History of the Beech Bonanza A-36 and other models
The Beechcraft Bonanza is one of the most important civil aircraft in aviation history. Introduced in 1945 by The Beech Aircraft Corporation now a part of Raytheon who also make Hawker jets, it is still in production this year and is relatively unchanged since 1984 when the last major update was carried out (Bigger engine and new cockpit design) . Despite high prices for its class of aircraft, the Bonanza line has been enduringly popular, with more than 17,200 sold by 2005. The Bonanza A36 is the best of the bunch with a six place interior and the best weight, balance and performance characteristics of the whole Bonanza line.
The Beech Aircraft Corporation was purchased by Raytheon Aircraft on February 8, 1980, Beech are often known as Beechcraft after the name they give their aircraft, They are a manufacturer of general aviation and military aircraft, ranging from light single engine aircraft to business jets and light military transports through their other group companies.
Designed by a team led by Ralph Harmon, the original model 35 Bonanza was the first modern high-performance personal airplane: a very fast, all-metal, low-wing monoplane at a time when most light aircraft were still made of wood and fabric. The model 35 featured retractable gear and a V-tail , which made it efficient and the most distinctive private airplane in the sky. The Bonanza remains one of the most desirable piston engines planes on the ramp today and a Bonanza A-36 can comfortably outrun just about every single and twin engine 4 or 6 seater piston plane in production today. This highlights how much the design was ahead of its time having had no major changes in over 20 years.
The Bonanza has endured and is now comfortably the longest produced model of plane in the world with a nearly 60 year continuous production span.
At the end of World War II two there were aircraft emerged that were hoped to launch a postwar civil aviation industry. With its seven cylinder radial engine and fixed undercarriage , the Cessna 195 was little more than a continuation of prewar technology; the Bonanza, however, was a different story with its sleek lines and a powerful engine and also retractable landing gear.
Over time, the V-tail proved to have design flaws weaknesses under extreme load. Accident statistics proved that the V-tail Beech Bonanza had a fatal in-flight failure rate 24 times the normal tail variant, the model 33 Debonair which was to be renamed the Bonanza after 1967. In 1982 the V-tail Bonanza was quietly dropped from production, though more than 6,000 V-tail models are still flying today after updates and enhancements to ensure safe operation.
The straight-tail model 33 (A four seat version) was produced up to 1995 . Still built today is the model A-36 Bonanza , a longer bodied, straight tail version of the original design, introduced in 1968.
There is also a twin engined version of the Bonanza called the Baron.
Specifications (A36 Model)
The Bonanza A36 model can cruise at up to 184 knots and has a range of approximately 930 Nautical miles and a service ceiling of 18,500 feet.
This year (2005 saw the launch of the G36 model which is the same as the A36 model but fitted with the revolutionary Garmin G1000 Glass Cockpit system that many manufacturers are adding to their line-up.
The Bonanza will no doubt be improved dramatically by this addition and this update will see the 36 range stay at the pinnacle of single engine piston planes for many more years to come.
Bentham A36 Trivia
A Beechcraft 35 Bonanza (V Tail Bonanza) was the aircraft Buddy Holly , Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in when the aircraft crashed in the middle of a snowstorm. Charles Hardin Holley, better known as Buddy Holly, was the pioneer of Rock and Roll. ... Richard Steven Valenzuela, better known as Ritchie Valens, was a pioneer of rock and roll and, as a Mexican-American, became the first Hispanic rock and roll star.
Model 36 Bonanza (BE36) Current Model 6 Seat
- A36 - Normally aspirated 300hp 6 seater
- B36TC - Turbo Version which is renowned for unreliability
- G36 - Glass cockpit version launched October 2005
Model 35 Bonanza (BE35) 4 seat V Tail Variants
- V35 - V-Tail Versions
- V35 TC
- V35A TC
- V35B TC
Model 33 Debonair/Bonanza (BE33) 4 Seat straight tail