The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative stagger (the lower wing is further forward than the upper wing), that first flew in 1932.
Early in World War II, the need for a compact executive-type transport or courier aircraft became apparent, and in 1942 the United States Army Air Forces ordered the first of 270 Model 17s for service within the United States and overseas as the UC-43. These differed only in minor details from the commercial model. To meet urgent wartime needs, the government also purchased or leased (impressed) additional 'Staggerwings' from private owners including 118 more for the Army Air Force plus others for the United States Navy. In Navy service the planes were designated as GB-1 and GB-2. The British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy acquired 106 'Traveller Mk. I' (the British name uses the UK double 'l' spelling) through the Lend-Lease arrangement to fill its own critical need for light personnel transports.
The production UC-43 differed in minor details from the service test YC-43. Two distinguishing external features of the UC-43 are the circular ADF antenna mounted between the main landing gear and landing lights near the lower wingtips. They were all powered by the 450 horsepower (336 kilowatt) Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine.
Profile: Wings Palette