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So he quit, founded a new company, and set up shop in an idle Cessna factory. Shortly after takeoff, they crashed into a cornfield, killing all four men on board. In a follow-up investigation, the crash was attributed to pilot error.
During the ongoing 68 year run, they have built more than 17, Bonanzas between all the many models and variants. But out of the many models, the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza reigns supreme. And though the A36 model came to an end in , its legacy lives on with the G Reliability, comfort, and performance.
This meant that they could draw on years of experience and knowledge, and deliver a reliable, dialed in model with a sleek, aerodynamic design right out of the gate. The first Model 36, delivered in , used a modified Model 33 Bonanza fuselage, which was 10 inches longer, with the length split fairly evenly for and aft of the wing.
This extra length allowed them to add a third row of seats, making it a six-seat aircraft, and the largest single Beechcraft made. The Model 36 also featured four cabin windows on each side, starboard rear double doors for the aft cabin, and a hp Continental IOB engine. Two years later, in , they released the A36 Model.
It had an improved deluxe interior, a new fuel system, and higher takeoff weight. And for the next 35 years, that was it. This variant remained in production until Finally, in , Beechcraft introduced the G36 model, which was a glass cockpit update of the A36, equipping it with a Garmin G system. The Beechcraft A36 Bonanza Hallmarks Reliability Because of the years of experience behind the production of the A36, the airframe was a very conventional construction, which led to it being durable and generally easier to repair.
In addition, with production of the A36 model lasting so long, and the G36 featuring the same basic construction as the A36, parts are widely available. Having been in production so long, it also means the most of the quirks and issues with this aircraft are more well known, so there are generally fewer surprises.
Comfort With 50 inches of height in the cabin, the A36 Bonanza offers enough headroom for most pilots, even taller ones. Large windows surround the pilot and wrap up onto the roof of the aircraft, providing excellent visibility and light. And vibration and sound levels in the cabin better than most other single engine piston aircraft. Additionally, though a few very early A36 models have all six seats facing forward, the club configuration very quickly became standard, with the middle 2 seats facing aft.
This allows for passengers to stretch out a little more when not flying at max capacity. Coupled with the large rear doors, access and use of the aft cabin is simple. And if you need a little more room for cargo, taking out the rear seats is a simple process, using quick release pins.
Performance At kn, the A36 was at the front of the pack for cruise speed during much of its time. And though other more powerful singles and turbocharged aircraft have passed it up, it still remains one of the more fuel efficient, generally burning around 15 gallons an hour at cruise speed. So how does it fly? The short V-tail and Model 33 Bonanzas may have slightly lighter control force, but the A36 more than makes up for that with enhanced pitch stability.
The longer fuselage length and big horizontal tail provide very precise pitch control that lends itself to smooth and predictable approaches and landings, not to mention lower workload when hand flying.
However, because the A36 Bonanza aircraft line has been around since , there is a healthy market for used A36 Bonanza aircraft. When shopping for a used aircraft, of course, the usual caution applies.
Be sure to have any prospective purchase checked out by a mechanic knowledgeable and versed with working on Beech aircraft. For a plane with such a long history, they got the look right, from the beginning. Like many classic muscle cars, it has a look that is at once classic, familiar, and distinct.
However, I did come across a few paint jobs that I felt were a little bold and very nice, without conflicting with or overpowering the basic cool nature of the A36 design. Interestingly, I found myself drawn to designs that used grey and black. The first paint job I found on Airliners. Click Here to view the photo. The second, also on Airliners, follows a similar idea to the first, using blacks and greys. However, they invert the order, with a grey belly, and a black upper half, which still works incredibly well.
This third paint job comes from a G36 Bonanza that was up on Global Air. I particularly like the use of black to highlight the cowling and tail on the aircraft. Sleek, reliable, comfortable and well-established, this aircraft will likely continue to be a favorite of pilots for years to come.
Most charter departments have one because they are reliable, couch comfortable for the passengers, and have a spectacular safety record. To know King Airs is to know that there are so many variations of each model that it makes salesmen pull their hair out.
Beechcraft Bonanza A36 Manuals
The Beechcraft A36 Bonanza