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STOL Aircraft Twin Bee
United Consultants Twin Bee

 

stol-twinb

 

The Seabee inspired a number of follow-on designs, including the "Twin Bee", a twin-engine conversion implemented by Joseph Gigante and his United Consultants (later STOL Aircraft) firm at Norwood Airport near Boston and sold by Seaplane Services, Meredith.
 
United Consultants added three‑foot wing‑root extensions on each side, plus a three‑foot center fuselage plug. The airframe is zero-­timed, and all of the hydraulics, cables, instruments and furnish­ings are new. Capping the makeover are two Lycoming IO-360-B1D 135 kW / 180‑hp fuel‑injected engines driving two-bladed Hartzell variable propellers in tractor configuration on each wing.
 
The result had center of gravity problems, which were solved by increasing the size of the fuel tank and installing a new fuel tank in the tailboom, which increased range at the expense of some fiddling with fuel management during a flight.
 
The Twin Bee is fuelled at the left rear of the cabin wall, direct­ly above the 85‑USG main tank in one of the keel compart­ments. There's a 16‑USG auxiliary tank in the tail, just below the elevator. While an access panel leads to the auxiliary tank's fuel cap, you customarily fill it by transferring fuel from the main. A single switch on the panel operates a valve and pump that move fuel in either direction between the two tanks.
 
The two seats in the second row can be replaced by a bench seat for three, the rearmost solo seat between the two portholes provides a little less space; it's a nice place for a child to sit.
 
The doors hinged on the rear instead of the front. Changing the door hinge from front to rear was motivated by the need to keep the occupants from stepping out into the prop arc. The doors were implemented with additional latching and warning lights to indicate if they weren't locked.
 
UC-Twinbee
 
The first conversion was performed in 1960, with 23 updates sold from 1965 to 1987, making the Twin Bee a very rare bird. By 1977 there were 19 Twin Bees.
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


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