Textron Pauses Orders For Bonanzas, Barons


Textron has confirmed it is not currently taking orders for new Beech Bonanzas but it won’t say why it has stopped or when it might resume accepting them. “To ensure the best experience for our customers throughout every stage of their ownership journey, Textron Aviation has temporarily suspended additions to the order book for the Beechcraft Bonanza,” the company said in a statement. AVweb asked for more details on the suspension of orders, but a spokeswoman said she could offer no elaboration on the initial statement.

Tom Turner, Executive Director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation., said he first heard about the suspension of orders for both Bonanzas and Barons in October but was also unable to get details on the decision. “Looking at GAMA figures (5 each G36 and G58 deliveries in 2023), in my opinion either there are few airplanes on order and in the production pipeline, or for some unknown reason TxtAv is not able to meet the production demand for orders it has received,” he said. Aviation Week reported earlier this month that the production was backlogged to 2027.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


    • Well, not really. If they were making Cirrus numbers, or even half Cirrus numbers, yeah. But they are making Mooney/Maule numbers.

  1. At 5 A/C a year you’re basically buying a handmade luxury item. This can’t be enough to sustain a production “line” of any description that you can put faith in to have spares for your new A/C available (even at unreasonable prices) in 10 or 20 years from now. (OK, they probably sell enough King Airs to keep the company alive.) While the Bonanza is an iconic airplane it’s essentially 1950s technology (with new avionics). You can’t buy a new 1950’s car either. It might make more sense to leave behind nostalgia, embrace the present and spend that money on an airplane with contemporary technology.

    • “to have spares for your new A/C available (even at unreasonable prices)”
      That just means you can’t afford the aircraft to begin with.

      “While the Bonanza is an iconic airplane it’s essentially 1950s technology (with new avionics).”
      It may be old technology, however, I am not aware of any other contemporary twin I would want to be flying. I am not a fan of Diamond twins. They’re not stout enough for me and they’re (diesel heavy) slow. Performance is lacking in a big way. I’m not sure what else is out there in the price range of a fully restored Baron. You can get a fully restored Baron, or, Aerostar for that matter for half the price of a DA 62 and go a heck of a lot faster with pressurization if you so desire.

      • A diamond twin is not a contemporary, it was designed to be a twin engine trainer and not a xc machine. It’s apples and oranges.

        I assume you meant Baron when you said Bonanza.

        • A DA62 is not a trainer. It’s a 190 ktas 6 seat long range high altitude (for a piston) FIKI XC plane priced at $1.25 million. It is a competitor for the Baron. Baron is faster but uses 2x the fuel. But you can get a pretty sweet 58P for $500k and $750k left over buys a lot of fuel …

  2. (Twins, we don’t need no stinking twins!) Piston twins are a very , very small segment of the aircraft spectrum. So not surprising. What is surprising is that to order one you get a delivery date of 4Q 2025? If there were that many wanted Beech needs to hire more people and get them out the door. Once again “smells funny”.

    • What need is there to increase production? If you do so, you will also need to increase sales (in order to keep your factory busy) in a ‘very , very small segment of the aircraft spectrum’.

  3. I doubt that the Bonanzas and Barons have production lines in any real sense. These aren’t made like cars. They probably just move the tooling for the King Airs and Cessnas out of the way for a little while once they’ve racked up enough orders to make it worth the down time needed to swap out the jigs. Also, they’re probably busy tooling up for the Denali.

    • I got a tour of Beech’s production line when I was at King Air school in Wichita last February. Three production lines under one roof; the King Air 260, Cessna’s SkyCourier, and their piston line. Not much going on in pistons that day, only two Bonanzas were being built and no Barons in sight.

  4. If the demand was there, “they” would build “em. Or another competitor would step in to fill the void. Cirrus anyone?

  5. Diamond is selling modern twins that use a fraction of the fuel used by a Baron.
    They are strong and have a good safety record.
    The Diamonds are not quite as fast, but get where they are going quickly at a better cost overall than a Baron.
    A Baron or Bonanza is great if you want an expensive vintage item.
    A Diamond or a Cirrus will be a more logical purchase over the long run.

    • I have to agree. If someone loves the old Beech planes, and just wants a nice new one, it seems okay they should be built. At the same time though, I would hope new pilots buy the new planes with all their advantages in safety.

  6. Textron is run by bean counters not aviation people. Considering Textron probably makes more money on 1 Latitude than a whole years worth of Cessna 172’s, I would not be surprised if they get out of the piston business altogether. They certainly have not made any significant investments in any of the piston products in many years

    • I expect all piston planes that come from Textron in the future to have high wings. Ultimately, they could, and should, sell the piston brands, if there are interested buyers. But I’m guessing such buyers don’t exist.

  7. Sometimes a company will terminate production of a product. Perhaps the product is a games console with a short program life cycle, or an aerospace product with a longer PLC. I can imagine that a CEO might decide that the managerial effort required to maintain a program producing circa 5 low-cost (in an aerospace context) articles per year could be better-deployed to financially meaningful programs.

