Dusty Hangar Find: 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer 23

Planes are a funny thing, as they’re not all that different from a Rolls-Royce or a Lincoln when discovered in barn find condition. Extremely expensive to buy new with upkeep requirements that will make your eyes water, and extremely rewarding to own when everything is working correctly (which is rarely). The Beechcraft Musketeer 23 seen here on Facebook Marketplace is an early model from the single-engined, low-wing product line, which was built from 1963 to 1983. The seller reports that this example is a barn find with no major damage, and that engine compression was above 70 PSI across the board when last tested in 2002. The asking price is $14,950 and it’s located in Dallas, TX.

This hangar looks to have all sorts of goodies locked away, but no mention is made of the Jeep in the background. The Beechcraft looks to be intact, which is sometimes a hard quality to find in old planes that have been left standing when other planes are lingering nearby and in need of parts. I often wonder how many of these hangar discoveries are made by heirs who have no idea what their dad or uncle left locked away when they passed, or if these are just fairly well-off people who tire of projects that don’t get used and realize the price to recondition an aircraft like this may quickly strip away its remaining value.

Now, in this case, the description is clearly written by someone who knows a bit about planes. The last annual was performed in 2002, so there’s some catching up to do by the next owner. More than a few issues will need to be addressed, including some corrosion under one of the wings and a puncture on the right-wing. The side windows will also need to be replaced due to crazing, and it also needs a new battery and ELT. The seller reports that there is a “…bunch of avionics receipts with the logbooks which were all bought new in the ’90s before it stopped flying,” so someone was spending money on this Beechcraft up to a point. The listing notes it has always been hangared.

As part of the deal, the seller will include one month of free hangar storage for you to do the work to get it running and fly it out of there. He’ll also do the annual once the necessary work is done. I suspect a previous owner either asked a maintenance tech at the airport to get it gone, or it was left and is being sold off as part of an abandonment resolution. I’m not sure I’d want my first experiment with this Beechcraft to be a maiden voyage after trying to sort out years’ worth of deferred maintenance, but if you’re the adventurous type, it’s likely cheaper than trying to trailer it home. Would you fly this forgotten Musketeer home after sorting out the disclosed issues?

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Comments

  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Forget the plane what’s going on with the Jeep in the background

    Like 10
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    I’d like to see Derek from Vice Grip Garage get this fired up, and fly it back to Minnesota.

    Like 5
  3. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    I don’t think that anything other than trailering this find home is possible, as it will probably take a while to get a CoA issued after two decades of inactivity.

    Like 8
  4. greg

    Not in very bad shape but figure on doing an engine overhaul and fuel system overhaul. Not like a car where it started and runs lets take it for a drive if it brakes down we just call a tow. Also a lot of things on the plane are time dependent so figure on doing lot of work. Also will need to do radio upgrades

    Like 2
  5. Daniel Wright

    Corrosion is a scary word when it comes to airplanes. Expect months of work and lots of money spent to get this one airworthy again.

    Like 5
  6. Joe Haska

    I flew a Musketeer back in the early 70’s to get my commercial ticket. That was ages ago ,but I think the reason, was this was about the most in-expensive RG you could fly. At that time for a commercial, you had to have a certain amount of re-tractable gear hours. As I remember ,other than the gear going up and down, it wasn’t a whole lot different than a Piper Cherokee and I was a little disappointed, as I thought at the time flying a Beechcraft was a big deal. I discovered a Musketeer is not a Bonanza.

    Like 4
    • David Frank David Frank Member

      You must have flown the last of the breed, the Musketeer Super R, A24R before it was renamed the Sierra. That was the only RG Musketeer model. That model had the IO 360 upgraded from 150 to 200 HP. Some of the earlier fixed gear examples had fake RG, complete with the handle and 3 gear light setup, for training. (Painless gear up landings?) This sad bird would be a huge expensive gamble. Because of corrosion, these have poor resale value. I suspect that was why this bird was parked. A pre-purchase inspection could be a sad affair. There is a very long list of ADs (airworthy directives) that must be performed to make this airworthy).

