Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sports Sedan Of The Six-Place Singles
Largest of the Bonanzas, the G36 nevertheless retains the type’s excellent performance and control harmony
Technically, the model 36 was conceived as a stretched version of the E33A and introduced in 1968. The goal was to allow room for an additional row of seats and solve the CG problem on the four-seat Bonanzas. To that end, the cabin was stretched 10 inches and moved forward, relative to the wing. Beech added a pair of cargo doors on the aft starboard fuselage and the baggage compartment was omitted. The model 36 has been in continuous production ever since, accounting for some 4,700 airplanes.
If you’re looking for a normally aspirated, six-place machine with good speed, reasonable comfort and the best-harmonized controls in the industry, the Bonanza is the airplane to beat.
These days, there are only two models in the normally aspirated six-seat class: the Cessna 206 Stationair and the G36 Bonanza. In configuration alone, you couldn’t imagine two airplanes more widely divergent in both mission and capability. The Stationair is a fixed-gear heavy hauler, designed primarily for utility transport, and the Bonanza is a plush, comfortable cruiser, intended more for luxury, cross-country travel.
The differences are so significant that some prospective buyers of either type expand the class to include the turbocharged, cabin-class Piper Matrix. The Matrix is an unpressurized Mirage that offers a considerably reduced empty weight by reason of the pressurization plumbing left in the factory-parts bins. The difference is a significant 177 pounds, almost exactly one passenger’s worth. Also, not insignificantly, the Matrix enjoys a base price that’s $130,000 lower than that of the Mirage. Accordingly, the Matrix is the world’s newest six-seat, cabin-class single. Defining cabin class often hinges on an airstair door, though some pilots argue it relates equally to the 2+4 conference-seating configuration.
The G36 Bonanza’s model designation pays tribute to Garmin’s remarkable G1000 flat-panel avionics suite, the system that’s now installed in virtually all new Cessna, Beech, Diamond and Mooney piston products. Beech’s Garmin package encompasses practically every feature of the G1000, including the GFC700 autopilot with altitude and rate of climb preselect, terrain avoidance, Traffic Information System uplink, yaw damper, six-place intercom, dual WAAS GPS, Mode S transponder, XM radio, Synthetic Vision Technology and a number of other features. There ARE some options available on the G36 Bonanza, but the delivered airplane comes fully equipped and more than IFR-capable. Also standard on the 2010 Bonanza is the Garmin GTS 820 Traffic Advisory System that acts as an ADS-B “in” component and uses active interrogations of transponders to provide traffic awareness.
Page 1 of 5
Labels: Piston Singles