Textron Aviation, which owns both Cessna and Beechcraft Aircraft, announced some pretty impressive updates to several of their models, including avionics, interior and more, the “more” part being surprisingly an increase in max takeoff weight. The Beechcraft Bonanza boasts a 155-pound increase in max takeoff weight, which is another passenger (not me! But arguably!).
How did they pull it off? It was really pretty simple. The Model 36 Bonanza was certified in the Utility Category. By recertifying it as a Normal Category airplane, the G-loadings are lower, and therefore a heavier airplane can meet the standards. No word yet on if the max weight increase will be retrofittable to existing G36 Bonanzas. We’ll let you know.
The Baron doesn’t get the MTOW bump, but both Bonanzas and B58 Barons will get new interior options and an optimized panel layout with a standalone autopilot controller to complement the Garmin G1000 NXi panel. In addition, both planes will do away with standby legacy gauges and go with the very capable Garmin GI 275 electronic standby. In other incarnations, the GI 275 is, of course, a primary flight instrument.
Also new to both Beechcraft is a carbon monoxide detector, which is integrated into the G1000 NXi the Garmin avionics system. There are also USB ports at each of the six seats, along with powered headset plugs, which will liberate pilots from the curse of the double-A’s. Also new is improved LED exterior lighting for those dark nights. The company plans to start deliveries of each of the updated piston models by mid-year.