- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Beechcraft 1900

The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop airplane manufactured by the Beechcraft Division of the Raytheon Company (now Hawker Beechcraft). It was designed as and is primarily used as a regional airliner. It is also used as a freight aircraft, 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.

Beechcraft 1900D - C-GSWZ - Sunwest Aviation Ltd
1998 Beechcraft 1900D
C-GSWZ (sn UE 337)
Sunwest Aviation Ltd
Photo taken Apr. 2009
Calgary International Airport, AB Canada (YYC / CYYC)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com


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 Beech 18, or "Twin Beech" as it was often called, was hugely successful, with a production run of over 30 years, more than 9,000 built and more approved modifications than any other airplane in history. It remains in common use in numerous roles including freight aircraft and skydivers' jump plane. The 15-passenger Beechcraft Model 99 Airliner was designed to replace the Beech 18, and was produced from 1966 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.

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

The 1900 entered service in February 1984, 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. 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.


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 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.

The 1900D cruises at about 285 knots (528 km/h) true airspeed (328 mph or 528 km/h). 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).

The Beechcraft 1900 can operate safely on relatively short airstrips. 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. The cabin is pressurized, and the aircraft is equipped with emergency oxygen masks for the pilots and passengers in the event of a loss of cabin pressure.

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.

Raytheon offers the option of configuring the aircraft with a lavatory, using space otherwise available for passenger seating and cargo storage. Because most flights are less than two hours' duration, most airlines choose to configure the aircraft with the additional seating and cargo space, forgoing the lavatory.

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


Beech 1900
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. As of September 2006, UA-3 is in service with Bolivia's Ministry of National Defence in La Paz.

Beech 1900C
It immediately became clear that two airstair doors were redundant on an aircraft holding only 19 passengers. Beechcraft kept the front airstair, but eliminated the aft airstair door, installing an enlarged cargo door in its place. The changed aircraft was renamed 1900C. 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.

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.

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

Beech 1900D
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 the only 19-seat airliner with this feature.

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.

Military C-12J
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, and three based at the 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan. The U.S. Army operates both C-12J and 1900D aircraft along with other C-12 (King Air) aircraft.

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


Civilian operators
Other airlines operate Beechcraft 1900s in Africa which include Air Namibia and Fly540.

The last 16 Beechcraft 1900D airliners built were sold to Eagle Airways to provide regional services for Air New Zealand.

According to Flight International magazine, 451 1900s remain in airline service as of August, 2006, as follows:

138 Raytheon Beech 1900Cs. Major operators include: Alpine Air (12) and Ameriflight (20). Some 45 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type.

313 Raytheon Beech 1900Ds. Major operators include: Air Georgian (19), Avior Airlines (11), Buddha Air (5), Central Mountain Air (11), Eagle Airways (17 (18)), Great Lakes Airlines (30), Gulfstream International Airlines (26), National Airways (12), Travira Air (15). Wasaya Airways (5). Some 60 other airlines also operate the type in smaller numbers.

Airline Variants Number Country
Ad Astral Aviation Services 1900C and 1900D 2 Australia
Air Georgian 1900D 20 Canada
Air Labrador 1900D 2 Canada
Air Namibia 1900D 3 Namibia
Air Serv International 1900C United States
Alpine Air 1900C and 1900D 1900C: 12 1900D: 1 United States
Ameriflight 1900C 12 United States
Avanti Air 1900D 2 Germany
Avior Airlines 1900D 11 Venezuela
Bering Air 1900D 2 United States
Buddha Air 1900D 5 Nepal
Central Mountain Air 1900D 14 Canada
Chalair Aviation 1900D 3 France
Eagle Airways 1900D 18 New Zealand
Era Aviation 1900D 3 United States
EVAS (Exploits Valley Air Service) 1900D 1 Canada
FlyJet 1900D 3 France
Frontier Flying Service 1900C 12 United States
Gulfstream International Airlines 1900D 45 United States
Guna Airline 1900C 2 Nepal
Great Lakes Airlines 1900D 30 United States
Maverick Airlines 1900D 2 United States
Medavia 1900D 2 United States
Menard, Inc. 1900D 3 United States
National Airways 1900D and 1900C 1900D: 12 1900C: 5  South Africa
Nextjet 1900D  Sweden
North Cariboo Air 1900D and 1900C 1900D: 2 1900C: 2  Canada
Northern Thunderbird Air 1900D and 1900C 1900D: 2 1900C: 3  Canada
Pacific Coastal Airlines 1900C 6  Canada
Pet Airways 1900 20 United States
Pineapple Air 1900C and 1900D 1900C : 2 1900D : 1  Bahamas
Portugalia Airlines 1900D 2  Portugal
Prince Edward Air 1900C 3  Canada
Private Wings Flugcharter 1900D 2  Germany
Pronto Airways 1900C  Canada
Sunwest Aviation 1900D 5 (C-GSWZ)  Canada
SAEREO 1900C 2  Ecuador
Sky Bahamas 1900D 1  Bahamas
Skylink Express 1900C 6 Canada
TAC Colombia 1900D 2  Colombia
Searca 1900D and 1900C 15  Colombia
Transwest Air 1900D 1  Canada
Travira Air 1900D 6  Indonesia
Vincent Aviation 1900C and 1900D 1900C 1 and 1900D 1  New Zealand
Vincent Aviation 1900C and 1900D 1900C 2 and 1900D 4  Australia
Wasaya Airways 1900D 5  Canada
Western Air 1900C 2  Bahamas

