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V-TAIL BONANZA CRITIQUE

Old 16th Jul 2012, 08:12
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V-TAIL BONANZA CRITIQUE

Latest AUSTRALIAN FLYING mag has a most entertaining (and possibly alarming) story of one man's long-lingering concerns about the FTDK's structural integrity and other design quirks. Jim Davis's association with the type goes back to 1952.

His controversial views are probably more about increasing circulation than airing airworthiness concerns of any relevance today. Still, going by the figures he had dug up it has a shocking history of fatalities.

The only reference on the magazine's website (without subscribing) -

*The Type Hog: Walter Beechís Famous V-tail Ė We love it, Jim hates it. Wherever it went, the legendary Beech Type 35 Bonanza was revered or reviled.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 10:33
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Some early one's had problems with min fuel/ weight and balance. Some people reckoned they needed wing and tail straps. I've never had any problems with them except mastering the Turbo V35B which was only one of dexterity that could be taught to a Chimpanze, (I mastered it). My favourite was the S model which had a phenomenal turn of speed. The aircraft itself was a derivative of the Mentor which was built to land on aircraft carriers or dropped from 50ft by idiot pilots.

You could say it's my favourite aeroplane.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 11:04
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Just like a nice broad, it wiggles as it moves, class !!!!!
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 11:55
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Clinton and Frank - you are both spot on.

None of us get it right every time, and unless you've flown a type over quite a few hours - it's risky to make a negative public comment.

The S35 also has a particular place in my favourites. Did a lot of time on TOB out of YPJT back in the early 70's - 173 KTAS if I remember rightly.

happy days,
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 12:08
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What aircraft doesn't shed bits when its WAY past VNE and the 'pilot' is pulling G trying to miss the planet?

Any Bonanza is awesome - the Vtails are sexy as well as awesome.

I have only read a few Davies articles - he didn't impress.

Edit: I can actually answer my own question - C185

Last edited by Chimbu chuckles; 16th Jul 2012 at 12:10.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 12:44
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What a dumb idea for an article.

Old Wives Tales spread from this qualified mis information.

Dumb Dumb Dumb
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 13:30
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Many moons ago as a teenager I went from around 50 hours in Victa 100 and C172's into a 1966 V tail. You would think with the alleged inherent design flaws coupled with youthful exuberance I would have become a smoking hole in the ground.

Interested to see Scott N's thread on BT recently regarding the Cessna 180 flaps being copies of the Bonanza. The article also mentioned that the forward strut attachment point on the Cessna was done based on knowledge of the issue with the Bonanza.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 13:50
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When low-performance pilots are put in the cockpits of high-performance aircraft, itís very easy for them to get into big trouble, very quickly. Thatís exactly what happened in the late 40s and early 50s, when a very fast, relatively inexpensive aircraft became very popular among the burgeoning middle class in the USA.
Once upon a time I was conducting a VFR navigation exercise with a person who fit this discription (the purpose of said nav was to get him to a location for business) in this very same V-tail machine. We encountered the very same situation (which develped quicker than he was used to) and it took positive action from me to overcome the "get-there-itis" and turn us around. He ended up going by road. I wonder what would have happened if I wasn't with him that day...

There are worse machines out there to pick on than the good old Bonanza - a true pilot's aeroplane...
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 14:04
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Davis's article disappointed me and I put it in the crap basket pretty quickly. Whether he was just trying to be provocative by picking on a legendary aircraft has backfired IMHO. I haven't flown the V35 but have an F33A and after many hours on Pipers (and Jim's little favourite the 140) Cessnas and Mooney's I prefer the Bonanza over all of these. I'll probably drop my subscription to AF as a result. Anyway, why does Davis carry on so much about South Africa, I'd rather read of Aussie accident investigations. You should be scared of them Jim if you can't close the bloody door and make it out to be a potentially catastrophic event.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 20:57
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I concur with all who have written favorably about the Bonanza. Funnily enough the S35 was always my favourite too, and I was gob-smacked to come face to face with CFK at Caboolture recently, an aeroplane I've haven't seen for over 40 years.

Jim Davis writes well but spreads tosh - yet another journalist?

