General Information about Expeditors

Wingspan: 47.58 ft 75% Cruise: 183 kts Normal Takeoff: 1405 ft
Length: 33.08 ft Stall: 67 kts Normal Landing: 1250 ft
Height: 9.17 ft Range: 632 NM Single Engine Service Ceiling: 7750 ft
Empty Weight: 5770 lbs Service Ceiling: 20500 ft Rate of Climb: 1190 ft/min
Gross Weight: 8750 lbs Maximum Fuel: 286 gal Single Engine Rate of Climb: 225 ft/min

"In 1950, the RCAF needed additional aircraft for its expanding training program, which included commitments
under the NATO Pact to train aircrews in all sorts of trades from other nations.  The program needed a versatile
aircraft – one that was capable of being a multi-engine trainer, a navigational trainer, a personnel transport, 
but most importantly a combination of the last two.


A number of production aircraft from countries all over the world were tested and evaluated to fit the RCAF’s requirements. After a lot of research, it was obvious that the Beech Aircraft Corporation had the aircraft that satisfied the requirements of the RCAF.

As a result, in April of 1951 it was announced that Beech Aircraft Corporation had won its largest foreign contact to date: a multi-million dollar contract for 280 military Model D18S or Expeditor 3s.

A-601 was the very first serial number that Beech assigned to first airplane in the large order placed by the RCAF, as well as a separate special RCAF serial number block - CA-1.

The model of Beechcraft that Time Travel Air owns was a model that was one of three models made specifically for the RCAF. Specifically, the aircraft is a 3N. That meant that she was a navigational trainer (N) with an astrodome and two seats available in the cabin for training navigator students.

This particular aircraft was delivered on August 23, 1951 and the last of the 280 Expeditors was delivered to the RCAF in March 1953. The airplanes were very similar to new production civilian D18S models, but with some important differences. These differences were: i) having an astrodome in the cabin roof (or provision for one); ii) interior navigational training equipment a flare gun hole just behind the co-pilot’s skylight window iii) thicker skin over the main and auxiliary fuel tanks on the wing inboard center section. iv) a 600 lb increased gross weight - which was specific for this order. (This boosted the gross weight of the aircraft to 9300 lbs.) Also, the RCAF supplied the engines. The MacDonald Brothers removed P&W R-985s from surplus RCAF Avro Ansons, and after being overhauled they were shipped to Wichita to be mounted on the new Expeditors. Production for the RCAF had been planned at 25 Expeditors per month. However, Hamilton Standard was able to deliver Hydromatic propellers for only 15 aircraft per month. To fulfil the production order, Beech bought surplus Hamilton Standard constant-speed propellers and installed them until Hydromatic production caught up. What’s interesting to keep in mind is that of the 280 airplanes ordered by the RCAF, only 99 of this particular model and type were ever built." 1

1Parmerter, Robert. 2004. Beech 18: A Civil & Military History. 207-208. Tullahoma, TN: Twin Beech 18 Society.



According to the RCAF, the Expeditor 3 is a twin engine, low wing, land monoplane of all-metal semi-monocoque design. It's empennage consists of one horizontal and two vertical stabilizers. The control surfaces are fabric covered, except for the flaps - which are metal covered on some aircraft. It is powered by two Pratt and Whitney 450 HP, radial, air cooled engines, which drive full feathering Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propellers. The landing gear and flaps are electrically operated. The flap system incorporates a hand crank, which is used to operate the flaps mechanically in the event of an emergency. Other features include dual flight controls and hydraulic brakes.

The primary structure of the centre section consists of a single, triangulared, welded steel tubular truss, which carries fittings for the engine mount, landing gear and outer wing panel main spars. The remainder of the centre section structure consists of aluminum alloy ribs, bulkheads, stringers and aluminum alloy stressed skin covering. The cabin door, located on the left side of the fuselage, aft of the wing, provides access to both the cain and pilot's compartments.

The RCAF used four versions of the Expeditor 3: 3NM, 3TM, 3NMT, and 3NMT(S). The Expeditor 3NM is equipped with an astrodome and furnished with navigation equipment. Additional floor fittings are provided in the Expeditor 3NM so that navigational furnishings may be replaced with transportation furnishings to convert it to the 3TM version. The 3NMT is basically a 3NM converted to a transport aircraft. Furnishings in the 3TM and 3NMT include seating for five personnel, three dome lights which provide cabin illumination, and in the 3TM, reading spot lights installed on the air ducts above each cabin seat. The 3NMT(S) is a navigation trainer personnel transport, which has the first navigation training position retained and slightly modified. (Specifically the Air Position Indicator, or API, was removed and replaced with the radio compass and indicator which was removed from the second navigator's position.) In addition to that, three reclining type chairs were fitted to the remaining area.

