Civilian Multi-Purpose Utility Aircraft
The Beechcraft Bonanza, introduced in 1947, remains a hugely popular civilian aircraft seeing production totals surpass 17,000 units.
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The Beechcraft 'Bonanza' is one of the great commercial aviation success stories of the post-World War 2 world. With over 17,000 examples produced, the aircraft remains a fixture of the General Aviation (GA) market. A first-flight was recorded on December 22nd, 1945 and the type continues in service, in number, today in both civilian and military circles. Military operators include Haiti, Iran, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, and the United States.
The Bonanza design carried a most conventional appearance: the engine was housed in the nose in traditional fashion with a twin, side-by-side seating arrangement for the pilot and a single side passenger. The aft section of the cabin could seat additional persons. The wing mainplanes were straight appendages and low-mounted along the fuselage sides. The tail unit is what differentiated major marks of the Bonanza, one form fielding a conventional/traditional single vertical fin with low-set planes and the other form given a V-tail unit with outward-canted vertical fins (sans horizontal planes). Due to the many accidents associated with the latter, this version became known as the "Doctor Killer".
Because of its broad range of global operators (and long service tenure to boot), the Bonanza series consists of a plethora of variants. The major Model 33 "Debonair" / "Bonanza" sub-group alone consisted of fourteen marks while the subsequent Model 35 Bonanza constituted no fewer than nineteen of its own marks. The Model 36 followed with nine of its own including the QU-22 for USAF military service. The QU-22 "Pave Eagle" was a Model 36/A36 variant serving the USAF in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) as a signal relay platform and equipped with electronics monitoring systems for the role. This also differed in being powered by a Continental GTSIO-520-G series turbocharged engine with reduced noise output.
The Model 40 served as an experimental form and appeared in 1948. Defense Industries Organization (DIO) of Iran has illegally reverse-engineered the F33 model to serve as the basis for its localized "Paratsu".
The G36 production form of 2011 seats one pilot and up to five passengers. Its overall length reaches 27.5 feet with a wingspan of 33.5 feet and a height of 8.6 feet. Empty weight is 2,515lb against an MTOW of 3,650lb. Power is from a Continental IO-550-B engine of 300 horsepower driving a three-bladed Hartzell-branded propeller unit at the nose. Cruising speed reaches 203 miles-per-hour with a range (ferry) out to 1,070 miles and a service ceiling up to 18,500 feet. Rate-of-climb is 1,230 feet-per-minute.