    Last year, Textron had revenue of about $12+ billion, and profit of $800+ million, I think. I would be surprised if the Bonanza program warrants an agenda point at board meetings.

    • That sounds like a reasonable assesment. According to Textron’s annual report for the year ending in Dec. 2023 (from the 10-K on sec dot gov), aircraft sals generated $3.58B in revenue and aircraft parts/services another $1.8B, resulting in a profit of this segment of $649M (12.1% profit margin)

      According to their own assessment from their report, for many years now Textron stock is not keeping pace with Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Stock Index, the S&P 500 Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Index, or the S&P 500 Industrials Index, (all of which include Textron.) I saw some complaints in other replies that the “bean counters” are to blame, but every company’s Board is expected to keep pace with industry peers’ economic performance.

      It seems they are making a lot of moves in the past 5 years to increase ROI on a historically marginally profitable segment of the company (profit margin for the aircraft/parts/services segment was 0.4% in 2020, and 7.6% in 2021)

      The annual report is 90+ pages and both Beech and Cessna legacy aircraft are barely mentioned. They have $7.17 billion of aircraft backlog orders as of 12/30/2023, and any Beech orders are a drop in the bucket, so it’s not hard to draw conclusions on what is happening.

      • I think Textron is a victim of government teaching them the wrong lessons. Eventually, the market will kill it off and break it up. Many of the divisions will fold.

        The DoD is desperately trying to keep them and a few others around by simply awarding them contracts they should not because at the same time they’ve created a system that totally favors a few big vendors.

        At the same time, destroying the market for small aircraft has kept the 172 on top for way too long, but the FAA simply cannot be bothered to care about what they’ve done.

  8. The Bonanza has been in production since 1945, longer than any plane in history. By any measure it has been an extraordinary aircraft. All things must eventually come to an end; perhaps its time has finally come.

    • Ah, behold the marvel of consumerism! Just a sprinkle of plastic composite here, a dash there, and voila! Introducing the “new and improved” SR-G36.

    • “All things must eventually come to an end”, you say? Try these on for size….

      1. The venerable DC-3 has no life limits. 150 are still flying after 85 years of life.
      2. Boeing’s B-52’s are still flying for the USAF & set to retire after 95 years of service.
      3. Colt’s Single Action Army revolver (1873 Peacemaker) is still built after 151 years.
      4. Since 1953, Chevy has built over 1.8M Corvettes, with NO end in sight.


      • I’d suggest the venerable Colt 1911 (.45 ACP) as a better example in the gun world. Not as old as the Peacemaker, but 113 years ain’t bad and their market extends well beyond collectors and hobbyists.

        If guns were planes, I think the .45 might be a DC-3.

  9. Re my “bean counter” remark. Piston powered airplanes were the traditional gateway to the manufacturers high performance airplanes.

    Textron not investing in this part of the product line is a Boeing worthy preoccupation with this quarters profit over the future of the company. The best selling jet is the Cirrus jet, most of which are being purchased by pilots upgrading from the SR 22.

    Textron has ceded the entry level jet market in its entirety because they have destroyed brand loyalty. Who is going to buy the Denali ? Why was the Cessna Mustang not a success ? How many Citation M2’s were sold last year ?

    Too bad the long term view in business is so yesterday…

  10. IMHO the upcoming MOSAIC ruling has the potential to change the GA landscape. This decision is not surprising. Legacy manufacturers will do well from walking way from niche legacy products and just focus on volume and profitability (read biz jets) which, by the way, is what Wall Street wants anyways.

  11. Margins would improve if TXT ended all piston sales. And importantly, (we) piston operators sue them. Jet operators don’t litigate (much). They D/C’d the TTX, an apt competitor to the Cirrus. So why wouldn’t they D/C the Baron, Bonanza and Pipistrel? The hype around co-development of electric planes was virtue signaling IMO. $JOBY left them in the dust. Diamond and Piper can cover nearly all of their piston use cases except maybe the 206T. After all, they’re just training and recreational planes. It’s a lost opportunity to engage a new generation in a new century with the thrills that have brought us all here. They brought N134BB to my ramp in 2020 asking $850K. It was purchased before we finished the demo flight. TXT is deliberately destroying its piston market by refusing to make them. The parts business good for another 1/2 century at least. When the markets ebb and cash isn’t flowing like water, as they always do, TXT will wish they kept this business together.

  12. I worked at Beech as they were going through bankruptcy (2013 ish). At that time, they wanted to shut down the 2 lines. But, the current CEO said he did not want to go down in history as ‘the one who killed the Bonanza and Baron’. Have not been profitable for years, at that time due to cost. So I can see a slowdown. Problem will be the ones working the assembly. They will either quit or transfer with no work to do. And that will be an issue for starting the line back up.

  13. “Boeing’s B-52’s are still flying for the USAF & set to retire after 95 years of service.” Actually they first flew in 1952, just over 70 years ago. Ninety-five years ago the reliable jet-engine might have been a concept, but not a reality. Whittle’s 1921 British patent was significant; however, the first flight of a turbo-jet aircraft (the German Heinkel He178) was 84 years ago in 1939. The British followed with their first flight of the Gloster E28 jet in 1941.