Textron Aviation Introduces 75th Anniversary Beech G36


Embracing a retro theme, Textron has announced a 75th anniversary version of the G36 Bonanza that will be available in 2022, marking 75 years since the original Model 35 Bonanza was sold. Textron says the Bonanza is the “longest continuously produced aircraft in history,” and claims there have been more than 18,000 built.

“The retro scheme of our 75th anniversary special edition Bonanza is a nod to Mrs. Beech’s strength, vision, pioneering leadership and her well-documented style,” says Lannie O’Bannion, Textron senior vice president, Global Sales and Flight Operations. “The interior color combination is inspired by trends from the 1950s, when Mrs. Beech assumed leadership of the company.”

In case you’ve forgotten, Olive Ann Beech took over Beechcraft in 1950 after Walter’s death, “making her the first woman to head a major aircraft company,” according to Textron. “Her legendary career spanned 50 years and by the time she retired in 1982, she’d played key roles in growing the company from 10 to 10,000 employees and made an impact on the aviation industry in numerous ways.”

The G36’s color scheme is “inspired by” what Textron refers to as “Mrs. Beech Blue, a custom color Olive Ann adopted on the advice of fashion designer Oleg Cassini. The color became her brand and could be found on everything from her dress suits and office furnishings to her automobile’s paint and personal aircraft interiors.”

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. 75 years of Bonanzas! I don’t know whether to be amazed or depressed. Maybe a little of both is in order.
    Congratulations, Textron.

  2. Here is something that will make you even more depressed. The cost of a new bonanza in 1970 was a bit under $50,000. If you go by CPI that should make the new price for one today $333,000 if you go at the rate that cars have increased in price it would make a new bonanza $576,000 instead the current new price I was able to find online is $914,000 which means that Bonanzas have increased in price by 18.28 times the price in 1970. Cessna 172s are even worse they have increased by over 30 times what they were in 1970. in 1970 a Cessna 172 was 1.3 times the average salary in the US and a Bonanza was 5 times the average. today it is 6 times the average salary for a 172 and 14 times the average salary for a Bonanza. Anyone else wonder how they are staying in business?

    • They’re stay in business by not spending anything on innovation or development, and instead just selling new color schemes on old tech.

      • I flew a 2020 model a few months ago with NXI, built in O2, GFC7000 and on it goes .. The plane was technologically amazing from my perspective and I’m a bleeding edge IT sort of A&P.

        • That’s rather misleading. I’m not giving the manufacturers credit for installing the over priced nearly modern tech from Garmin.

          • Adding auto land to the SF50 and TBJ940 is hardly ‘nearly modern’. I want to see a plane that can land and take off, serve as safety pilot while I shoot approaches under the hood, provide a virtual CFI on Zoom when it’s time for the BFR, fly the plane for me while I talk to a patient, and connect me to tech support when there is a problem. It’s all coming. It will be expensive and I will gladly pay the asking price.

          • Adding auto land to the SF50 and TBJ940 is hardly ‘nearly modern’. I want to see a plane that can land and take off, serve as safety pilot while I shoot approaches under the hood, provide a virtual CFI on Zoom when it’s time for the BFR, fly the plane for me while I talk to a patient, and connect me to tech support when there is a problem. It’s all coming. It will be expensive and I will gladly pay the asking price.

        • That’s a bit like installing new radios and repainting the Ford F250 from 1970 and selling it today as new and amazing.

          • Well I’d take a normally aspirated F250 from 1970 with modern radios and interior over what they sell now in a heartbeat. I could work on and change out any part on that vehicle using just the tools in my 30 lb toolbox. That would definitely qualify as new and amazing today.

    • The equivalent car you got in 1970 could be produced for maybe $10k today. CPI isn’t that great, but it’s the best we got.

      Overall, you can look at the fact that demand for planes is really low, but I give the manufacturers, especially Textron Cessna, part of the blame and most of the responsibility for that. I’ve explained that here often. Because the designs are all old, and demand so low, there has been little automation or improvements in efficiency while labor and materials costs have certainly gone up. You also supposedly pay a big chunk for liability insurance with a new plane, but the industry is hardly transparent about this making it a hard issue to solve.

      The future is reliant on electric engines for trainers. Like it or not. Unless someone Musk like pops up ready to replace all our engines with new tech, our supply of antiques will dwindle until they regulated like old warbirds are today, and lose their value for travel.

      If you can afford a new Bonanza, you have to know it’s not likely a sound investment.

  3. They’ve created a brand that has stood the test of time, where many have failed.. The market price for a Bonanza is $914,000, and the order books will be filled shortly..

    • Only if the “order book” is a 3×5 index card. Blue stripes isn’t going to do it. In 2019, Beechcraft sold 7 Bonanzas. Their three year average is less than one a month. Meanwhile up in Duluth, the competition is not selling a 75 year old airframe. They sold 331 SR22’s. More than one a day, six days a week.

      • Is that one or two index cards? How many orders are in that book for the next year? 10? 15? The last time they were able to sell one a week was 2008. Textron isn’t interested in building a competitive product.

        • Actually Textron wants to build turboprops and jets. Labor is about the same for all their assembly lines, but product revs and margins are obviously much lower for pistons. If they thought they could D/C all pistons without hurting jet sales the might. Why deal with bitchy old broke people who routinely crash when they just sell jets to corporations ?

          • Exactly. Textron bought Beechcraft’s assets out of bankruptcy for the King Air and the Hawker / Beechjet parts business. They’ll knock out a handful of Bonanzas and Barons each year, but they’re not putting an any capital into significant improvements or new designs. They’ll continue to drop in whatever Gamin does with the avionics stack and that’s about it. They’ve really ceded the market (such as it is) to Cirrus and Diamond.

  4. It has been made from something that at least half of the country could at least aspire to to something that can only be afforded by a tiny fraction of the population

  5. I am an engineer I make well over the average US salary. If I was an engineer in 1970 I could have already bought a new 172 and be working toward the bonanza someday in my future. Today I might be able to afford a new 172 someday when I am in my 60s and I can just forget about the bonanza. I keep seeing articles complaining about the decreasing private pilot population but no one seems to want to admit what the real problem is. It is just too expensive for the vast majority of the population to fly unless they do it for a living.

    • I don’t think anyone without excessive income pays much attention to new certified GA anymore. Get yourself and RV10 or a Cozy MkIV. Better is basically every respect then similar certifieds.

      • Currently planning on a Velocity. Was thinking about a Sling TSI but then they jacked up the price quite a bit.

  6. GA has priced itself into the history books. I have also been blessed with an excellent income and there is NO WAY I could afford or would even consider such a purchase as a new airplane.

    My Maule which I bought brand new in 2002, made to my specifications, was $120,000 then and it was a huge indulgence. ho buys these things nowadays?

    • This why the ratio of turbine to piston seen out of the hangar at local airports has changed so much. The people flying the most have what’s called pricing power and are essentially using other people’s money.

  7. Mooney was asking $800,000+ for the latest M20 before Mooney was forced to close its doors.. The 75th anniversary G36 is way more spacious, and simplistic to fly, and I have no idea how many they will offer. Is it worth $914,000.. Nope, no way..!! But, my money says a dedicated crowd of loyal Bonanza lovers will step up.