Beech Model 36
|UTILITY, OBSERVATION AIRCRAFT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Beech|
A third member of the Bonanza family was introduced in 1968, in the form of the Model 36 six-seat utility aircraft. It is basically a slightly lengthened (0.25m) version of the V35B, combining the tail unit of the Model 33, and the strengthened landing gear developed for the Beech Baron. It also has double doors on the starboard side of the fuselage, making it easier to load or unload cargo when used in a utility role. These cargo doors are available optionally for the Model 33/35 aircraft. A turbocharged version of the Model 36 has been available since 1979 under the designation Model B36 TC Turbo Bonanza. Production of Model 36 Bonanzas totalled some 3,390 by early 1989.
Since the introduction of each of these models, there has been steady improvement of the product, and a wide range of optional avionics and equipment is available for in-production versions.
Brief mention must be made of two military versions of the A36 Bonanza. Under the designation QU-22B a number were provided with special avionics equipment under the USAF's 'Pave Eagle' programme. With this they were deployed in Vietnam to pick up and relay to a ground station the data transmitted from acoustic sensors. Intended to keep track of enemy movements in the dense jungle, the sensors were air-dropped along known or suspected transport routes. To meet the requirements of the USAF's 'Pave Coin' competition, Beech developed a close-support two-seat armed version of the A36. Designated Model PD 249, this prototype was evaluated with a wide variety of weapons, carried on underwing racks that could accommodate loads of up to 535kg, but no production examples were built.