Military operators
Military and government operators include:


- Defence Science and Technology Organisation

- Ministry of National Defence

- Colombian National Police



Republic of China



Royal Thai Army

United Arab Emirates

United Nations

United States
- United States Air Force
- United States Army

Mali Department of Defense

Accidents and incidents

November 23 1987: A Ryan Air BE1900 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 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."

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 disorientated 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.

January 3, 1992: CommutAir Flight 4821, a Beech 1900C operating for USAir Express was flying from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake when it crashed into a wooded mountaintop as it was landing at Adirondack Regional Airport. Of the 4 people onboard (2 passengers and 2 crew) 2 were killed while the other 2 sustained serious injuries. The cause of the crash was determined to be pilot error in establishing a stabilized approach and cross-checking instruments. Factors related to the accident were: weather conditions and possible precipitation static interference, caused by inadequate grounding between the radome and fuselage that could have resulted in unreliable glide slope indications."

December 7, 1995: Air St. Martin 1900D drifted off course and crashed into a mountain in Haiti, killing all 21 people on board.

November 19, 1996: 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.

August 12, 1999: Regionnair 1900D crashed on approach to Sept-Îles Airport in Quebec due to pilot error; the pilot was killed while three others were injured.

September 11, 2001: Eight passengers, including Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari, boarded Flight 5930 in Portland, Maine. The flight crew included a pilot and a first officer who also served as the flight attendant. Atta and Omari were the last to board the aircraft and sat in the last row of the plane. Colgan Air Flight 5930 was a Beechcraft 1900-a 19-seat regional airliner. It departed from Gate 11 on time at 6:00 A.M., arriving at Gate B9 (A) at Boston Logan International Airport at 6:45 A.M., one hour before the scheduled departure of American Airlines Flight 11, which later crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.

January 8, 2003: Air Midwest Flight 5481 1900D crashed into a hangar just after takeoff from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board.

August 26, 2003: Colgan Air Flight 9446: a Colgan Air Beech 1900D operated for US Airways Express hit the water shortly after taking off from Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Both pilots died.

March 15, 2008: Wings Aviation 1900D crashed while attempting to land at Obudu, Cross River State, Nigeria killing all 3 crew members.

May 2, 2008: South Sudan Air Connection 1900 leased from CEM Air crashed, killing 22 people including Southern Sudan's Minister of Defense.

November 9, 2009: Blue Bird Aviation cargo 1900D crashed at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, Kenya, killing all two crew members.

January 22, 2010: ACE Air Cargo 1900C lost height shortly after departure from Sand Point, AK and impacted the Sea. Both pilots are missing.

Specifications (Beechcraft 1900D)

General characteristics
Crew: 1 (2 in airline operations)
Capacity: 19 passengers + 2 crew
Length: 57 ft 10 in (17.63 m)
Wingspan: 58 ft 0 in (17.67 m)
Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Empty weight: 10,650 lb (4,831 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 17,120 lb (7,668 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67D turboprops, 1,279 shaft horsepower (955 kW) each
*Fuel Capacity: 4,484 lb.
Fuel type: Jet A recommended, others usable.

Maximum speed: Maximum operating speed 248 knots (459 km/h) IAS (285 mph, 459 km/h) to 13,200 ft (4,020 m).
Cruise speed: 260 knots (True Airspeed) (300 mph, 480 km/h)
Stall speed: 84 knots (IAS) (97 mph, 156 km/h)
Range: 1,498 NM (1,724 mi, 2,776 km)
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (maximum certificated altitude) (7,600 m)
Rate of climb: ~2,000 ft/min (~10 m/s)

Rockwell Collins EFIS-84 Electronic Flight Instrument System.

Last updated January 28, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beechcraft 1900".
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