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Pilot Reports

firmatively with little need for right rudder – a trait courtesy of the engine being canted a scant few degrees to the right. The Airspeed tape on the PFD hit 65 knots, the time to put a couple of fingers’ worth of backpressure on the yoke; as 70 knots rolled by the Bonanza rotated and I trimmed to 100 knots for a 1,300 fpm climb. The left turn to a heading for Newton City/ County Airport (EWK), about 20 to the northnorthwest, and the G36 produced a solid 175 knots at 2,500 rpm and about 27 inches of manifold pressure at 3,500 msl. During a later cruise-power run, we’d see 175 knots at 6,500 msl pulling 24.7 inches of manifold pressure running wide-open throttle and 2,500 rpm and leaned to 50 degrees rich of peak – good for 17 gph. Pull the mixture back aggressively through peak EGT to 20 degrees lean of peak EGT brought fuel flow to about 14 gph at a penalty of about 8 knots – and 167 knots in a Bonanza burning fuel at that rate worked out to a still-air range of more than 650 nautical miles – plus reserves. Going higher makes it stingier to go farther –

to the edge of 700 nautical if you don’t mind flying at 9,000 to 10,000, where fuel flows can drop into the 11 gph range but speed stays above 150 knots.

» The Yardstick

The true joy of flying the Bonanza comes when its flown by hand. In the air, perhaps nothing exceeds the Bonanza for harmony and balance in the flight controls; the big airplane stays where you put it, tenaciously holding pitch and bank angles you set up to 30 degrees; steeper turns to 45 degrees take a noticeable bit of back pressure on the yoke, but not much. And despite its higher operating weights, the Bonanza still responds to my inputs predictably, and with no objections. It also trims easily for level flight, hands-off. Slowing down is part of the game and the G36 responds as well here as it does to the need for speed. Flown through full stalls, both clean and with gear and flaps down, produces a soft, noticeable bit of aerodynamic buffeting that begins

after the stall horn begins to sound, but comfortably before the stall occurs. Clean, the stall results in only a small break, little tendency to drop a wing, and an easy recovery after losing only 125 feet of altitude; dirty, the break arrives more pronouncedly, falls farther and requires a more aggressive response. Altitude loss came in at around 200, 225 feet – but with the airspeed falling below 65 indicated as it occurred at 4,500 msl. Approach management is one of the treats of late-model Bonanzas, with high flap and gear speeds making the arrival slow-down easy – and as quick as you might need, thanks in part to a speedy three-second gear-cycle time. Downwind at 90, base at 85, final at 80 slowing as the threshold arrives and a nose-high flare as the speed falls below 70…makes arrivals short, sweet and with minimal runway used. Twothousand-foot strips should be no problem for most pilots and most days – and it fits the book specifications. And taking advantage of Runway 8 at EWK gave me a crack at handling the airplane in about 15 knots of 90-degree crosswind. Feed in the aileron just to the point of holding her Photo courtesy of


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PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

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