Alongside the release of World Update X: USA, Microsoft Flight Simulator has also gained a new bird in the hangar: the American-made classic twin-engine piston, the Beechcraft Model 18. With its all-metal body and beautiful design, the Model 18 is a retro gem and the fifth entry in Asobo’s Local Legends series for the sim.
The “Twin Beech” hails all the way from the late 1930s. It was released during one of the most active periods in aviation history — just before World War II began.
Over a 30-year span, 9,000 units of the aircraft were produced. It became loved for its powerful radial engines, and was used across a wealth of facets, such as executive transport (hence its gorgeous interiors), along with more rugged operations like fire suppression and mapping. She was clearly built to last, as there remains a handful of active airframes to this day.
Flying first class
Even by modern standards, the Beech Model 18 is still a pretty capable machine. It can fly as high as 20,500 feet, and runs at a top speed of 230 mph. With a range of 1,130 miles, it can even make some lengthier journeys such as a mid-haul hops across the continental US.
As demonstrated in the trailer below, while it does retain a lot of its classic avionics, it also sports a modern Garmin GPS module — likely as a separate option.
The Beechcraft Model 18 is available to purchase now via the in-game Marketplace for $14.99 USD.
There are even more aircraft in the works for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The list includes the similarly retro Douglas DC-3 from Aeroplane Heaven and just slightly more modern Airbus A310 from iniBuilds.
Both craft will be untraditionally released entirely for free as part of the special 40th Anniversary Edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. This new expansion is coming in November, and features a variety of other aircraft in addition to the arrival of helicopters and gliders.