18.6.2024 – 20:39z

Black Square Gives Development Update on Beech Starship

Black Square have released a new development update for their upcoming Beechcraft Starship for MSFS. Led by Nick Cyganski, Black Square have created several add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator. They create high quality add-ons with detailed aircraft models.

About the Beechcraft Starship

The Beechcraft Starship is a twin-turboprop business aircraft, holding up to eight passengers. Produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation, it is known for its unusual design and use of carbon fibre. Development of the starship began in 1979 as a successor to the King Air line of turboprops. A proof-of-concept aircraft first flew in August 1983.

It was known for its unconventional design with a carbon fibre composite airframe, lack of vertical tail and its pusher propeller configuration. At the time, only military aircraft made of carbon fibre composite were certified. Beech chose this material as it reduced the overall weight of the aircraft than if it were to be built of aluminium.

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Mounting the engines, so its propellers faced rearward, pushing the aircraft instead of pulling, allowed for a quieter cabin. Three years following its certification, Beech only sold eleven Starships. The main reason was due to the price, being sold at $3.9 million. To boost demand, they began offering two-year leases on new Starships in 1991.

Beech produced the last Starship, NC-53, in 1995. However, in 2003, supporting a small fleet of aircraft was too costly. This led to Beech scrapping and incinerating the aircraft. Existing Starships were replaced by other Beech aircraft for those who had owned a Starship.

Black Square’s Beech Starship

In the development update, it is mentioned that work began again in March 2024. The cabin was the first to be revamped, brining it up to their current graphical standards. They also had to rewrite almost all the code, this allowed for further simulation under the hood than what is currently present in Black Square’s Dukes. Work also began on the Starship’s one-of-a-kind AMS-850 avionics suite.

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From production, the real Starship did not have a GPS receiver. Instead, the aircraft tuned to nearby navigation aids. As apart of the add-on, the pre-GPS navigation system will also be available in the Black Square Starship. It will also include many of its software and hardware upgrades for modern navigation capabilities.

It will also incorporate all the technology developed for the Black Square Dukes. There was a small mention of this technology being added into Black Square’s TBM 850 in a major free update this summer. This tech includes the tablet interface which allows for complete control over payload, failures, engines, a live electrical schematic and environmental control systems.

Black Square takes a lot of interest in subtle features of an aircraft. The add-on will include cathode ray tubes which take time to warm up and navigation databases that can be updated using a floppy disk reader. The heat generated by the electronics can be monitored on the tablet and managed by cooling fans. 230+ failures and 172 circuit breakers will be featured in this aircraft.

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The development update ends here, but you can read it for yourself on Just Flight. If you’re going to FSExpo this year, you can find Nick with the Just Flight team to learn more. Also keep an eye out for coverage of the FSExpo, June 21-23, here on FSNews.

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