A small twin-turboprop regional airliner manufactured by Beechcraft, and later Raytheon, from 1982 until 2002.
The Beechcraft 1900 is a small two-engine regional airliner that was manufactured by beechcraft from 1982 until 1994, and then by Raytheon Aircraft Company until 2002. It was derived from the smaller king-air (specifically, the Model 200 Super King Air), and, like it, is powered by twin Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engines (PT6A-65Bs on the original 1900 and the 1900C, and more-powerful PT6A-67Ds on the 1900D). Unlike the King Air, which could carry, at most, 13 passengers, the 1900 seats 19, plus crew.
There are three variants of the 1900:
- The original 1900 (designated by Beechcraft as the UA series) was essentially a simple upscale of the Super King Air, with the addition of a second passenger boarding door; the only other major change was the addition of paired auxiliary fins on the ends of the horizontal-stabilizer and a pair of ventral fins under the tail (these changes were necessary to ensure that the larger aircraft would retain adequate directional stability [stability in yaw]). Only three were built; one was destroyed in a 2011 crash, while the other two are in storage with Beechcraft.
- The 1900C removed the aft door, two passenger doors being excessive for a 19-passenger airliner. 254 1900Cs were built, in three subvariants:
- The UB series was essentially identical to the original 1900, except for having only one boarding door. 74 were built.
- The UC series eschewed the bladder-type fuel-tanks used on the original 1900 and the UB-series 1900C in favour of a "wet wing" system (where the wing structure is sealed off to form one or more large fuel tanks, instead of placing separate, distinct tanks inside the wing structure), which considerably increased its fuel capacity, and, hence, its range. 174 were built.
- The UD series was a military version of the 1900C; six were produced (three each for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force). The U.S. military refers to its 1900s as the C-12J Heron; this includes the six purpose-built UD-series 1900Cs, but also the various other 1900Cs and 1900Ds they operate.
- The 1900D (manufacturer's designation: UE series) was derived from the UC-series 1900C by making the fuselage taller, so that average-size passengers could walk about inside it without having to bend over. This made the 1900D heavier and increased its drag, necessitating the use of more powerful engines, uprated propellers, and drag-reducing winglets. The beefier engines, in turn, required more vertical-stabilizer area in order for the 1900D to remain controllable following an engine failure; thus, the auxiliary fins mounted on the horizontal stabilizer and the lower aft fuselage were enlarged considerably in the 1900D. In other news, the 1900D was the first (and only) version of the 1900 to be equipped with a "glass cockpit" (where digital displays take the place of ye olde mechanical dials and gauges). The 1900D was the most popular 1900, with 439 built from 1991 until the production line was shut down in 2002.
For more information about the Beechcraft 1900, see Wikipedia.