Type: Single engine, 5-place personal, business and military transport

Notable Facts: 1 of 270 for USAAF as military executive transport

Manufactured: 1943, Beech Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas

Serial Number: CN 4874, Military Serial 43-10826

Current Registration: CF-GKY

Recent Markings: Beech Aircraft Company factory colours

Beech D-17S Staggerwing

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Mike Potter, Bob Childerhose


First Flight: 1932

Total Production (All Marks): 785

Wingspan: 32 feet

Engine: Pratt and Whitney Wasp Jr. R985

Maximum Speed: 210+ mph


Created by Walter Beech, the Staggerwing is often referred to as the first true business aircraft. The project was considered foolhardy by many - a very fast, sleek and powerful biplane with retractable gear and fully enclosed cockpit designed to appeal to the executive on the go - at the height of the Great Depression. Setting the standard in comfort and excellence in private aircraft for years to come, the Staggerwing brought pure sex-appeal to aviation and was as much a symbol of a man's worth then as a LearJet is today.

The beautiful Staggerwing takes its name from the unique configuration of its two wings - the lower wing being set ahead of the upper wing contrary to all other biplane designs do that date. This rakish thoroughbred styling made it look fast just standing still on the ground. The interiors were just as beautifully finished in leather and mohair and capable of accommodating a pilot and four passengers in luxury. The Staggerwing doesn't just look fast, it is fast. Staggerwings were the darlings of the much-publicized air racing circuit of the 1930s. The Vintage Wings of Canada Staggerwing is a Model D17S which represented about 2/3 of total production and is painted in the spiffy Beech factory paint scheme of the day.


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