Wellstone's Plane Was Popular Raytheon Turboprop

By Robert B. Bluey | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

(Corrects earlier report about type of aircraft)
(CNSNews.com) - The plane carrying Sen. Paul Wellstone was a King Air A100, a twin-engine turboprop made by Raytheon Aircraft Co. that is popular for regional commutes for business travelers, but is no longer manufactured.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that plane's make and model. It was registered to Beech Transportation Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Other details about the plane were not immediately known.

Raytheon spokesman Tim Travis said 247 A100s were manufactured between 1969 and 1979. He said Raytheon officials confirmed the serial number of Wellstone's plane with federal authorities.

Travis said Wellstone's plane was similar to the midsize King Air B200, which Raytheon currently manufactures. The company also makes a smaller version, the King Air C90B, and a larger one, the King Air 350.

"The King Air line is simply the most popular twin-turboprop airplane in the world," Travis said. "We have built nearly 6,000 of them since 1964."

The King Air line of planes is known for its spacious cabins and special amenities. Wellstone's plane could seat eight, plus room for a pilot and co-pilot, Travis said.

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