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1964 BEECHcraft A23 musketeer


The Beechcraft Musketeer is a family of single-engined, low-wing, light aircraft that was produced by Beechcraft. The line includes the Model 19 Musketeer Sport, the Model 23 Musketeer, Custom and Sundowner, the Model 23-24 Musketeer Super III the retractable gear Model 24-R Sierra and the military CT-134 Musketeer.


The Musketeer line was in production from model years 1963 to 1983, during which time a total of 4,366 were produced. The type certificate for the Musketeer family of aircraft has been owned by Hawker Beechcraft since March 26, 2007.

A significant difference between the Musketeer line and other similar light aircraft is the Musketeer's landing gear. While the competitive Cessna 172s use spring-steel main gear, the Piper PA-28 Cherokees use oleo struts and the Grumman American AA-5s use fiberglass-sprung main gear, the Musketeer family use a trailing idler link gear system with compressed rubber pucks for shock absorption. This gives the aircraft quite different landing characteristics compared to the competition; light touchdowns are often accompanied by the idler links skipping and producing a landing that is less graceful than anticipated. Nevertheless, with practice, smooth landings are easy to accomplish.

As a result of this type of landing gear design, Beechcraft did not design or offer wheel fairings for the fixed gear models. Several aftermarket manufacturers have designed and tested wheel fairings for Musketeers.

The museum's example was acquired as a derelict airframe that was left on the ramp behind the Curtiss Hangar. In the coming months it will be spruced up, given a vinyl wrap, and put on outside display.

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