Used Aircraft Guide

November 2010 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: V-Tail Bonanza

Given the go-places mission profile for modern LSAs, we think the payoff is worth the expense. The trick is choosing the best real-world capability.

If Piper put general aviation on the map with the J-3 Cub, Beechcraft made it possible to actually go places on that map, thanks to the incomparable Bonanza. With antecedents dating to 1947, the venerable V-tail remained in continuous production until 1982, something no other model can claim. The Bonanza’s unique combination of good looks, cabin comfort, high performance and good load carrying capability earned it a loyal following that continues yet today. Indeed, some owners say the early models are among the best values on the used aircraft market, but we urge a dollop of caution. Unless those 50- and 60-year-old airframes have been well maintained, they can be, in the words of one owner, a money pit.

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