One of the all-time greats of pilot-owned aircraft has embarked on a new chapter in its history. Raytheon’s Beechcraft Bonanza, which first saw the light of day in 1947, has now become the first single piston-engined aircraft to feature a fully integrated avionics system.
Beechcraft president Randy Groom, himself a Bonanza owner and enthusiast,announced the introduction of the six-seat Bonanza G36 at NBAA and says the move is one that will bring a significant safety improvements for owners and operators.
The G36 features Garmin’s G1000 integrated avionics system – the same as would be found on the new Cessna Citation Mustang – and includes Garmin’s recently certificated autopilot the GFC700.
The first deliveries took place in Wichita last Friday as Raytheon executives prepared to leave for NBAA.“We were working the line right through the certification process and so as soon as that was complete we were ready to start deliveries,”Groom says.
Groom says the response among customers has been great. “I have flown the aircraft myself and words,literally, cannot justify how exciting this is to fly.”
The new avionics include a primary flight display on 10in (250mm) screens. The multifunction display (MFD) combines engine instruments,terrain, navigation and autopilot controls.It also has dual integrated radio units with instrument fight rules-approved GPS,VHF navigation with instrument landing system approaches and VHF communications. To cap this there is weather datalink and a digital audio system featuring music,sports, news and talk radio.
“The beauty is that all of this is from one company and it is all integrated,” says Groom. “These functions will improve the situational awareness for pilots. A pilot can see storms coming 500 miles away; with terrain and traffic awareness too this is a great move for aircraft in this category.”The Beechcraft Baron twin-engined six-seater is also being equipped with the G1000 suite and will become the Beechcraft Baron G58 once certification is complete.
Groom says the whole Beechcraft business is booming with increased orders and developments.With upgrades on King Air and last month’s certification of the Premier IA business jet there is a buzz around the facility at Wichita, Kansas.
Source: Flight Daily News