Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor

Data current to 12 April 2021.

 (RCAF Photo)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-734), (Serial No. CA-134), RCAF (Serial No. 1534), coded AO-N, Air Transport Command.

The Beechcraft Model 18 (or "Twin Beech", as it is also known) is a 6- to 11-seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.  It was continuously produced from 1937 to November 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), with over 9,000 being built, making it one of the world's most widely used light aircraft.  It has been sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft, and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, skis, or floats, it was also used as a military aircraft, including many flown by the RCAF during and after the Second World War as a light transport, 

Beechcraft 18A Expeditor (1), (Serial No. 8650), 18B Expeditor (2), (Serial Nos. 7644, 7842), Expeditor (3), (Serial Nos. 1530, 7629, 7643), D-18S, CT-128, C-45 Expeditor Mk. 3N (100), (Serial Nos. 1426-1500, 2278-2302), Mk. 3NM (133), (Serial Nos. 1502-1506, 1507 (later 5179), 1508 (later 5180), 1509-1511, 1512 (later 5181), 1513-1515, 1536-1545, 1546 (later 5186), 1546 (later 5187), 1548, 1549, 1550 (later 5188), 1551 (later 5189), 1552-1554, 1555 (later 5190), 1576 (later 5194), 1577-1580, 1581 (later 5195), 1577-1580, 1581 (later 5195), 1582 (later 5196), 1583, 1584 (later 5197), 1585-1588, 1589 (later 5198), 1590, 1591 (later 5199), 1592-1594, 2303-2382), Mk. 3T (108), (Serial Nos. 1381-1399, 1401-1425, FR940-48, HB100-127, HB129-131, HB134-146, HB148, HB151, HB185, HB186, HB207, HB210, HB212, HB266-HB269), Mk. 3TM (47), (Serial Nos. 1501, 1516 (later 5182), 1517, 1518, 1519 (later 5183), 1520-1524, 1525 (later 5184), 1526, 1527, 1528 (later 5185), 1529-1535, 1556, 1557 (later 5191), 1558-1560, 1561 (later 5192), 1562, 1563, 1564 (later 5193), 1565-1575, 1595-1600), for a total of 394 aircraft.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650351)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-730), (Serial No. CA-130), RCAF (Serial No. 1530), 1943.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643720)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. II, RAF (Serial No. HB117). 24 Feb 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 354362)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF (Serial No.), coded M, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 6 Apr 1950.

 (DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF Station Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario, ca 1951.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-764), (Serial No. CA-164), RCAF, (Serial No. 1564), coded TQ-564, No. 104 Composite Flight.  Later Reg. No. CF-QPD.

(DND Photo via Mike Kehler)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. HB102) c/n 5780, UC-45B ex-USAAF (Serial No. 43-35466), QP102, 1943.  No. 406 Squadron, Saskatoon.  No. 406 Squadron codes were AH and XK.  This Expeditor is from No. 1 Advanced Flying School at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Expeditor aircrew members F/O Paul Duyns and F/O Al Sovran inspect the aircraft prior to take off, while a ground crew member plugs in the energizer.

(DND Photo via Mike Kehler)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. HB102) c/n 5780, UC-45B ex-USAAF (Serial No. 43-35466), coded QP.

(DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3N, RCAF (Serial No. 1430), (Serial No. 1499), and (Serial No. 301), coded SV, No. 17 Wing.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3559831)

Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor Mk. 3T, coded GP.

 (RCAF Photo)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM, RCAF (Serial No. 1534), coded AO-N, Air Transport Command.

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3615104)

Beechcraft D-18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-142), RCMP, Reg. No. CF-MPI, now with the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton, Alberta. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3560886)

Beechcraft D-18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-142), RCMP, Reg. No. CF-MPI, now with the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton, Alberta.

(RCN Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM (Serial No. A-791), (Serial No. CA-185), RCAF (Serial No. 2312), RCN (Serial No. VC920), NAVY 312.  Later Reg. No. CF-SEB.

