Beechcraft Delivers 4000th Model 36 Bonanza
The Beechcraft Bonanza holds a coveted spot in aviation history as the longest continually produced airplane of all time. Beechcraft celebrated a significant milestone for the storied airplane on Monday, handing over the 4,000th Model 36 Bonanza, a G36 purchased by a Baltimore, Maryland, commercial real estate firm. In all, Beechcraft has produced more than 18,000 Model 33, 35 and 36 Bonanzas since the first one rolled out of the factory in Wichita in 1947.
Although the design is now more than 65 years old, the Bonanza somehow is still regarded as a modern machine. The G36’s new owner is the Segall Group, whose CEO and chairman are both pilots and will fly the Bonanza to client meetings and sites throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The company’s chief pilot is José Santana, who also serves as Segall’s associate vice president of retail sales & leasing.
“For several years we’ve leased aircraft for specific trips throughout the mid-Atlantic that would be impossible to make efficiently if driving or flying commercially,” Santana said. “A business aircraft is a tool that adds flexibility and gives us the capability to expand our geographic footprint and our services.”
The company chose the G36 for the attributes that continue to make it a popular choice among certain buyers: The six-seat Bonanza G36 has a cabin almost a third larger than its nearest competitor; powered by a 300 hp Continental IO-550-B engine with a Hartzell three-blade propeller, it has a maximum cruise speed of 176 knots, a maximum range of more than 860 nm, a 860-pound maximum payload and a 18,500-foot service ceiling.
The cockpit features Garmin G1000 avionics and a Garmin GFC700 three-axis autopilot, hence the “G” in the G36 model designator and a big part of the reason why an airplane first conceived in the 1940 feels right at home flying in the 21st century.