This month’s Flying magazine has more about the Starship. They don’t mention anything about a limited airframe lifetime. They say that Raytheon/Beech just found it too expensive to keep supporting them. Since they still controlled 30 of the 52 of them, they just bought the rest of them back.
Some impressive stuff about the plane, all of which added up to the ridiculous weight and cost of it:
- The canard had variable sweep because the flaps caused the center of gravity to move too much.
- The flight instruments had 16 separate CRTs. It looks from the pictures that it had a separate CRT for every instrument, and then some. They didn’t have multi function displays like they do now.
- The FAA didn’t entirely trust the void detection methods Beech invented, and made them really overdesign the airframe.
The aircraft never had a airworthiness directive, and nobody was ever injured in one. That’s pretty impressive, even for a plane that didn’t get much use.