Classic Light Aircraft-The Beechcraft Skipper

By Willie Bodenstein

The Beechcraft Model 77 Skipper that had its first flight on 12 September 1978 is a two-seat, fixed tricycle gear general aviation airplane was conceived with the design goals of creating a low acquisition cost primary trainer with an emphasis on ease of maintenance and low operating costs.

The Skipper was Beechcraft's attempt to enter the two-place trainer market with an aircraft capable of competing with the popular Cessna 150 line of trainer aircraft. Though the aircraft first flew with a standard tail configuration, by the time it entered production, a T-tail configuration had been adopted, giving it an appearance very similar to its close competitor, the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk

Photo Public Domain/

Aimed at the flight training market and for personal flying and touring the Skipper had the misfortune of being introduced at the beginning of a severe downturn in general aviation aircraft production in the United States. It did not proof to be successful and only 312 were sold. Most of the production run was initially delivered to Beechcraft's flight school network, the Beech Aero Centres, where they were used as primary trainers

Crew: 2
Length: 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
Height: 7 ft 11 in (2.41 m)
Wing area: 129.8 ft≤ (12.1 m≤)
Airfoil: GA(W)-1
Empty weight: 1,100 lb (499 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 1,675 lb (760 kg)
Powerplant: 1 ◊ Lycoming O-235-L2C flat-4 engine, 115 hp (86 kW)

Cruise speed: 105 knots (121 mph, 195 km/h)
Stall speed: 47 knots (54 mph, 87 km/h) (flaps down)
Range: 412 nmi (475 mi, 764 km) at 8,500 ft (2,600 m) (econ cruise)
Service ceiling: 12,900 ft (3,930 m)
Rate of climb: 720 ft/min (3.65 m/s)


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