Beechcraft Queen Air & low tail King Air series
The Queen Air was the first type of Beechcraft’s very successful twin prop series, that later developed in the King Air. It is a low wing, low horizontal stabiliser aircraft, with two piston or turboprop engines and a main landing gear that retracts forward into the nacelles. While at first rectangular, almost square cabin windows were used, most versions have the round cabin windows that are still used on the King Airs that roll off the production line today. The same applies to the characteristic cockpit windows, with the typical triangular and D-shaped side windows.
Later also King Air versions with a T-tail started to be made, but these are described separately.
How to recognise the different versions of the Beech Queen Air and low tail King Air will be added later.
Confusion possible with
The Queen Air & King Air series were the bases for the Model 99, so they bear a large resemblance. In particular the Beech 99 looks like a stretched U-21 Ute, which also has rectangular cabin windows and turboprop engines.
The Cessna twin aircraft comparable in size to the Beech Queen Air and King Air is the Cessna 400 series, in particular the ones without tip tanks like the 414A and 421C. The Cessna aircraft however have oval cabin windows, while those on the King Air are round. Also the nose of the Cessnas generally longer and the cockpit windows are larger.
Piper's entry in the utility twin aircraft class is easily distinguished from the Queen/King Air by the large rectangular cabin windows with rounded corners. Also the main gear retracts sideward.
Later model King Airs received a T-tail (which is in itself a clear recognition point), but are for rest essentially the same as the conventional tail King Airs. Therefore if you don't see the tail you can easily mix them up.