Page 19 - Volume 13 Number 1
P. 19

 BB-2 had a complete paint job and interior and was used for systems integration and icing tests.
In 1975 BB-1 was brought back into the Experimental Flight Test hangar; the two turboprop engines were removed and two JT-15D turbofans were installed in their place! Was this the first “Beech jet?” No, not really, since Beech had marketed and sold the MS.760 – a twin-engine, four-place, French-made jet, back in the late 50s and early 60s. But BB-1 was now the prototype PD 290, Preliminary Design 290, the name given to this experimental project.
Bud again was the chief program test pilot and he told some hair-raising stories about trying to get that prop-less wonder stopped on the 5,000 feet of Beech’s Runway 18-36! Little tires with no antiskid and a lot of residual jet thrust made for a challenge.
Although we may never know the complete, correct story, speculation is that the main reason why there was a PD 290 project was to get Wall Street speculating
       JANUARY 2019

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