With six-passenger cabin seating, 450-knot cruise and fighter-like climb performance, the Premier 1A is the largest airplane in the light jet class
Thirty years ago, in what turned out to be a career mistake, I abandoned objective journalism and essentially sold out (for a pile of money, a big expense account and a twin-engine company airplane) to edit a group of corporate magazines for a major aircraft manufacturer.
Bill Morrison, a pilot with now-defunct Western Airlines, was perusing the classified ads in the Los Angeles Times, back in 1974, when he erupted in a shout. “Oh my God, there’s a Staggerwing for sale!” his sons heard him exclaim. Mark, then 17, and Ron, then 14, both wondered the same thing: “What the heck is a Staggerwing?”
Baby boomers can appreciate the urge to have a little work done as a milestone birthday approaches: tone up the body, smooth out a few wrinkles, all to reflect the youthful zest we still feel in our hearts. So when Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC, formerly Raytheon Aircraft) prepared for the Bonanza’s 60th birthday, celebrated last year, the company decided a makeover was in order.
On its 60th anniversary, the Bonanza is still a true pilot’s airplane
Any good design has a timelessness that transcends fashion. Whether you consider a toaster or a car or an airplane, a successful design starts with a good robust understanding of the balance betweenperformance, looks and customer requirements.
Most new pilots build time in low-performance airplanes before moving up to faster, more complex airplanes. Not Dee Winston—he cuts straight to the chase. A brand-new glass-paneled Bonanza G36 was the perfect fit for his growing business. The fact that he didn’t have a fixed-wing pilot’s license wasn’t a factor.
A seventy-five-year legacy turns the corner on the 21st century
Walter Beech was born with a nearly H.G. Wellsian vision of things to come, at least when it came to aviation. In 1905, at the tender age of 14, Beech designed and built his own glider. Nine years later, he experienced his first flight. During World War I, Beech flew as an army pilot and he became a barnstormer after the war.
Fifty years of continuous production point out the importance of a twin turbine.
Too often, it seems the aviation press gives short shrift to one of the most important segments of business flying. Turboprops have long been the forgotten stepchild of corporate aviation. To paraphrase comedian Rodney Dangerfield, “Turboprops just can’t get no respect.”
The image of success for a multi-million-dollar company
Gnoss Field is one of Northern California’s most idyllic small airports. Nestled on the floodplain of San Francisco Bay, which lies only 30 miles north of the state’s most famous city, the airport’s single 3,300-foot runway parallels the coastal hills. Predictably, Gnoss Field is quite a popular base for hundreds of personal and business airplanes owned by Bay-area pilots.
Adding more power to a Beech A36 translates to more speed and fun
Hot-rodding is fundamental to the American soul, and it isn’t merely confined to car buffs. Pilots, too, have a need to go faster, farther and higher. It’s an unending quest for most of us, who want more out of our flying machines. And the best way to fulfill that need is by adding more power to an airplane that we already love to fly—which translates to more fun and more speed.
How an accidental friendship led to an Oshkosh champion
The grass around the 1958 Beech Travel Air was beaten down, trampled by thousands of feet, wearing a path around the wings and tail of N100BH. When you see this kind of wear and tear on the ground at Oshkosh, where more than 2,000 show planes sit proudly in the sun, it’s a sure sign that something special has arrived.