 (Wilma Bearman Photo via Don Smith)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. 1383).  Ex USAAF C-45F (Serial No. 43-35683), TOS with the RCAF on 20 Apr 1944, No. 3 Training Command, Montreal, Quebec.  To Eastern Air Command on 22 April 1944.  Flown by No. 167 (Comm) Squadron, RCAF Station Dartmouth, NS, 1944.  Transferred to BCATP on 1 July 1944, probably for use by No. 34 Operational Training Unit at Pennfield Ridge.  Category C crash at Pennfield Ridge at 17:10 on 23 April 1945.  To workshop reserve at RCAF Station Pennfield Ridge, NB on 24 April 1945, for crash repairs.  Diverted to Canada Car & Foundry at Amherst, NS on 5 May 1945 to complete these repairs.  To storage with Eastern Air Command on 2 October 1945.  To No. 9 (T) Group on 1 June 1946, for use by No. 12 (T) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.  To No. 435 (T) Squadron, RCAF Station Edmonton, Alberta, 20 August 1946.  To stored reserve at No. 6 Repair Depot on 5 October 1946.  To Central Air Command on 23 September 1947, for use by No. 101 (Comm) Flight.  Noted on 6 January 1948 with 896:05 total time, never overhauled, condition good, fitment standard.  Noted on 1 April 1949 with 1283:55 total time.  To MacDonald Brothers Aircraft 16 June to 5 December 1952, for modifications.  To Training Command when completed.  To MacDonald Brothers for further modifications 9 March to 7 May 1954.  Noted as Mk. 3T by then.  To Training Command when completed, for use at RCAF Station Centralia, Ontario.  Still at Centralia in 1958.  To active reserve at RCAF Station Lincoln Park, Alberta on 31 January 1961, stored at Claresholm, Alberta.  To Timmins Aircraft in Montreal for overhaul, 13 January 1961.  Noted on 4 February 1961 as "Tentative Selected" for Mutual Aid program.  To storage with No. 6 Repair Depot on 5 January 1962.  Noted in storage at Dunnville, Ontario on 6 February 1962.  To French Air Force, 16 March 1962, alloted their (Serial No. 35683).  In France, relegated to gate guard at Chateaud by 1972. Moved 5 November 1986 to RSA Museum at Brienne-le-Chateau, France.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584275)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. 1414), coded VC-FBH in RCN service.

 (RCAF Photo)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF (Serial No. 2340).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584858)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF (Serial No. 2321), coded FB.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584519)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. 1415), Rockcliffe, Ontario, 9 June 1951.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584070)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. --88), 12, 1947. 

 (Author Photo)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-913), (Serial No. CA-263), RCAF (Serial No. 1577), painted as RCAF (Serial No. 1528), on display in the Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park, CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba.

(RCAF Photo)

Beechcraft 128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. 1391), Training Command.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM, RCAF (Serial No. 1535), coded AO-N, Air Transport Command.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF (Serial No. 1536), Training Aid A695, ca 1964.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor data bank:

The Expeditor was a twin-engine low-wing conventional-gear aircraft used during the Second World War for communications work and instrument flying training.  After the war, the Expeditor was the RCAF’s basic multi-engine trainer.  First flown in 1937, the aircraft was used to train pilots and radio officers, transport VIPs, and as a general transport aircraft.  Later in its career, the aircraft was often used in search and rescue (SAR) missions.  It was also used by the RCAF and the RCN for navigation training and as a short-range transport.  The 18A was powered by a pair of Wright R-760-E2 engines.  The 18B was an improved model Expeditor with a pair of Jacobs L-5 engines.  The 18D was powered by a pair of Jacobs L-6MB engines.  These engines improved the aircraft’s performance but provided much the same economy as the Model 18B.  The D-18S was powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-985-AN-14B engines.

