The first aircraft built by Beechcraft in the 1930s wouldn’t truly be the start of Walter Beech’s career. In the 1920s, Beech first built a Travel Air aircraft that was a conventional round-engine, rag-and-tube taildragger – nothing like the tricycle landing gear planes that would take over the future of aviation.
Officially formed in 1932, the Beech Aircraft Company was the idea of pioneer aviator Walter Beech, who had served as a pilot for the United States Army. While acting CEO of the Beech corporation, he worked alongside his wife and secretary, Olive Ann Beech. His team also included its Vice President of Engineering, Ted A. Wells. The first Beechcraft-made plane was the Model 17 Staggerwing Beech, which offered an alternative to the slow open-cockpit biplanes of its time.
However, nothing is more legendary than Beech’s 1946 V-tailed V-35 Bonanza, which made its first flight in 1945. Its unique tail, lightweight design, and easy-to-fly capabilities made it one of the most famous aircraft. Eventually, Beechcraft expanded its aircraft into twin engines, business, and mid-sized jets.
After Walter Beech’s unexpected passing in 1950, his wife Olive took over as President and CEO of the company, where she would remain until her retirement in 1982. Beech stayed active with the Beechcraft brand becoming Beech Aircraft’s first chairman emeritus until her death in 1993 at 89 years old.
Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail Incidents
The Beechcraft Bonanza has an extremely loyal following. However, its reputation regarding its v-tail or fork-tailed design cannot be ignored. There are several reasons the Bonanza featured its v-tail design, earned its name, and not all are due to the production of the aircraft.
For one, when the Bonanza appeared on the market in 1947, many people were used to flying other popular single-engine aircraft like the Cessna 140s. But with Beechcraft’s new release, its advanced systems became a complicated feature for pilots who were used to more straightforward installations. In its earlier production years, several high-profile crashes and inflight breakups caught the public’s attention.
A few of these incidents include:
- October 1947, Oregon Governor Earl Snell, Oregon Secretary of State Robert S. Farrell, Jr., and State Senate President Marshall E. Cornett
- January 1952, Maharaja of Jodhpur in India, Hanwant Singh and his wife and actress, Zubeida Begum
- February 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper
- February 1975, Congressman Jerry Pettis
Many of these crashes included doctors, lawyers, and other high-earning professionals who were among the few that could afford a brand new Bonanza at the time. Poor training for the transition from simpler aircraft to the complex Bonanza proved fatal for many. As did the general inexperience of professionals looking to take up flying as a hobby, not knowing the effects of weather conditions, altitude, etc. So, the status of those owning and operating these aircraft earned Bonanza the name “The Doctor Killer.”
However, it’s critical to know that several other aircraft manufacturers simultaneously experienced high crash rates. It was Bonanza’s unique tail design that caused it to stand out among the rest. Production of the Bonanza’s v-tail design stopped in 1982.
Beechcraft 75th Anniversary
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Beechcraft announced the production of its G36 Bonanza, complete with luxurious detailing as a nod to Olive Ann Beech. Mrs. Beech founded Beechcraft with her husband in 1932 and served as president and CEO from 1950 to 1982. This G36 variation featured a color scheme called “Mrs. Beech blue,” similar to a powder blue and was known to be Olive Beech’s favorite color. It’s powered by a 300-horsepower Continental IO-550-B engine and a three-blade constant-speed propeller. Furthermore, it has a maximum cruise speed of 176 knots. The G36 is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.
Country of Origin: America
Beechcraft Bonanza V35B TC Statistics
The following are statistics for the Beechcraft Bonanza V35B TC (1982).
Range Of Years Manufactured
Total Aircraft Build
Current Operational Aircraft
Average Sale Value
Average Days On Market For Sale
VREF Demand Rating
- Textron Aviation Inc. (Domestic and International Service Centers)
- BWI Aviation Insurance
- Starr Gate
- Travers Aviation Insurance
- AOPA Insurance
- USAA Aircraft Insurance For Pilots
Beechcraft Bonanza V35B TC Details
Extremely similar to the A35, minimal changes were made to the V35B TC interior, including a three-light gear-down indicator and improved instrument panel lighting. Generally, this model also has a one-piece windshield with no center strip, a single throw-over control yoke, and an extended AFT baggage area. Earlier models featured a wood interior with fabric details.
Beechcraft’s V35B TC Bonanza looked and felt extremely similar to its A35 sibling. Only minor details changed with the exterior of its B variation, such as a quick-opening cowling. Baffles were also installed in the fuel cells to prevent the unporting of the fuel lines during slips, skids, or turning takeoffs. But the most noteworthy change appeared during production with the TSIO-520D engine under an STC, making it a turbocharged variation.
- GMA 347 audio panel with 4 PI intercom
- Garmin 530W
- KX 155 no 2
- MD 441-1488w annunciation
- GPS roll steering
- Gtx 330ES ADSB out transponder
- JPI Edm 800 engine monitor with fuel flow
- KFC 200 FD and Autopilot system (working flawlessly)
- KI 256 HSI system
- Blade type VOR/GS ANT.
- Max Seats: 6
- Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Retractable Gear
- Max Takeoff Weight: 3,400 lbs.
- Cruise: 172 kts.
- Range: 716 nm.
- Take Off Run: 1,002 ft.
- Landing Roll: 763 ft.
- Wing Span: 33 ft 6 in.
- Length: 26 ft 5 in.
- Height: 7 ft 7 in.
- Take Off (50 ft): 1,769 ft.
- Landing (50 ft): 1,324 ft.
