INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
|Beech C-45/SNB Expeditor|
They were produced, for example, as an advanced trainer in 1941 under the designation AT-7 "Navigator." Many, as C-45Bs, served as transports. Large numbers were lend-leased to the British who called them MK 1 "Expeditors." Yet another version, identifiable by its glassed-in nose, was produced as the AT-11 "Kansan" for training bombardiers. A model fitted out for photographic duties was called the "Discoveror." SNB was the US Navy designation, the latter also called the "Bugsmasher" as it was affectionately named by the USN.
236 Expeditors were supplied to the RAF, RCAF and an additional 73 served with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm under lend-lease. The allied air forces used them in a wide variety of roles including navigational training, bombing and gunnery training, utility transport, search and rescue and aerial photography. As a passenger transport, they were typically configured to carry six people.
Ordered by the US Navy in 1940, the intended use of the C–45 as a photography platform was expanded to include administrative and logistic support, the transport of patrol aircraft crews, and as a training aircraft for photo reconnaissance crews. Pilots not assigned to operational squadrons relied on the SNB, to maintain flying proficiency for the purpose of collecting "hazardous duty" pay. As a result, SNB time appears in the log books of most Naval Aviators during the course of the aircraft's thirty years service.
Development of Standard US navy bombing trainer of WW2. RAF machines were primarily used in SEAC command.
C-45 Civil B-18s purchased by USAAF
C-45A 8 seat version
C-45B Redesigned interior
C-45C/E Impressed civil variants
C-45F 7 seat version, lengthened nose
AT-7A/C & At-11 Trainer versions
AT-7A/C & At-11 Trainer versions
F-2; Civil B-18s modified photo-reconnaissance version; two .3in guns, ten 100lb bombs
JRB-1/4 and SNB-1/2 USMC versions of C-45 and At-7/11
Expeditor British and Canadian designation; 430 lend-lease deliveries.
Expeditor C-45 No. 435 of the USAF postwar
The Fleet Air Arm ordered 73 Expeditor CI and CII under Lend-Lease contract No AC-40082 and AC-3213. The first Expeditor, FT985, was delivered to US NAS Anastocia in February 1944 for the British Embassy in Washington DC, and subsequently others delivered to TOC RN Cochin 13 May 1944 (eg FT982).
The first second-line squadron to receive the Expeditor was 782 squadron at Donibristle from 21 May 1944 (eg FT979, and many were subsequently delivered to 742 squadron at Coimbatore/Sulur throughout 1944 and into 1945. One Fleet Air Arm Expeditor KP110 of 782 squadron detached at Lee-on-Solent served as the Admiral's barge during August and September, 1945. Others were given individual names by 782 squadron, including :"Merlin 20" (FT977), "Merlin 23" (HB162) and "Merlin L" (HD760).
The type saw service until after the end of WW2 and some returned to the USN in March 1946.
Fleet Air Arm history
Total FAA 1939-1945: 73
First delivered to RN: 2.1944
First squadron 1939-1945: 782 sqdn 1944
Operational squadron: None
Last served with RN 742 squadron 1945
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with FAA
Expeditor SNB-2 in USN markings
There are a number of Expeditors and other Beech 18 marks in existence around the world, although probably less than ten in Airworthy in Europe and Canada. The single airworthy Expeditor on the European display circuit is G-BKGL rebuilt by ARC at Duxford (UK), static examples are also at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Nanton Museum (Canada), and the Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary. A number are also exhibited in Europe and in the USA.
Nanton Museum preserved Expeditor CF-MPI
The Nanton Museum Beech-18 Expeditor CF-MPI played a significant role with the aviation division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Associations and reunions