Beech Musketeer, Sierra & Sundowner history, performance and specifications
The Musketeer family
was developed by Beechcraft as a lower cost and
lower performance four seater than the Bonanza,
intended to compete with the Cessna 172 and Piper
Cherokee. The prototype Model 23 first flew on 23
October, 1961. First production aircraft were
delivered in autumn 1962, and enjoyed swift
The type developed, late in 1965, into three main
types, the Musketeer A23A Custom III, Musketeer
A23-19 Sport III and Musketeer A23-24 Super III.
The Custom and Super had more powerful engines,
and greater maximum takeoff weights. The Sport had
a less powerful 150 hp (112 kW) engine and lower
MTOW. Optional aerobatic kits were available for
the Custom and Sport when flown as two-seaters.
In 1969 the Musketeer Super R was introduced, a
Musketeer Super with retractable tricycle
undercarriage. From 1970 a more rounded fuselage
was introduced, and the models were renamed
Musketeer B19 Sport, Musketeer C23 Custom and
Musketeer A24 Super. The Musketeer name was
dropped in 1971 and a further renaming took place.
The Custom became the Sundowner C23, the Super R
became the Sierra A24R, and the Sport became the
Sport R19. The designations changed yet again in
1974 to reflect engine horsepower - Sundowner 180,
Sport 150, and Sierra 200.
The Sierra was given a new cowling, quieter engine
and more efficient prop in 1974, and various
aerodynamic changes were made to the Musketeer
family in 1977. Sport manufacture ended in 1978.
The Sundowner 180 and Sierra 200 remained in
production into the 1980s, with series production
ceasing in 1983 after over 5,000 had been built.
- TYPE: Four seat
- PERIOD BUILT:
- COUNTRY OF
ORIGIN: United States
- ENGINE: (A23A)
One Lycoming IO-346-A fuel injected flat four
piston engine of 165 hp / 125 kW.
(B19) One Lycoming O-320-E2D of 150 hp / 112 kW
(C23) One Lycoming O-360-A4K of 180 hp / 135 kW
- all with fixed pitch 2-blade propeller.
(C23R) One Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 of 200 hp / 150
kW driving a variable pitch propeller.
Length: 25 ft
0 in / 7.62 m (A23A); others 25 ft 9 in / 7.84
Height: 8 ft
3 in / 2.51 m. all versions
Wing span: 32 ft
9 in / 10.0 m. all versions
2,400 lb / 1089 kg
seat four, with additional seating for 2
children in Musketeer Super III.
cruising speed; 102 kts. / 188 kph (A23A)
climb: 728 ft / min. (A23A)
Range: 679 nm
/ 1252 km. with reserves.
(A23A) 127 kts. / 235 kph
(B19) 169 kts. / 225 kph
(C23) 123 kts / 228 kph
(C23R) 141 kt / 262 kph