History of the Staggerwing Beech N16S
The Red Rockette
Beechcraft Serial Number 6687
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-985/450 Horsepower
Maximum: 240 mph (statute)
Cruise: 165 to 200 mph (depending on how much fuel one wishes to use)
Landing: 60 mph
Fuel Burn: 22 U.S. gallons/hr (83 liters/hr)
Fuel Capacity: 160 U.S. gallons (605 liters)
Flight Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes (with 45 minute reserve)
plus additional 3 hours flight with temporary 66 U.S. gallon flexible fuel bag
1070 miles (statute-no wind) (1729 km/930 nautical miles)
Using temporary 66 U.S. gallon flexible fuel bag:
1565 statute miles (2500 km/1369 nautical miles
The old girl was born in late 1943 at the Beechcraft factory in Wichita, Kansas. She was delivered to the US Navy on 2 February 1944, as a model GB-2. However, under the Lend Lease Program, she was immediately shipped to the UK, assigned the ID number FT466, and assigned to the Royal Navy as a Traveller Mk.1.
Her stations included Lockheed Renfrew to C & D Squadrons, AAEE Boscombe Down, HMS Sandrling (RNAS Abbotsinch) at Glasgow, Scotland. She was painted in British Camouflage.
After WWII she was returned to the US at Norfolk, VA, in 1946. She has had many owners since and has been restored several times. The latest restoration took place recently at Mandeville, New Zealand by the Croydon Aircraft Company. She was shipped there from Reno, Nevada, USA, by the present owner—Captain Biff Windsock.
She is now on the long journey home back to Reno, Nevada over a 2 or 3 year period. Captain Biff's plan is to visit as many countries as possible along the way. It is to be a flight of navigational challenge, cultural discovery, and environmental appreciation.