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The Iconic History Of The Beechcraft Bonanza

It's one of the most iconic GA planes in history. Check out these incredible facts about the Beechcraft Bonanza.

1) The First Beechcraft Bonanza flew in December 1945 - only 7 months after the end of World War 2.

Wikipedia


2) When the Bonanza debuted to the public in 1947, its sale price was $7,950, the equivalent of about $85,000 today.

NASA


3) Over 17,000 Bonanzas have been built (all variant types), making it one of the most produced aircraft in the world.

Kansas.com


4) The Bonanza was designed with a low wing and sleek features. It resembled WWII fighter aircraft more than other GA aircraft at the time.

Aleksander Markin


5) Another feature that attracted pilots was its all-metal design. Most aircraft at the time were made of wood and fabric.

Daniel L. Berek

Taylor E-2 Cub with fabric covering and wood wings, typical of '30s and '40s aircraft



6) The original Bonanza was designed with a distinctive "V-tail" ruddervator.

Aleksander Markin


7) The v-tail concept was designed by Polish engineer Jerzy Rudlicki in 1930, but popularized by Beechcraft.

Rob Bixby


8) Unfortunately, the V-tail was susceptible to flutter at the edges of, and beyond, its flight envelope. After several crashes, the airplane earned the nickname 'V-tail doctor killer'.

Aviation-Safety.net


9) Production of the V-tail design was stopped in 1982, in favor of a conventional tail.

Jack Snell


10) Bonanzas have bungee cord interconnected yoke and rudder pedals, which helps pilots keep the airplane coordinated in a turn.

Bigplanes.nl


11) Modified Bonanzas, named "QU-22 Pave Eagels" were flown in the Vietnam war as electronics relay platforms, picking up signals from the ground and relaying them to surveillance centers.

Wikipedia


12) In 1949, a Bonanza named "Waikiki Beach" was the first light airplane to fly from Honolulu, HI to the continental US.

SDASM Archives


13) Later the same year, "Waikiki Beach" flew nonstop from Honolulu to Teterboro, NJ, setting a nonstop record in 36:01 hours. The airplane was later donated to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where it still is today.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

14) In July 2014, 19 year old Matt Guthmiller became the youngest person to fly solo around the world, accomplishing the Guinness World Record in a Bonanza A36, with a flight time of 178.8 hours.

Limitless Horizons / Matt Guthmiller


15) The Beechcraft Bonanza is still being produced today, and it's been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history - over 67 years. That's some impressive history.

Beechcraft.com

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

Images Courtesy:

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