Our Aircraft’s History

Beechcraft SNB-5 Expeditor (S/N 43-33316; MSN 5470; Bureau #67103) ~ Derived from the Beechcraft Model 18, our Expeditor was built at the Beechcraft Aircraft facility in Wichita, Kansas and delivered to the US Army Air Force as a Beech AT-7 on October 26, 1943.  Including the Expeditor, all variants were sometimes called by the nickname “Twin Beech”. The Army stationed the aircraft at the US Army Air Force Navigation School in San Marcos, Texas. 

  • December 1945 – Transferred to the US Navy and designated as SNB-2 with Bureau #67103
  • January 1946 – Naval Air Station (NAS), Corpus Christi, Texas
  • July 1946 – NAS, Olathe, Kansas
  • February 1948 – NAS, Norfolk, Virginia
  • August 1948 – Fleet Air Support Squadron (FASRON) 103, NAS, Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • July 1949 – Returned to Beechcraft, rebuilt into D-18S with construction number N790
  • August 1951 – Returned to the US Navy as an SNB-5
  • February 1952 – transferred to the US Marines
  • April 1952 – Fleet Marine Corps, Headquarters & Maintenance Squadron, Miramoar, California; resdesignated as UC-45J
  • August 1968 – Dropped from US Navy Inventory; transferred to US Army with Serial #67-103
  • January 1971 – Placed in storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
  • August 1971 – Acquired by the University of Kansa, Lawrence, Kansas; registered at N200KU
  • September 1984 – Acquired by the MARC, Chino, California
  • January 1990 – Placed on loan to the Combat Air craft Museum, Topeka, Kansas by MARC

The SNB-5 was flown to MAPS Air Museum in September 1990 on a loan from the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC) of Chino, California where Crew Chief Chet Starn maintains her.

Specifications/Performance:

  • Crew: 2 pilots (capacity: 6 passengers)
  • Role: Trainer or Utility aircraft
  • Nation of Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Beechcraft Aviation Corporation 
  • First Flight: January 15, 1937
  • Entered Service: March 1, 1937
  • Status in the United States Military: Retired June 14, 1976
  • Produced: 1927-1970
  • Number Built: 9000+
  • Unit Cost:$78,500 (1952)
  • Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 “Wasp Junior” radial engines, 450 hp each
  • Length: 34 ft
  • Height: 9 ft 9 in
  • Empty Weight: 5,420 lb
  • Max Weight: 7,500 lb
  • Cruise Speed: 220 mph
  • Max Speed: 225 mph
  • Range: 1,200 mi at 160 mph/5,000 ft
  • Service Ceiling: 26,ooo ft

Museum display notes: shown with US Navy markings from the early 1950’s (with a “Akron” tweak)

    ARMAMENT, NOTABLE: 

Designed to replace: Beechcraft SNB-2 “Navigator”

Intended replacement: Cessna T-37 “Tweet” (Air Force)