Beechcraft 1900

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Beechcraft 1900
A Continental Connection Beechcraft 1900D
Role Regional airliner, cargo, and corporate aircraft
Manufacturer Beechcraft
First flight September 3, 1982[1]
Introduction February 1984
Status In service
Primary users Silver Airways
Great Lakes Airlines
Eagle Airways
Produced 1982-2002
Number built 695
Unit cost
US$ 4.995 million (2001)[1]
Developed from Beechcraft Super King Air

The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by the Beechcraft Division of the Raytheon Company (now Textron Aviation). It was designed, and is primarily used, as a regional airliner. It is also used as a freight aircraft and corporate transport and by the United States military and other governments.

The aircraft is designed to carry passengers in all weather conditions from airports with relatively short runways. It is capable of flying in excess of 600 miles (970 km), although few operators use its full-fuel range. In terms of the number of aircraft built and its continued use by many passenger airlines and other users, it is one of the most popular 19-passenger airliners in history.[2]


An Air New Zealand Beechcraft 1900D

The 1900 is Beechcraft's third regional airliner. The Beechcraft Model 18 was a 6- to 11-passenger utility aircraft produced from 1937 to 1970, used by the military, airlines, charter operations, corporations for executive transport, and freight carriers. The 15-passenger Beechcraft Model 99 Airliner was designed to replace the Beech 18, and was produced between 1966 and 1975, and from 1982 to 1986. It was also commercially successful and remains in common use with freight airlines such as Ameriflight.

The Beechcraft 1900's design lineage began in 1949 with the Beechcraft Model 50 "Twin Bonanza", a 5 passenger, reciprocating engine utility aircraft designed for the U.S. Army. A larger passenger cabin was added to the Twin Bonanza's airframe, and called the Model 65 "Queen Air." This aircraft was, in turn, further modified by adding turboprop engines and cabin pressurization, and named the Model 90 "King Air." A stretched version of the King Air was later developed and designated the Model 200 "Super King Air". Beechcraft developed the Beechcraft 1900 directly from the Beechcraft Super King Air, in order to provide a pressurized commuterliner to compete with the Swearingen Metro and the British Aerospace Jetstream.[3]

The 1900 first flew on September 3, 1982, with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification awarded on November 22, 1983 under Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 41C airworthiness standards.[3] Like the 1900, the 1900C was certified under SFAR 41C, but the later 1900D version was certified to FAR Part 23 "Commuter Category" standards.[4]

The 1900 entered service in February 1984,[3] with the first ExecLiner corporate version delivered in 1985. A total of 695 Beechcraft 1900 aircraft were built, making the airliner the best-selling 19-passenger airliner in history.[2][5] With market trends favoring larger 50- to 90-seat regional jets, Raytheon ended production of the Beechcraft 1900 in October 2002. Many airlines continue to fly the 1900.


A Beechcraft 1900C in flight

Since the 1900 is derived from the King Air, all 1900s share certain characteristics with that aircraft. Cockpit controls and operations are similar to those of the King Air. While Federal Aviation Regulations require two pilots for passenger airline operations, the 1900 is designed and certificated for single-pilot operation in corporate or cargo settings, as is the King Air.


The 1900 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop engines. The 1900 and 1900C use two PT6A-65B engines, each flat rated at 1,100 shaft horsepower. The 1900D uses two PT6A-67D engines, each rated at 1,279 shaft horsepower.

The propellers are manufactured by Hartzell, with four blades on each propeller. The blades are made from composite materials.

Jet A is the recommended fuel. However, the engines are also approved for limited operations on other types of jet fuel or aviation-grade gasoline.[6]


The 1900D cruises at about 285 knots (328 mph or 528 km/h) true airspeed. Ordinary trip lengths range from 100 to 600 miles (20 minutes to two hours), but with full fuel tanks, the aircraft is capable of flying well in excess of 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km). Airlines often prefer the 1900 over jet aircraft for shorter routes due to its fuel efficiency, and because trip times are not significantly longer on distances up to 300 miles (480 km).[6]

The Beechcraft 1900 can operate safely on relatively short airstrips and it can take off and land on grass and rough runways.

The airplane is certified to fly up to an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,600 m) above mean sea level with its pressurized cabin.[6] It is designed to operate in most weather conditions, including icing conditions, and it is usually equipped with weather radar to help pilots avoid severe weather.[6] The aircraft can be fitted with an optional lavatory, using space otherwise available for passenger seating and cargo storage.[6]

The Beechcraft 1900 is used by the FAA for its Airline Transport Pilot knowledge test section on operating and performance data. Pilots are tested on center of gravity calculations, takeoff and landing performance, and en route fuel burn.

