First flight 14 June 1982
Introduction 1982
Retired 1984
Number built 2
Developed from Beechcraft Baron

The Beechcraft Model 38P Lightning was an experimental turboprop aircraft built and tested by Beechcraft (now a division of Hawker Beechcraft) in the 1980s.


The Model 38P (Pressurized) (also known as the model PD.336) was created by installing a Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-9 engine in the nose of a Beechcraft Baron 58P fuselage, which was mated to a Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza wing in place of the Baron's wing with two engines.[1] This resulted in a low-wing aircraft with six seats including the pilot's. The aircraft flew for the first time on 14 June 1982.[1] After 133 flights over almost 18 months the aircraft was temporarily grounded so that the TPE331 could be removed and a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-40 engine fitted in its place.[1] The aircraft flew in this configuration for the first time on 9 March 1984 and the last flight was on 8 August the same year.[1] Beechcraft originally planned to put the Lightning into production but the economic downturn among general aviation manufacturers in the United States in the 1980s led to the project being shelved[2] shortly after the first flight with PT6A power.[1]

Specifications (Model 38 P, PT6A engine, performance estimated)[edit]

Data from Jane's 1983–84 Aviation Review[3]

General characteristics


  • Cruise speed: 316 mph (509 km/h; 275 kn) (max cruise, at 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
  • Range: 1,285 mi (1,117 nmi; 2,068 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b c d e Phillips, Edward H., Beechcraft - Pursuit of Perfection, A History of Beechcraft Airplanes. Flying Books, Eagan, Minnesota 1992. ISBN 0-911139-11-7
  2. ^ "The Beeches that got away", Wings Over Kansas website retrieved 2007-12-20.
  3. ^ Taylor 1983, p. 80.
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. (ed). Jane's Aviation Review: 1983–84. London: Jane's Publishing Company, 1983. ISBN 0-7106-0285-5.