Beechcraft began in the late 1940s and was one of the first general aviation companies in the industry. Today, Beechcraft is known for its superior engineering and long-lasting quality.
Many general aviation hobbyists still fly Bonanza models that are over 50 years old. The simple design of the single engine Bonanza airplane goes back to one of the first models ever made: the 35 Bonanza.
Also known as a “straight-35”, the 35 was produced between 1947 to 1948. This first model came with a wood propeller, a steel tubing center section and a 165 horsepower engine. Many 35 aircraft eventually went on to have an upgraded 185 horsepower engine, especially in the late 1960s and early 1970s when there was a resurgence of new aerospace engines that were fuel efficient and powerful. The 35 Bonanza also used differential braking instead of nosewheel steering.
When you’re lucky enough to find a 35 Bonanza and purchase it, you’re likely to find several modifications- especially if its still air worthy. The first modification you’ll find is a modified prop that has metal support or has been entirely replaced with a metal prop. The second common modification is the addition of an aluminum center section to prevent rust and structural integrity.
The 35 Bonanza requires very careful storage as most of the single engine aircraft is made out of steel and is very susceptible to rust.
Today’s 35 can be much different from its original form, but this historical investment is a wonderful testament to the dramatic changes in the aerospace industry over the decades.
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