It seems everyone loves the straight-tailed 36 Bonanza. To many pilots, it’s the paragon of aerodynamic virtue, the standard by which all other single-engine airplanes are measured. Owner/pilots who work their way up from two-seat puddle jumper to four-seat retractable to a 36 Bonanza often consider that they’ve arrived. There’s little reason to aspire for more or better, because they’re already at the peak of the pyramid.
Beech Aircraft has done an excellent job of marketing the Bonanza as a pedestal product, alone at the top of the class. That’s not true in all respects, but there’s little question the model 36 represents an impressive combination of engineering, comfort, utility and performance. At least, you’d better not ask anyone in the 10,000-member-strong American Bonanza Society to name a better airplane.