The contribution of the Beechcraft company to the United States WW2 effort was not negligible. A world-renowned producer of light civilian aircraft their production focused obviously in light transports and trainers mainly. With their Grizzly – the name was already a declaration of intentions- Beechcraft tried to enter the great leagues. First flown in May, 1944, this beastly powerful ground attack aircraft was conceived to replace the no-nonsense Douglas A-20 Havoc. It soon proved to be a technical success, but cursed by external factors. Mainly its Wright R-3350 engines, also employed by the ultra-priority B-29, and operational policy shifts that left them without a role to fill. Only the two prototypes initially ordered took the skies.
The total production of the Grizzly in this lovely flying day. Their Beechcraft 18 lineage is evident here, that T15E1 75 mm cannon “Sting” apart.