Frank Arouet:

The aircraft itself was a derivative of the Mentor...
Err no, the first 35 flew in 1945 while the Mentor (Beech 45) flew in 1948.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 22:53
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I think AF may well yet rue their attachment to Davis, who seems to have attained sacred cow status over there. He is enthusiastic to the point of bigotry about the PA-28 series and makes no bones about disliking several classics including the the V tail Bonnie and C-210. His focus is South African because that's where he grew up and lived most of his life, aside from a short stint in Bunbury, whereafter he ran off home and hasn't had much good to say about Aus ever since. Pity really that he's allowed to air his various prejudices in the magazine instead of sticking to writing about flying instruction, something he does a good job of.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 23:15
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I concur with all who have written favorably about the Bonanza. Funnily enough the S35 was always my favourite too, and I was gob-smacked to come face to face with CFK at Caboolture recently, an aeroplane I've haven't seen for over 40 years.
Ahhh CFK!

Now how's this for an interesting interconnection of threads on D&G?

I did my B33/35 endorsement in CFK in the 70's (back in the days when even SE's were separate endorsements), with one Barry Hempel !!!!

I think I had maybe 120 hrs at the time and the Bonanza endorsement cost me an hour of flying Barry around the training area and the AF circuit while he read the paper!

Having survived 800+ hrs in the Forktailed Dr Killer, I like to think that my pilot skills are right up there with Chuck Yeager !

Dr

Last edited by ForkTailedDrKiller; 16th Jul 2012 at 23:15.
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Old 16th Jul 2012, 23:36
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I'm amazed it took 12 post before forkie got in!
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:07
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Err no, the first 35 flew in 1945 while the Mentor (Beech 45) flew in 1948.
Apologies, I got that ar$e about didn't I. I should have said they both shared the ruggedness of the undercarriage and airframe design concepts.

There was a straight tail aerobatic Bonanza/ Debonair also.

I bet the Mentor was fun to fly.
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:13
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Hempel again - remember Ian Lovell ??

FTDK

it is unsettling to see more evidence that even in the early 70's (i.e. before the hanger door hit him on the head) Hempel was being a cowboy and that:

"the Bonanza endorsement cost (you) an hour of flying Barry around the training area and the AF circuit while he read the paper !"

doesn't sound very professional of him does it, but sadly very typical of the man ?

see the hempel inquest thread elsewhere on PPRuNe for more about Hempel's misdeameanours, sins, crimes and worse.

Can't wait for the report of the Coronor !

I agree with you about the Bonanaza, what a great plane.

Macca
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:24
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Forkie, I'm surprised that you had an hour flying around in the training area. My recollections of that era (and not with BH, but in most places), was along the lines of "there it is, you buzz off and fly it around for a while and I will sort out the paper." And that wasn't only for single control aircraft either.
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:27
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Amazing and nice to see Bonanza CFK is still alive and well. I flew that with Lanhams Air Charter out of Mt Isa in '74. A look at my log, last flight was 23rd March '74 to Manners Creek station on the mail run. Loved flying it, beautiful feel to the controls, solid yet positive and responsive. Quite unlike the 200 series Cessnas we also had, which flew like jelly puddings in comparison. I cannot for the life of me see anything dangerous about the Bonanza. Had to watch the C of G but no other problems I can think of.
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:52
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Macroderma clearly you're too young to remember when a 'checkout' often consisted of "Can you fly a XYZ?" "yep".

Believe it or not there was a time when the 'group endorsement' system actually meant something and, for the most part, the quality of training actually did prepare most pilots adequately to just 'get in and go'. Certainly CPLs.

Having done my initial CSU/Retract endorsements in a 182rg (maybe 1hr total) I checked myself out in a brand new C206 and a few months later in a near new C210 - I was just handed the keys by the owners (and yes they had clearly asked people - probably my ex instructors - whether I was trust worthy). With 40 hrs tail wheel logged on Tiger Moth, Decathlon (mostly) and a couple of hrs Pitts S2 I was handed the keys to a C185 and told to come back when I was comfortable in it - that was a little more exciting than climbing into a 210 the first time Of the 100s of hours in a Bonanza I don't have 1 minute dual and my Baron type rating took 20 minutes - albeit when I already had a bunch of ME experience.

Ahhh the good old days
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 00:56
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On the 4th of Jan '74 Lanhams lost a Beech 33A Debonair at Barkly Downs station killing Ian Smith (VH-DEW). It was the old loss of control in non-VMC, no fault of the aeroplane. The other Debonair was 'DYT'.

I wonder if CFH is still around?
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Old 17th Jul 2012, 02:06
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In next month's issue of Australian Lying, they will show you how to knit a pitot tube cover for your Bonanza, talk to a private pilot that has mastered the Seneca1 and review an incident with a senior grade 3 instructor that experienced a total gps failure in his C150.
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