This plane belonged to the United States Army during World War II

The Beechcraft C-45 Twin Beech of the FIO, a jewel of Spanish aviation from 1942

On January 15, 1937, the Beechcraft Model 18, a twin-engine airplane popularly known as the "Twin Beech," made its first flight.

A walk through the interior of the Spanish C-130H Hercules of the Cuatro Vientos Air Museum
The interior of the large Spanish KC-97L Stratotanker preserved in the Museo del Aire

This light aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney R-985 piston engines. With two crew members (pilot and co-pilot), it could transport between 6 and 8 passengers, with a maximum speed of 362 km/h and a range of 1,900 km. Although it became famous as an executive and regional airliner, the Twin Beech had a golden era in World War II, during which some 4,500 C-45s (its military name) were used as airliners. liaison, light transport, training, photoreconnaissance, target towing and even light bombing.

The C-45 of the Infante de Orleáns Foundation (Image: Fundación Infante de Orleáns).

The Twin Beech continued to be manufactured in the post-war period, with more than 9,000 units being completed, a record for aircraft of this type. It was in continuous production from 1937 to 1970. Even today more than 200 Twin Beechs continue to fly in the USA, where this model is already an aviation classic.

In Spain, the Infante de Orleáns Foundation (FIO) owns a Beechcraft C-45 that was delivered to the US Army Air Forces on December 18, 1942 with construction number 4191 and serial number 42-43462. Currently one of the few aircraft of this type that are fit to fly in Europe. Initially this aircraft was a Beechcraft AT-7 Navigator, the navigation training version of the Twin Beech, of which 577 examples were built. In 1952 it was converted into a C-45H. After its discharge, it was acquired by the Spanish airline Spantax in 1962, receiving the civil registration EC-ASJ.

The C-45 of the FIO with the colors of Azimut (Photo: Fundación Infante de Orleáns).

In 1972 it was sold to an aerial photography company, Azimut, which operated it from the Cuatro Vientos airfield. In 1990 he arrived at the FIO, which began a restoration process that culminated in 2004. You can see photos of its restoration process here.

Currently, EC-ASJ flies in its old Spantax livery, forming part of the beautiful FIO air displays at Cuatro Vientos. Yesterday, Fly By Wire Aviation published a video showing this Twin Beech up close in his hangar:

You can see the FIO Twin Beech in flight in this video published by the foundation itself four years ago:

The Infant of Orleans Foundation was founded in 1989 and has a collection of 40 historic, airworthy aircraft. He shows these planes on the first Sunday of every month, except January and August, at Cuatro Vientos. You have more information here about these exhibitions.

Una parte de la colección de la FIO (Foto: Fundación Infante de Orleáns).


Main photo: Fundación Infante de Orleáns.

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