Sad end to a beautiful bird

The Beech Starship is no more. Yeah, I know, it was too expensive, too heavy, didn’t carry enough, didn’t go far enough, all that stuff. But it was so cool looking. Whenever anybody would start to say “I saw this really weird looking plane, do you know what it was?”, you could answer “Beech Starship” without even letting them finish, and be right 90% of the time.

Here’s a picture of the last of them sitting on storage at Pima.

10 thoughts on “Sad end to a beautiful bird”

  1. Here’s a better picture of a starship in flight. It shows the odd little winglets at the nose better.

    I saw one of those go over once. They were very cool-looking.

    Does this mean that they’re just out of production, or that they’re being made into chicken coops?

  2. Not only are they out of production, but they’ve all been grounded and taken to this storage lot. I’m not sure if Beech bought them all back or what, but I’m pretty sure they’ll never fly again.

  3. How many of them were made? If the ones in the picture are all, then spare parts and maintenance training would become ludicrously expensive, and one major AD would probably ground the whole fleet.

  4. As far as I know, only 52 were built. I also believe that not all of them were sold.

    The current hot selling small piston plane is the Cirrus, which is all-composite like the Starship. I know that it has a certification limitation that limits them to a very short life. The older Cirrus, the SR-20, reached that life and the FAA tested a couple and extended the life for the fleet. They’re almost assuredly going to do the same with the newer model, the SR-22.

    I wonder if what happened with the Starship, which I think was the first large all-composite plane the FAA certified, was that they did the same thing, but when it came time to recertify them for the longer life, Raytheon/Beech didn’t want to spend the money for such a small fleet and chose to ground them instead. I hope they gave the owners a discount on the King Air, the plane the Starship was supposed to replace.

  5. I didn’t know about the time-limited certification. Probably that helped do the plane in; it would be hard to convince some people to spend $Nmillion on a plane that might turn into a pumpkin in a few years.

  6. Read with great interest of what finally happend to the Beech Starship. I was working at an airport in Flagler Beach Florida when I had a chance to get up close and personal with a Starship that was parked on the ramp. What a beautiful airplane. Now I know their fate ….

  7. What a shame; but the dollar speaks loud. Our house is on the final for Chgo MDW & occasionally we’d HEAR one on final and rush outside to see it fly over, quite low as we are only couple miles out.

    Beautiful craft. Ahh well. I’d put one in my back yard as a guest house if I could. That would drive the neighbors nutz.

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