The Westwind IV is a much-modified Beechcraft 18; a small transport and trainer first flown in January, 1937. The Beechcraft 18 was built in large numbers and remained in production until 1967. It featured two Pratt & Whitney R-985 “Wasp” engines, a tailwheel undercarriage and twin end-plate fins. The RCAF had 394 in service as the “Expeditor” between 1941 and 1968.
Our Westwind IV was an ex-RCAF Beechcraft 18 built in 1943. It was used as a trainer in the 1950s before becoming a BC Government transport. It was extensively modified in the mid-1960s by B.C. Government Air Services to “Westwind” standards. Two Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprops replaced the radial engines.
A tricycle undercarriage was installed, and a single-piece swept fin and rudder replaced the twin tail. This airplane was assigned to the well-known Highways Minister of the day, Phil Gaglardi. It was subsequently sold to Keewatin Air of Manitoba as a light transport, and was damaged by fire. The damaged airframe was donated to BCAM in 1990, without engines.