ICAO aircraft designator[edit]

The ICAO designator for the 1900 is B190.[7] This is used in ATC flight plans and pilot reports, as well as for aircraft type identification on ATC radar.



The original design is known simply as the Beechcraft 1900. It features two "airstair" passenger boarding doors: one near the tail of the aircraft much like the smaller King Airs, and a second at the front just behind the cockpit. It has a small cargo door near the tail for access to the baggage compartment, which is behind the passenger compartment. Only three airframes were built, with "UA" serial numbers of UA-1, UA-2, and UA-3. UA-1 and UA-2 are stored at a Beechcraft facility in Wichita, Kansas. UA-3, registered FAB-403, served in Bolivia until it crashed in December 2011.[8]


A Republic of China Air Force 1900C-1 at CCK Airfield in central Taiwan

It quickly became clear that having two airstair doors on an aircraft holding only 19 passengers was excessive. In creating the 1900C, Beechcraft kept the front airstair, but eliminated the aft airstair door, installing an enlarged cargo door in its place. Other than the redesigned door layout, the early 1900Cs were substantially similar to the original 1900s. These were assigned serial numbers starting with the letters UB. A total of 74 UB version were built, many of which remain in service.[4] Aircraft in the UA and UB series employ a bladder-type fuel tank system in the wings. Later 1900Cs use a "wet wing" fuel system: entire sections of the wing are sealed off for use as fuel tanks. This design change allowed more fuel to be stored, substantially increasing the 1900C's range. The wet wing 1900Cs were assigned serial numbers beginning with "UC." These aircraft are also referred to as 1900C-1s. The wet wings proved popular, and the UC is the most common version of the low-ceiling 1900, with 174 UC airframes built.[4]

Raytheon manufactured six 1900C aircraft for use by the U.S. military. These were assigned "UD" serial numbers, UD-1 through UD-6.


Danish Air Transport Beechcraft 1900C.
Beechcraft 1900D of the Swiss Air Force.

While the 1900C had become a popular regional airliner, Beechcraft undertook a substantial redesign of the aircraft, and in 1991 introduced a new version called the 1900D.

The 1900 and 1900C, like most 19-passenger airliners and business jets, have fairly small passenger cabins, with ceilings so low that passengers cannot walk through the interior without bending forward. The 1900D was designed to remedy this by providing a "stand-up cabin", which would allow most passengers to walk upright. It is one of only two 19-seat airliners with this feature, the other being the British Aerospace Jetstream 31/32.[4]

Because the taller passenger cabin adds both weight and drag to the airplane, other elements of the 1900D were also changed. More powerful engines and modified propellers were installed, winglets were added to reduce drag and increase the wings' efficiency, and the tail was made larger in response to the more powerful engines. The cockpit was updated with an Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS). The 1900D was certified under the then-new FAR Part 23 "Commuter Category" standards, which had replaced the earlier SFAR 41C. Since the UD serial numbers were already in use by the military 1900s, the 1900D airplanes have serial numbers beginning with UE. The 1900D is the most popular version of the airliner, with 439 of the 1900D built.[4]

Military C-12J[edit]

The U.S. military designation for the Beechcraft 1900C is C-12J. This is a variant of the C-12 Huron, which is the most common designation for military King Airs. The C-12J includes the 6 UD series Beechcraft 1900s built for the U.S. military, as well as other 1900Cs in U.S. military service.

Examples of C-12J aircraft in military service include one used for GPS jamming tests at the 586th Flight Test Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico,[9] and three based at the 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan.[2] The U.S. Army operates both C-12J and 1900D aircraft along with other C-12 (King Air) aircraft.[10]

King Air ExecLiner[edit]

The King Air ExecLiner was a marketing name for a corporate version of the Beechcraft 1900C.


