Queen Air 88
In 1965, Beechcraft introduced the Queen Air 88 as the first pressurized Queen Air. The Queen Air 88 has circular fuselage windows, making it look more like a 90 series King Air than its Queen Air predecessors with square windows. Although it has similar characteristics to the B80, the Queen Air 88 wasn’t as popular as Beechcraft had hoped, due in large part to its high purchase price and lower useful load in comparison to the B80.
The Queen Air 88 is powered by two Lycoming IGSO-540 engines, and has a cruise speed of 192 knots, a range of 902 nautical miles, a climb rate of 1,275 feet per minute, and requires 1,372 feet of runway to takeoff and 1,340 feet to land.
Queen Air Excalibur
The Queen Air line also includes a conversion called the Queen Air Excalibur. The Excalibur is created by performing supplemental type certificates on the original Queen Air models, replacing the Lycoming IGSO-480/540 engines found on the original models with higher-performing, more reliable Lycoming IO-720 engines. The older Lycoming engines found on the original Queen Air models had a reputation for having maintenance issues with the gearbox and superchargers, which is no longer the case with the Excalibur.
The loss of a supercharger does limit the Excalibur’s cruising altitude to below 15,000 feet, but horsepower is increased to 400 per engine, compared to 340 hp on the 65, A65 and 70 models and 380 on the 70, 80, A80 and B80 models. The Queen Airs’ gross weights are also increased with the conversion. The Queen Air 65, A65 and 80’s gross weights are all increased to 8,000 lb, the Queen Air 70’s is increased to 8,200 lb and the A80, B80 and 88’s are all increased to 8,800 lb.