Beechcraft Expeditor survivors in Canada:

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM (Serial No. A-706), (Serial No. CA-106), RCAF (Serial No. 1506), Reg. Nos. CF-SCA, CF-AIR, fuselage, with the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Beechcraft C-45H Expeditor (Serial No. AF-545), built in 1953, Reg. No. CF-MJY, ex-Spartan Air Services, currently with the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Beechcraft D18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-547), Reg. No. N5287C, Reg. No. CF-GXC, DOT, Ottawa, Ontario.  This aircraft did not serve with the RCAF.  It is painted to represent Expeditor Mk. 3NM, RCAF (Serial No. 1565).  The Hangar Flight Museum, Calgary, Alberta.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM, (Serial No. A-895), RCAF (Serial No. CA-245), RCAF (Serial No. 2366), Reg. No. CF-RSX, C-FRSX.  Lethbridge Air Service.  With the Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta, 

Beechcraft C-45H Expeditor (Serial No. AF662), USAF (Serial No. 52-10732), CF-OME, with the Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. 6596), (1387), CF-SIF, USAAF (Serial No. 43-35850), with the Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Beechcraft D-18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-141), RCMP, Reg. No. CF-MPH, mounted on a pylon, RCMP Academy, Depot Division, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Beechcraft D-18S Expeditor, unrestored, with the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Beechcraft D-18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-142), RCMP, Reg. No. CF-MPI, Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton, Alberta.

Beechcraft E18S Expeditor (Serial No. A-156), Reg. No. NC80213, Reg. Nos. CF-HHI, TG-JIQ, C-GZCE, with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM), Mount Hope, Ontario.  The CWHM obtained this airplane from a private donor in 1982 after it had flown for many years on commercial and private ventures around the world.  Manufactured as a Model D-18C in 1942, this Expeditor was converted to a Model E18S in 1946, when Pratt & Whitney engines replaced the original Continentals.  The paint scheme and markings are of a photographic section of the RCAF ca 1944, which was based at Winnipeg, Manitoba, and attached to No. 403 Squadron.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3N (Serial No. A-652), (Serial No. CA-52), RCAF (Serial No. 1477), CF-BKO, C-FBKO, with the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NMT (Serial No. A-700), (Serial No. CA-100), RCAF (Serial No. 2302), CF-ZYH, with the Canadian Air Land Sea Museum, Markham, Ontario.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM (Serial No. A-710), (Serial No. CA-110), RCAF (Serial No. 1510), Reg. No. CF-VPK, North Atlantic Aviation Museum (NAAM), Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-725), (Serial No. CA-125), RCAF (Serial No. 1525), later chabged to RCAF (Serial No. 5184), Reg. Nos. CF-ZQG, CF-EAR, silver, mounted on a pylon on the grounds of the Ear Falls District Museum, Ear Falls, Ontario.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NMT (Serial No. A-782). (Serial No. CA-180), RCAF (Serial No. 2307), Reg. Nos. CF-CKT, C-FCKT.  This aircraft served with No. 401 (Aux) Squadron (Montréal), No. 403 (Aux) Squadron (Calgary), and with RCAF Station Rivers, Manitoba, RCAF Station Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and RCAF Station Summerside, Prince Edward Island.  It was sold as surplus in the 1960’s Reg. No. CF-CKT.  During its career was used for smoke jumping.  It was purchased by the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia, in 1982 and airlifted to the museum in 1984 from Abbotsford Airport by Okanogan Helicopters.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NMT (Serial No. A-872), (Serial No. CA-222), RCAF (Serial No. 2343), Reg. No. CF-WUH, by the Trans Canada Highway at Ignace, Ontario.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NM (Serial No. A-895), (Serial No. CA-245), RCAF (Serial No. 2366), Reg. Nos. CF-RSX, C-FRSX, with the Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-913), (Serial No. CA-263), RCAF (Serial No. 1577), painted as RCAF (Serial No. 1528), on display in the Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park, CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3N (Serial No. A-657), (Serial No. CA-57), RCAF (Serial No. 1482), Reg. No. CF-BAS, with the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3TM (Serial No. A-760), (Serial No. CA-150), RCAF (Serial No. 1560), Southport Aerospace Collection, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3NMT (Serial No. A-902), (Serial No. CA-252), RCAF (Serial No. 2373), Reg. No. N16144, fuselage, with the Military Memorial Museum, Campbellford, Ontario. 

Beechcraft D18J Expeditor Mk. 3NM, USAAF (Serial No. 43-35478), Reg. No. CF-ZWY-X, with the Quebec Aerospace Museum - Musée de l’aérospatiale du Québec, hangar H-18 Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

  (DND Photo, 4 Wing, via Bob Pionteck) 

Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3 in formation with a Canadair CT-133 Silver Star (Serial No. 133452), over 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta.  Of note is flaps deployed for slow formation flight with the Expeditor and the AUP (Aircraft Upgrade Plan) Modifications to the Silver Star.