Civilian operators[edit]

The cabin of an Air New Zealand Beechcraft 1900D

1900C. As of July 2014, there were 120 in service with over 30 operators; including Alpine Air (16), Ameriflight (25), and SkyLink Express (9).[11]

1900D. As of July 2014, there were 221 in service with over 50 operators; including Great Lakes Airlines (28), SEARCA Colombia (16), Central Mountain Air (12), and Eagle Airways (12). [11][12]

Military operators[edit]

Military and government operators include:[13]

  • Ministry of National Defence
 Republic of China
 United Arab Emirates
 United Nations
 United States
 South Sudan

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • November 23, 1987: A Ryan Air Services 1900 crashed on approach to Homer, AK airport. Flight 103 was fully loaded (all 19 seats occupied; 1437 pounds of cargo) when it took off from Kodiak runway 07. The aircraft lifted off the runway, fell back and accelerated for about another 15 knots before it became airborne. The aircraft was approaching Homer when it was cleared for the localizer/DME approach to runway 3. The crew reported a 2-mile (3.2 km) final 5 minutes later. On short final the wings were seen to rock back and forth; the aircraft then dropped steeply to the ground in a rather flat attitude, struck the airport perimeter fence and slid to a stop on its belly. Probable cause - "the failure of the flight crew to properly supervise the loading of the airplane which resulted in the centre of gravity being displaced to such an aft location that the airplane control was lost when the flaps were lowered for landing."[15]
  • May 18, 1990: An Aerolift Philippines 1900C crashed in Manila shortly after take-off, killing all 21 people on board and 4 people on the ground.
  • Aug 21, 1990: A ROC Air force 1900C crashed in the Yunlin County at Central Taiwan, killing 18 officers on board.[16]
  • December 28, 1991: A Business Express Airlines 1900C crashed during a training flight when the instructor refused to take back the controls when the students became disoriented due to heavily stressing conditions imposed by the instructor, against the company's flight manual. This conclusion was controversial, as an investigation by the Airline Pilots Association showed that there were many indications of catastrophic airframe failure, not due to pilot error.[17][18][19]
  • January 3, 1992: CommutAir Flight 4821, a 1900C operating for USAir Express flying from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake, crashed into a wooded mountaintop as it was landing at Adirondack Regional Airport. Of the four people on board (two passengers and two crew), two were killed while the other two sustained serious injuries.[20]
  • December 7, 1995: An Air St. Martin 1900D drifted off course and crashed into a mountain in Haiti, killing all 21 people on board.[21]
  • November 19, 1996: A United Express 1900C collided on a runway with a Beechcraft King Air at Quincy Regional Airport in Illinois, killing all 14 people on board both aircraft.[22]
  • July 30, 1998: A Proteus Airlines 1900 collided with a Cessna 177 over the Baie de Quiberon, killing all 15 people on board both aircraft.
  • August 12, 1999: A Regionnair 1900D crashed on approach to Sept-Îles Airport in Quebec due to pilot error; the pilot was killed while three others were injured.[23]
  • January 8, 2003: Air Midwest Flight 5481, a 1900D crashed into a hangar just after takeoff from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board.[24]
  • August 26, 2003: Colgan Air Flight 9446, a Beech 1900D operated for US Airways Express hit the water shortly after taking off from Hyannis, Massachusetts. Both pilots died.[25]
  • January 28, 2004: A Tassili Airlines B1900D, 7T-VIN was reported executing a missed approach at Ghardia DAUG and according to reports wreckage was found approx 10 km[26] from the airport. Of the three passengers and two crew members, one crew member was killed
  • January 14, 2008: An Alpine Air Cargo Raytheon Beech 1900 crashed into the Pacific Ocean on a cargo flight between Honolulu Intl Airport and Lihue Intl in Hawaii. This crash claimed one life: the pilot of the aircraft.[27]
  • March 15, 2008: A Wings Aviation 1900D crashed while attempting to land at Obudu, Cross River State, Nigeria killing all 3 crew members.[28]
  • May 2, 2008: A South Sudan Air Connection 1900 leased from CEM Air crashed, killing 22 people including Southern Sudan's Minister of Defense.[29][30]
  • May 22, 2008— An Alpine Air Cargo Beech 1900C, operating as Alpine Air flight 5008, crashed into a warehouse shortly after departure from Billings, MT. ATC instructed the plane to turn left, but for unknown reasons, it banked to the right instead. Witnesses report seeing the plane inverted before hitting the ground. The crash, & subsequent explosion, claimed the life of the pilot, the sole person on board. The final NTSB report cited "The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the initial climb for undetermined reasons." as the cause of the crash.[31][32]
  • November 9, 2009: A Blue Bird Aviation cargo 1900D crashed at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, Kenya, killing one of the two crew members.[33]
  • January 22, 2010: An Alaska Central Express 1900C lost altitude shortly after departure from Sand Point, Alaska and impacted the sea. Both pilots were killed.[34]
  • November 5, 2010: A 1900C flying for JS Air (Private) Limited, experienced engine failure and crashed a little after 0715 near Karachi killing 21 on board including 2 crew members.[35]
  • September 25, 2011: A 1900D flying for Buddha Air (Nepal) crashed during a return scenic flight from the Himalayas killing 19 on board including 3 crew.[36]
  • March 9, 2013: A 1900C flying for Ace Air Cargo (Anchorage Alaska) crashed 20 miles northeast of Dillingham, Alaska killing both crew members.[37]