Bonanza 35 Models
The first version of the 35 appeared from 1947 to 1948 and came equipped with a 165 horsepower Continental E-185 or E-185-1 engine. A total of 1,500 were built.
The next 35 models appeared in 1949 with a higher takeoff weight, tubular wing spars, and nosewheel steering. A total of 701 of these were produced.
A total of 480 A35s from 1950 A35 were built with a Continental E-185-8 engine.
The C35 variation was produced from 1950 to 1952 with a 185 horsepower Continental E-185-11 engine, metal propeller, expanded tail surfaces, and higher takeoff weight. It was approved to be equipped with a Lycoming GO-435-D1 engine, where 719 were built.
The 1953 D35 had the same look and felt as the C35 but with an increased takeoff weight and minor changes, approved for the Lycoming GO-435-D1 engine. A total of 298 were built.
By 1954, Beechcraft unveiled the E35, powered by an E-185-11 or 225 horsepower Continental E-225-8 engine. A total of 301 were built.
Powered by an E-185-11 or E-225-8 engine, this 1955 variation had an extra rear window on each side, strengthened wing leading edges, and tail spar caps. Three hundred ninety-two total F35s were built.
A year later, in 1956, the G35 was produced with a Continental E-225-8 engine and thicker windshield. 476 of these were built.
Beechcraft’s 1957 model H35 was equipped with a 240-horsepower Continental O-470-G engine with a modified structure. Beech produced 464 H35s.
In 1958, the J35 was unleashed, powered by a 250-horsepower fuel-injected Continental IO-470-C engine. A total of 396 J35s were produced.
1959 saw the K35 feature an increased fuel load, optional fifth seat, and increased takeoff weight. 436 K35s were produced.
Entering the 60s, the M35 made its debut with similar features to the K35. A total of 400 of these aircraft were built.
Powered by a 260-horsepower Continental IO-470-N engine, this 1961 35 variation featured an increased fuel capacity, increased takeoff weight, and larger rear side windows. 280 of these were produced.
Also, in 1961, Beechcraft experimented with a version fitted with a laminar flow airfoil. Only one was ever built of this model.
From 1962 to 1963, Beechcraft produced 467 P35s, which featured a new instrument panel.
For the next two years, from 1964 to 1966, Beechcraft introduced the S35, powered by a Continental IO-520-B engine with a higher takeoff weight, longer cabin interior, optional fifth and sixth seat, and new rear window. A total of 667 of these aircraft were built.
The V35 appeared from 1966 to 1967 and was fitted with a single-piece windshield for an optimal view. 873 V35s were built and 79 turbocharged (TC) versions were built, powered by an IO-520-B or optional 285 horsepower turbocharged TSIO-520-D engine.
The 1968 to 1969 V35A was fitted with a revised windshield and powered by an IO-520-B or an optional turbocharged TSIO-520-D engine. A total of 470 V35As were built, including 46 V35A TCs.
From 1970 to 1982, 1,335 V35Bs were produced for the next few years. They initially had minor improvements over the V35A but underwent a major internal redesign in 1972, along with a 24-volt electrical system addition in 1978. Usually powered by an IO-520B, the V35B was also made available with an optional TSIO-520-D engine until 1971. Only 7 of the V-35B TCs were built.
Top Bonanza V35B TC Questions
Why Do People Call The Bonanza’s V-Tail Design “The Doctor Killer”?
Decades ago, the Bonanza was known as “The Doctor Killer” because of several high-profile crashes, one of which included Don McLean, the singer of the all-time favorite song American Pie.
The Bonanza’s unique v-tail or fork-tail design came with complications under visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions, a flight into thunderstorms, or airframe icing. Combined with pilot error, these issues caused several notable fatal incidents during its earlier years in production.
Is The Beechcraft Bonanza V35B Still In Production?
Production of the V35B model stopped in 1982, along with its v-tail design. However, Beechcraft still produces the Bonanza through its G36 model, a piston-engine aircraft with first-class technology and luxurious comfort. It has three interior leather options: Camel, Raven, and Chelsea Grey. It also includes Garmin G1000 NXi avionics and a modern glass touchscreen display. A new Bonanza G36 has a price of about $999,000 depending on various features, customization, etc.
How Much Does A Bonanza V35B TC Cost?
The cost of a V35B TC depends heavily on the year it was produced and its condition. However, you can expect to spend anywhere from $127,116 for a 1970 model and $197,030 or more for a 1982 variation. This particular range doesn’t include operating costs, hangar, etc. It’s essential to keep in mind that this is the turbocharged version of the V35B.
How Fast Is A Bonanza V35B TC?
Depending on which variation you’re interested in, a V35B TC can reach speeds of up to 200 kias flying at a full rate of power up to an altitude of 19,000 feet.
How Easy Is It To Fly A Bonanza V35B TC?
Pilots like the V35B TC because it’s a fast and light aircraft with the same style as the A35. Some of its success came from its predecessor’s popularity because of its design similarities.
When the A35 appeared in 1949, it featured several Baron-model upgrades, including a fresh aesthetic, stunning exterior paint design, luxurious interior with a selection of leathers, and three green landing gear “down” annunciator lights instead of one. Also included in its design were quick-release cowl latches, redesigned instrument subpanels, and engine and fuel quantity indicators – all of which earned it the name of the “Rolls-Royce” of six-seat, high-performance single-engine aircraft in aviation at its time. So, because the V35B design followed closely behind the A35, it has a reputation for being a lightweight, high-performing plane.
Your Aviation Valuation Authority For Beechcraft Bonanza V35B TC Models
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