Royal Canadian Air Force Expeditor Mk. 3 production

 From A-600, blocks of duplicated c/ns were used for an RCAF order of 280 Expeditor Mk. 3s  (c/n CA-1 to CA-280).  These aircraft were basically D18S airframes. They were used as transports and navigation trainers in Canada and European NATO countries where Canada had training commitments. 

Mk. 3N: navigation trainer, astrodome and two trainee stations in the cabin.

Mk. 3NM: navigation trainer with modified floor mounts to allow 5 transport seats.

Mk. 3TM: transport with modifications to allow use as navigation trainer.

Mk. 3NMT(S): 20 Mk.3Ns modified in 1960 as (Special) Navigational Trainer personnel transport: the first navigation training station was removed and 3 chairs installed.

Mk. 3NMT: 3NMTS models which later had the remaining navigation station removed in 1964 to become 3NMT with 5 cabin seats. In 1959 the RCAF was able to release a number of these Mk. 3s, and under the Military Aid Program they were allotted to the French and Portuguese Air Forces. Their delivery involved the last mass crossing of the North Atlantic, when 25 Expeditors were delivered to Europe.  Air Britain reported: "On 28 May 1959, 25 RCAF Expeditor Mk. 3N were ferried across the Atlantic to Prestwick, en route to Marville, France for transfer to France and Portugal under the MAP program.  The mass ferrying of these aircraft was designated Operation Beechflight and the Beechcraft were led by an RCAF Douglas C-47 Dakota, (Serial No. KN665) and an RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. 10MB, (Serial No. FM213), coded CX of No. 107 Rescue Unit, Torbay Newfoundland, for SAR. The Expeditors flew in groups:

Serial Nos. 1452, 1456, 1459, 2278, 2295.

Serial Nos. 1460, 1464, 2288.

Serial Nos. 1465, 2281, 2283, 2292, 2296.

Serial Nos. 1430, 1444, 2285, 2286.

Serial Nos. 1448, 1469, 1475, 2287, 2289, 2294. 

Two stragglers, (Serial Nos. 1462 and 1485) arrived at Prestwick two hours behind other groups, shepherded by an RCAF Canadair North Star (Serial No. 17521).  All departed Prestwick on 29 May 1959 for Marville, France.  The six that went to to FAP were (Serial Nos. 1469, 1485, 2278, 2288, 2295, 2296).”  Civil disposals of these 1950s built RCAF Mk. 3s occurred in small numbers at various times over their Canadian military service.  The final bulk disposal of the type occurred in 1968.  The largest purchaser was Hamilton Aircraft Co, Tucson, Arizona, which purchased 68 RCAF Expeditors and immediately resold 45 of them to Priority Air Transport System of California.  FAA and Canadian Department of Transport accepted the aircraft's c/n for registration purposes.  However as the Mk. 3 had never been certificated in USA as a passenger transport, the RCAF disposals in USA were relegated to freight and parachuting work.  In several cases creative paper trails resulted in clouded identities to allow Canadian Mk. 3s to gain certification for passenger use.  (Geoff Goodall)

 (RCAF Photo)

Experimental Beechcraft CT-128 Expeditor Mk. 3T, RCAF (Serial No. HB109), c/n 5828, Reg. No. CF-ZWY-X, Pratt & Whitney Canada Beech 18 HB109 made 719 flights testing many PT6 models & propellers.  Aircraft is currently owned by the Quebec Air and Space Museum.

Taken on strength with the USAAF (Serial No. 43-35478) in 1943.  Taken on strength with the RCAF on 5 Jan 1944.  To Pratt and Whitney Canada, Montreal, Quebec, Reg. No. CF-ZWY-X in 1961.  Retired as an engine testbed in June 1980.  From July 1980, CF-ZWY went to the Ecole Nationale of Aeronautique, Saint Hubert Quebec, as an instructional airframe.  In 1998, it went to Fondation Aerovision Quebec (Quebec Air and Space Museum), Saint Hubert, Montreal, Quebec.