Our 1:72 scale model of the American trainer and utility aircraft from the late 1930s brings with it the current adventures of a British couple who purchased this particular ‘Twin Beech’ to travel the lesser known world using the aircraft. Not only that but they are also flying as part of their explorations, a hot air balloon.
The Beechcraft Model 18 was a 6-11 seater, twin engine, low wing, tail-wheel light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita , Kansas., where it enjoyed continuous production from 1937 to 1969, during which time over 9000 were manufactured. It was sold worldwide for both civilian and military use, where its capabilities were endless. Users included the USAAF, US Navy, RAF and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Racing ahead to the 1990s, off-the-wall world travellers, Phil and Allie Dunnington, both experienced commercial balloon experts from the UK were looking for a suitable means of transport, as well as their balloon, to take on the challenge of accessing remoter locations across the world. In 2014 and thanks to a family legacy, Phil purchased G-BKGM, a 10 seater Twin Beech decorated in Bristol Airways livery, which had been built originally in 1952 for the Royal Canadian Air Force. From then until the winter of 2016/17, and with the help of an experienced South African bush pilot John Herbert, they spent the time preparing for an initial journey from Bristol to Toronto. Their journey is well documented through social media. They achieved their goal and as you are reading this, they are well on their way from Canada, down through South and Central America and the Caribbean.
And, if you are an adventurous type, there are opportunities to join them on further adventures! Just look up Phil and Allie’s website Gone with the Wind – Current Projects, which makes exciting reading for the intrepid traveller as you follow their progress on their current challenge!
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