A Very Unusual Airplane
The Beechcraft Starship was the first composite plane ever created, and only 11 were built.
History of NC-50
I talked to the current owner of this Starship, serial number NC-50. He told the story of how he came to own it, and some of the things that make the Beechcraft Starship a very unique plane in civil aviation.
Limitations of the Starship
The Starship is a Burt Rutan design, which accounts for many of its unique qualities, but also led to some complications, and ultimately the short production life of the plane.
The Problems of Trailblazing
As the first composite-construction plane, the Starship had a number of advantages, but also some issues such as greater weight than comparably-sized aircraft.
In the Cockpit of the Beechcraft Starship
The Starship had one of the first all-glass cockpits, with display screens replacing mechanical instruments. Many of the redundant systems are more reminiscent of commercial airliners than a smaller twin-engine plane.
The Forward Wing
The forward wing is used both to slow the plane on approach, and to make it more stall-proof.