Plane & Pilot
Monday, September 1, 2003

Project Bonanza Part II

The easy part was done. We had bought an airplane. Now we had to get busy with new avionics, paint and interior to create our vision of the perfect flying machine.

Choosing The Paint Scheme
Since the exterior is the most visible part of the airplane, we wanted it to be extra-special. The standard 1982 Beech paint scheme had to go, but we wanted to stay with the Beech tradition. Brian Smith of Wings Aviation Design in Dallas, Texas, provided us with a folder full of suggestions. We settled on light burgundy metallic borders with gold accents in a design that combines the Jaguar Bonanza scheme and the latest Beech B36TC trim. While itwas scary to look at the plane in its naked form, we were extremely satisfied with the final results.

Avionics West

Avionics West, Inc., of Santa Maria, Calif., did the avionics installation for the Project Bonanza. Avionics West owner Tom Rogers tells us the installation was straightforward, with no real glitches, although upgrades for the MX20 came in from UPSAT, even as the installation was underway. In all, it took about four weeks to transform the B36TC from 1982 chic to 2003 state-of-the-art.

Rogers’ shop installs all makes of GPS and MFD; about 30% of the high-performance single and light twin installations Avionics West completes feature the UPS Aviation Technologies line. UPSAT provides “good technology” and “great product support” at a “good price.”

Founded in 1972, Avionics West is one of the best-known avionics installation shops in the United States. Contact Avionics West at (805) 934-9777 or visit the Website at

UPS Aviation Technologies
The Project Bonanza features avionics by UPS Aviation Technologies, Inc. Founded in 1982 as II Morrow, Inc. (read: “to-morrow,” evoking a forward-thinking company), the company stormed the aviation LORAN and later GPS market under the brand name Apollo, culminating in the 2001 Nav Management System. In 1986, United Parcel Service (the “UPS” in UPS Aviation Technologies) purchased II Morrow as part of the shipping giant’s pioneering work in satellite tracking of package delivery. The company name change came in 1999.

According to UPSAT’s Sam Seery, Director of Sales and Marketing, UPSAT’s strength comes from its systems integration, or the way individual avionics units “talk” to each other through a serial bus. Pilots need only enter information (such as a flight plan) once in a UPSAT unit, and the data will automatically transfer to all other UPSAT devices on the panel. The company’s products also interface with weather and traffic warning devices (like those in the Project Bonanza), and are “industry leaders,” according to Seery, in terrain warning and GPS.

Capability, ease of use and an industry-leading, 26-month warranty make UPSAT avionics increasingly common in general-aviation airplanes. The upcoming CNX80 Integrated Avionics System represents yet another “quantum leap” in situational-awareness capability. Learn more about UPS Aviation Technologies and its products at or (800) 525-6726.


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