Beech Model 50 / L-23 Seminole


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Beech Model 50 / L-23 Seminole

Similarly to the Model 35 Bonanza, the Model 50 was advanced for its day, but the Model 50 was a twin-engined design, with a conventional tail and excellent range and altitude performance. It shared the Model 35's all-metal construction and retractable undercarriage. Sales of this larger type would clearly be lower than the Bonanza, therefore Beech aimed the design at both civil and military applications. The economics of taking up a type already in civilian service were attractive to the US Army, which designated it the L-23 (later U-8).

 MODELL-23D Seminole
 ENGINE2 x 340hp Avco Lycoming O-480-1 flat-six engines
  Take-off weight3175 kg7000 lb
  Wingspan13.80 m45 ft 3 in
  Length9.61 m32 ft 6 in
  Height3.45 m11 ft 4 in
  Max. speed375 km/h233 mph
  Ceiling8015 m26300 ft
  Range2181 km1355 miles

Rick Carpenter, e-mail, 29.09.2017 06:36

My 1956 D-50 N4307D was a workhorse from '77-'84 in the Marijuana AF in Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, and Bahamas. Incredible short and rough field performance. With added fuel, would fly for 19 hours.


Doug Logan, e-mail, 16.11.2016 20:00

I was a crewchief on the RL-23D at Ft. Huachuca,AZ in 1960. It was a good solid aircraft.


max shellhammer, e-mail, 07.06.2016 20:49

I was a 67G20 in NAM.A crewchief on a RU8D stationed in PHU BAI 70-71 The army had 3 versions of the U8, D,G,aand the F. The F was like the king air except with piston engines and the U8 tail.


David Vazquez, e-mail, 27.05.2014 19:08

We are currently working on an L23D as part of our training at RCB Aerospace Center in West Virginia, I am in training to get my A&P license. In the process of removing and reinstalling the props for practice. Would be great to hear from anyone who maintained this aircraft.


pat wright, e-mail, 28.03.2013 18:33

Army had 2 versions D& G g had air stair door


Chuck, e-mail, 17.06.2011 05:36

I flew this aircraft in the Army, it was the U-8. I eventually became an instructor and thoroughly enjoyed flying this old bird.


Cappy Stahlman, e-mail, 31.12.2010 15:37

We flew the T-Bone N1117 from 1959 to 1970 mostly between Mississippi and Texas. Swearingen acquired it from us and the wings and landing gear became an early Merlin! Was an absolute flying truck but you could grease it on just like a Bonanza. Nothing lands a pretty as a Beechcraft.


Scott Boyd, e-mail, 30.10.2010 07:29

Basically a widened Bonanza and the basis of the Queen Air and King Air. The wing, from the engines outboard, were the same as the Bonanza until the King Air 300 and 1900.


James Greer, e-mail, 13.10.2010 03:34

Great bird. Even flew it in VN in 1964.


Ross Miller, e-mail, 22.09.2010 18:28

There is a great history of later models and design of the Twin Bonanza up until 1961.


Don Palczynski, e-mail, 31.08.2010 16:42

I flew this aircraft as an Army Aviator from 1958 thru 1967. A great, well-built & tough airplane.


Walter Duke Jr., e-mail, 16.02.2010 23:58

I really enjoyed flying this airplane while in the Army from 1958 to 1970.


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