Beechcraft 2000 Starship
Around 1980 Beechcraft started the development of a successor to the King Air product line. The model 2000 Starship was to have a significantly better performance. To this end an unusual configuration was chosen: that of a twin turboprop aircraft with pusher props in canard configuration. The inner wings have a delta shape, while the outer wings are normal swept wings. The Starship also has no single vertical tail, but two vertical surfaces at the wingtips acting as vertical stabiliser with rudder. These are called "tipsails". This distinguishes the aircraft the most from the Piaggio Avanti.
First Beechcraft hired Scaled Composites to build an 85% scale version to prove the concept. One of the main changes resulting from flight testing the proof-of-concept was a variable geometry canard wing.
Model 2000 was the first production mode. It was succeeded by model 2000A, which is a Starship with a longer internal cabin (but in the same external same fuselage), a stronger gear and wing centre section. External differences should come from the removal of stall strips from the canard wings and different exhaust, but we have not found details yet.
Confusion possible with
Scaled Composites 115
As this was the proof-of-concept aircraft for the Beechcraft Starship they are very similar, except for their size. The Scaled Composites aircraft is an 85% scale model of the eventual Starship. You can see this by looking at where the engine nacelle start: in between the last two cabin windows. On the full scale model this is at the last window. (photo Scaled Composites)
Like the Beechcraft Starship the Avanti has an unusual configuration. However the Avanti is a three-surface aircraft, with a regular horizontal stabiliser. The Starship has a true canard configuration. Also the Beech has vertical stabilisers at the wingtips.
This canard aircraft with pusher props is smaller than the Starship. More importantly it has the canard on top of the cockpit and a single, conventional vertical stabiliser. (photo: Peter Davis)
Like the Jetcruzer the Beech Starship has a canard configuration and vertical stabilisers at the end of the wings. The main difference however is the number of engines, the Jetcruzer has one while the Starship has two.