Beech Staggerwing airplane model. First flown during November 1932, an exciting event witnessed by the company's staff of eight employees, the Model 17R was able to demonstrate a remarkable speed range of 60-200 mph. The excellent performance of the "Staggerwing" as the airplane became popularly known, meant that the company's efforts were concentrated upon making it easier to handle. Wider market acceptance came with the Model B17L, first flown in February 1934, with more docile handling characteristics, while retaining a speed range of 45-175 mph. The Model 17 was now the marketable commodity that was eventually to establish Beech as a major aircraft manufacturer. From that time a wide variety of Staggerwings were built for both civil and military use, being steadily improved, and incorporating over the years a number of different engines.