Specifications (Beechcraft 1900D)[edit]

Data from Raytheon: Beechcraft 1900D Passenger Specifications and Performance[38]

General characteristics



See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ a b Jackson 2003, pp. 535–536.
  2. ^ a b c John Pike. "C-12J". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Francillon 2001, p. 57.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Raytheon Airline Aviation Services". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  5. ^ The Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner series outsold the 1900 series, but many were built as corporate Merlins and purpose-built Expediter freighters. The 19-seat de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter outsold both types, but it is typically used in different operations.
  6. ^ a b c d e Beechcraft 1900D Aircraft Flight Manual, Raytheon Aircraft Corporation
  7. ^ "PART 1 — AIRCRAFT TYPES BY MANUFACTURER (ENCODE)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-03-12. 
  8. ^ Aeronave de la FAB aterriza de emergencia, retrieved 18 January 2015
  9. ^ "Holloman Air Force Base - Fact Sheet Media". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  10. ^ " - Fixed Wing Page 1". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Morrison, Murdo; Fafard, Antoine (31 July 2015). "World Airliner Census 2015". Flightglobal Insight. Flight International (Flightglobal, published 11 August 2015)
  12. ^ Flight International 2011 World Airliner Census retrieved 21 August 2011
  13. ^ " - Airplanes - Aviation - Aircraft- Aircraft Photos & News". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Cutler, David (April 17, 2012). "Factbox: How Sudan and South Sudan shape up militarily". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C N401RA Homer Airport, AK (HOM)". 1987-11-23. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  16. ^ Military Aviation Accidents,
  17. ^ "Introduction to conflicting N811BE Accident Investigation Reports". Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  18. ^ "block island - safety hyushin - air safety - 1993 - 1706 - Flight Archive". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C N811BE Block Island, RI". Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  20. ^ Harro Ranter (3 January 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C-1 N55000 Saranac Lake-Adirondack Airport, NY (SLK)". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  21. ^ 1995 Air St. Martin Beech 1900 crash
  22. ^ NTSB Report: United Express Flight 5925
  23. ^ Commuter Aircraft Strikes Terrain During Unstabilized, Homemade Approach
  24. ^ Air Midwest Flight 5481
  25. ^ "UPDATE ON NTSB INVESTIGATIONS INTO RECENT BEECH 1900D ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS." National Transportation Safety Board. November 21, 2003. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  26. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900D 7T-VIN Ghardaia-Noumerate Airport (GHA)". 2004-01-28. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  27. ^ "Hawaii mail plane crashes, pilot missing - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  28. ^ Missing plane, dead crew found in Obudu
  29. ^ "BBC NEWS - Africa - Engine fault 'caused Sudan crash'". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Correction: South Sudan declares three-day mourning for crash victims Sudan Tribune 3 May 2008
  31. ^ CLAIR JOHNSON Of The Gazette Staff. "Mail plane crashes near Main Street in Billings; pilot killed". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  32. ^ Harro Ranter (23 May 2008). "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C N195GA Billings-Logan International Airport, MT (BIL)". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  33. ^ Accident description
  34. ^ National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report of accident involving Beechcraft 1900C registration N112AX retrieved 2010-03-29
  35. ^ "No survivors in Karachi plane crash". TGeo TV Pakistan. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  36. ^ 19 dead after tourist plane crashes in Nepal
  37. ^ "Bodies of pilot, copilot pulled from wreckage northeast of Dillingham". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  38. ^ Raytheon: Beechcraft 1900D Passenger Specifications and Performance Retrieved on 30 December 2010
  39. ^ (1,353 equivalent shaft horsepower, including thrust from jet exhaust), 3,950 foot-pounds Torque


  • Francillon, René J. "1900 for 2000: The 'Son of Beech' - Raytheon 1900 Airliner". Air International (January 2001): pp. 56–58. ISSN 0306-5634. 
  • Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group Limited. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5. 
  • Phillips, Edward H. Beechcraft – Pursuit of Perfection, A History of Beechcraft Airplanes. Flying Books, Eagan, Minnesota 1992.ISBN 0-911139-11-7

External links[edit]