      Like 4
    • Robert Vlasic

      I owned a Musketeer and flew it all over the US. Great “trainer” airplane but was NOT a retractable gear. Are you sure what you flew was a Musketeer ? I moved up from the Musketeer and bought a retractable gear Bonanza. Wonderful machine.

  7. Luki

    It’s approaching 2000 SMOH so plan on spending $15-20k real soon.
    First overhaul so it should be relatively easy though.
    No CoA needed for after dusk daparture.

    Like 3
    • Bill

      This is not particularly a desirable model when it was flying. Flight schools used this model for training. It was slow, but stable in flight. This is way over priced. There are a whole lot of flying airplanes that you could purchase with the money you will spend bringing this back to airworthiness.

      Like 3
  8. Roger Pence

    Flew when parked.

    Like 13
  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    I knew a guy who had one of these. It seems to me that he was quite happy with it but it was one of those that was difficult to land with a dead-stick. I’m sure he said the Musketeer had a Laminar wing which allowed it to fly like a bullet but it tended to drop like a rock when you pulled the power off. Sort of like a Piper Commanche, or a P-51, if you lucked out. Trouble was the Piper and the Mustang had plenty of power when in flight. Again, like so many other planes that show up for sale, the inspections and paperwork are going to choke you right down. It’s really too bad as a lot of good, fun airplanes are going to wither away because very few can afford to actually own and fly one…

    Like 1
  10. fcs

    A bunch of things here should make a prospective buyer pause.

    20 year old cylinder pressures are meaningless. I can lose 10 pounds of pressure in the cylinders on my plane if I let it sit for a few months.

    I don’t know Dallas climate well, but I’d certainly be worried about corrosion. What you can easily see is probably nothing compared to what you can’t see.

    A month of free hangar rent? Thats not going to get you very far in getting this back in the air. The engine work alone could easily take that long if you have to order parts.

    And BTW, Joe. The retractable gear Musketeer is the 24R, also known as a Sierra. All of the 19 and 23 models and most of the 24’s were fixed gear.

    A month of free hangar rent.

  11. james Simpson

    My Dad, a WWII Army veteran, and double arm amputee, flew a Piper cub, then many other small aircraft in the 70’s. The call numbers that I heard him repeat in the earphones so many times was N2321m, Not sure of the last “M” , but for sure was N2321_, The featured model here has a number not that far away! First I have seen in years. Brings back memories of flying all over the country with my Dad. Next will be electric Drones, guided by 5G, safer, and available to most everybody. Around the corner!

  12. Karl

    You know this would be a good 1st plane for someone, the biggest problem I see is the cost to get it back in the air! If you end up overhauling the engine you have more than doubled your investment. Battery 600.00 tires, update the avionics even the most basic 3000.00 used, windows? The dreaded word and biggest question is corrosion heaven only knows where that may lead? This plane may be to far over the line to financially make any sense?

    Like 1
  13. MH

    There is no way … on Gods Green Earth… this plane is buyable to the point of
    fixing it… Just part it out… the old Lycoming Engine.. as a core.. is the only thing thats worth anything… To just Overhaul that engine.. at least 20 grand..
    No Legal radios.. No Legal Transponder.. No Paint… No Interior.. Corrosion everywhere…. and BEECH Parts…. Prices are on Mars.. IF You can find any..

    Like 1
  14. Chris

    First you think 2002… That’s not so bad. Then you realize that was almost 20 years ago!

  15. Paul

    It would be a cool tax deductible donation to an A&P school.

  16. chrlsful

    “…after sorting out the disclosed issues?…”
    yes, but that’s a long ways off.
    For me? I’d also have to arrange a syndicate of other flyer/investors so our pool could keep it in the air. (“I got every Monday 9 to 9?”) what dis guy may have missed on~
    Just taught the kid to drive, love to do this next
    (I learned in the opposite order, legally).

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