Page 20 - Volume 13 Number 1
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 about a Beechcraft jet. The hope was that this would drive the stock price higher, as it did, before Olive Ann sold the company to Raytheon.
When fitted with the JT-15s, BB-1 was flown in two configurations. One had the jet’s exhaust constrained within a duct that terminated at the trailing edge of the wing; the other was a “blown wing,” as shown in the picture above, wherein the exhaust flowed freely from the engine’s exhaust duct over the top of the wing. I have heard – as the aeronautic guidelines would suggest – that the latter configuration created more lift but also more drag.
After BB-1 flew the PD 290 tests, it was again relegated to the forlorn grass tie-down area.
Gerald Mobley was the chief pilot for Guardian Air Transport of Billings, Montana, an air ambulance operation that was using King Air 100s and 200s in the 1980s. Gerald believed that they were losing some
business because of the public’s perception that being transported in a “light airplane” was uncomfortable and unsafe. He had the thought that if Guardian could show a mock-up of their actual BE-200 air ambulance interior to the end users – showing how roomy it was, the stretcher installation, exhibiting plenty of room for the flight nurses and even a seat for a relative of the patient – that Guardian would likely gain plenty of new customers. In his quest to find a 200 fuselage to make into the mock-up, he contacted Beech. He ended up purchasing BB-1 from Beech, having the wings and tail removed, cutting away the left side of the fuselage, mounting the assembly on a flatbed truck, and taking the rig to all of the county fairs they could find in Montana. He said that the program was quite successful in alleviating the public’s worry.
Still later, when BB-1 had finished its roll as a movable air ambulance mock-up, Stevens Aviation bought the remains and used the cockpit portion as its Garmin
G1000 simulator. Within the past year or so, it has been upgraded to the G1000NXi configuration. I, personally, have spent quite a few hours teaching both myself and some colleague pilots about the workings of this marvelous system while sitting in the “front office” of BB-1. She still sits at the Stevens’ facility in Nashville, Tennessee, when she’s not on the road at some aviation trade show.
Go give her a loving pat sometime when you are in the area. She is the
BB-1 fitted with JT-15s, flown with a “blown wing” where the exhaust flowed freely from the engine’s exhaust duct over the top of the wing.”
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