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Ross Aviation Beechcraft Beech 80 Queen Air


Model ID#:





Queen Air





Beech 80



Model Scale:




historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1970

SKU: Model-0346 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

The Beechcraft Queen Air was a twin-engine light aircraft produced by Beechcraft in many variations from 1960 to 1978. The Queen Air was based upon the Beech Twin Bonanza and shared critical components such as wings, engines, and tail surfaces. But this version had a larger fuselage and became the stepping stone to the highly successful King Air series of turboprop aircraft that followed.
Beechcraft decided to develop a design based on the Twin Bonanza but with a larger fuselage and new tail and the result was the Beech 65, the first of the Queen Air series. The twin-engine nine-seat low-wing cantilever cabin monoplane came with retractable tricycle landing gear and was powered by two 340 hp Lycoming IGSO-480 six-cylinder, horizontally opposed piston engines early on.

The prototype Beech 65 first flew on August 28, 1958, with the production model receiving a Federal Aviation Authority type certificate on February 4, 1959. The basic Model 65 was in production until 1967, overlapped by the introduction of other versions and was followed by an improved Model A65 with a swept rather than vertical tail.

The Beech 80 (also known as the Model 65-80) was the first of the Queen Airs to have the swept tail, although it retained the short wings of the Model 65. It was first flown on June 22, 1961, and certified on February 20, 1962 and was powered by 380 hp Lycoming IGSO-540 engine. A total of 148 Beech 80’s were built from 1962 to 1963.

The Queen Air’s primary uses have been as a private or utility aircraft along with being a small commuter airliner. The production of the aircraft lasted for 17 years when the Queen Air series ended in 1978.

Ross Aviation, based in Albuquerque, inherited the commuter airline service of Carco Air Service in 1969 and maintained shuttle flights between Albuquerque and Los Alamos. Ross initially started using Piper Aztec and Beech Queen Air aircraft but upgraded to 18-passenger de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters in the early 1970s. Flights operated every two hours from 600am until 1000pm each weekday. By the mid-1980s the carrier began using 50-seat, four engine, de Havilland Dash-7 aircraft on flights with heavier loads. Ross also flew to other cities, particularly in Nevada, using separate aircraft including Douglas DC-9 jets. As government traffic to Los Alamos downsized into the 1990’s, Ross Aviation cut back on flights until all service was discontinued on September 29, 1995. Since then Peacock Air, Mesa Airlines, Rio Grande Air, New Mexico Airlines, and Boutique Air have all flown the Albuquerque to Los Alamos route.

In 1969, Ross Aviation won the contract to provide scheduled air service for the Atomic Energy Commission to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Carco Air Service had previously held this contract. Ross began service on February 1, 1970 with one Beech 80 Queen Air, N841NS, and five Piper Aztec’s. A standard 1968 blue and white finish was used with the addition of Ross Aviation Inc. in red letters over the passenger compartment on both sides of the aircraft.