The Expeditor's were on RCAF strength from 23 Aug 1951 - 31 Mar 1970. The first Squadron to take an Expeditor on strength was 412 Sqn, eventually covering the following Squadrons: 400 Sqn, 401 Sqn, 402 Sqn, 403 Sqn, 404 Sqn, Maritime Air Command 405 Sqn, 406 Sqn, Maritime Air Command 407 Sqn, 410 Sqn, 411 Sqn, 412 Sqn, Maritime Air Command 415 Sqn, 418 Sqn, 424 Sqn, 435 Sqn, 438 Sqn, 442 Sqn and 443 Sqn. The Expeditors were on Squadron strength from 09 Jan 1952 - 30 Oct 1966. The first Organization to take an Expeditor on strength was the ATC, or Air Transport Command. (That particular aircraft was 3N D18 S CA-1 RCAF Number 1426 - the first aircraft that Time Travel Air purchased.) The last Training Command unit to use the Expeditor was 3 FTS Portage on 31 Mar 1970. The last Expeditors remained in the system until 11 May 1972, when the last one was Stricken Off of Strength.

Reference Data:
U-19 Aug 68-Aircraft Operating Instructions Expeditor-RCAF
U-10 Oct 69-Description and Maintenance Instructions Expeditor 3-RCAF
U-11 May 72-RCAF Data Record Cards-RCAF


3N D18S Expeditor 1426


Timeline of Expeditor 1426:


Expeditor 426 at 402 Sqn.
Photo of 3N D18S 1426 wearing 402 Sqn Colours.
Photo Credit: Archie Gittel


Photo of model 3N D18S 1426 1/72nd scale.

Photo of model 3N D18S 1426 1/72nd scale.
Model made by: Pres MWJ Balodis
Photo credit: P. Villeneuve


23 AUG 51Air Training Command Station Winnipeg
14 SEP 51Training Command Station Winnipeg
01 JUN 54IOTSU (MBA)
01 JUN 54Necessary Repairs
01 FEB 55Training Command (2 Air Navigation School) Winnipeg
15 AUG 55Storage Reserve Lincoln Park
08 DEC 55War Reserve Lincoln Park
08 DEC 55For Repairs as outlined on Aircraft Condition and Inspection Report
08 DEC 55Storage Reserve Lincoln Park
07 AUG 56402 (F) Squadron (Auxiliary) Winnipeg
12 AUG 58Inactive Reserve Lincoln Park
09 FEB 59War Reserve Lincoln Park
09 FEB 59Storage Reserve Lincoln Park
20 MAR 59Rockcliffe
26 SEP 6011 TS Timmins
21 APR 61Training Command (2 Air Observers School) Winnipeg
07 SEP 61Rockcliffe
31 MAR 64Air Force Headquarters Training Flight Uplands
17 JUN 64Air Force Headquarters Training Flight Uplands
21 SEP 64Derfaral No. 1005 Technical Storage Department Saskatoon
06 JAN 65Afdal No. 1005 Technical Storage Department Saskatoon
02 AUG 66Stricken off Strength and sold to Northland Airliner, Ltd
02 JUL 03Purchased by Time Travel Air


Reference Data:
U-02 Aug 66-Data Record Card for CA-1-RCAF
U-02 Jul 03-Bill of Sale-WCAM


3NMT(Spec) D18S Expeditor 2339



Timeline of Expeditor 2339:


08 MAR 52Training Command 1 Flying School Centralia
03 NOV 53Storage Reserve 6 RD
21 NOV 56Inactive Reserve 6 RD
31 OCT 58443 Squadron Sea Island
08 JAN 60Redesignate 3 NM to 3NMT (Spec)
20 JAN 61418 Squadron Auxiliary Namao
07 APR 61Air Transport Command 418 Squadron Aux Namao
13 MAR 64Converted from 3 NMT (Spec) to 3 NMT on Project WUTC
15 JUL 64Training Command Flying Instructor School Moose Jaw
06 OCT 64Transferred to Station Moose Jaw
29 NOV 65Station Moose Jaw AM & 649 departed for SPIC
01 NOV 66Inactive Reserve No. 1005 Technical Storage Detachment Saskatoon
28 DEC 66Storage Reserve No. 1005 Technical Storage Detachment Saskatoon
20 JUL 67Bristol Aerospace Ltd Winnipeg
20 JUL 67Storage Reserve No. 1005 Technical Storage Department Saskatoon
08 NOV 67Storage Reserve No. 1005 Technical Storage Department (Cancelled on request EVA 4-4)
05 JAN 68Bristol Aerospace Ltd Winnipeg
05 JAN 68Storage Reserve No. 1005 Technical Storage Department Saskatoon
15 JAN 68Bristol Aerospace Ltd Winnipeg Weld crack repairs
18 MAR 69Scheduled for Training Command, Canadian Forces Flying Instructor School at Portage, but this was cancelled prior to issue.
6 MAR 70Inactive Reserve Saskatoon
3 JUN 70Afdal Saskatoon
13 OCT 70Sold by Crown Assets Disposal Corporation
1973Purchased by Pembina Air Services
1974Purchased by Bearskin Lake Air Service Ltd
1975Purchased by Sabourin Air
15 Dec 09Purchased by Time Travel Air

Reference Data:
U-13 Oct 70-Data Record Card for CA-218-CF
U-1973-Canadian Civil Aircraft Register-Transport Canada
U-1974-Canadian Civil Aircraft Register-Transport Canada
U-Jan 75-Journey Log for CA-218-Transport Canada
U-1975-Canadian Civil Aircraft Register-Transport Canada
U-31 Mar 78-Canadian Civil Aircraft Register-Tranport Canada
U-31 Dec 78-Canadian Civil Aircraft Register-Transport Canada