Professor Chad White
28 January 2012
The Beechcraft Baron: A Multi-Engine Classic
Without doubt, whenever twin-engine piston airplanes are mentioned, one of the first twins one may think of is the time tested Beechcraft Baron. Beechcraft rolled it’s very first Baron off the production line in 1961, and according to Dianne White, is the “longest-running production airplane in general aviation history” (5). Initial production of the Baron began several years prior to its release, primarily as an answer to the successful launch of Cessna’s C310 (White 6). Unlike the C310, Beechcraft’s Baron was not an entirely original design, being a “derivative of the Travel Air” (White 6). Within a decade of the Baron’s original release, Beechcraft introduced the “Model 58… based on the six-seat Model 36 Bonanza fuselage” (White 6). According to Dianne White, after the release of the Model 58, “the Baron became the standard to beat for light twins” (6). Through the years, Beechcraft has released several variants of the Baron. One of the biggest advancements to the Baron series came in the early 80’s as Dianne White explains, “In 1984, the Baron was fitted with 300-hp Continental IO-550-C engines” (6). With the 90’s and 2000’s came additional improvements, “such as better noise dampening, door seals and one-piece inboard and outboard landing gear doors” (White 6). Modern day Baron’s are superb examples of the Beechcraft history of excellence, offering “Garmin’s all-glass G1000” as well as the “GFC 700 flight control system” (White 6).
For a staggering $1.3 million, one can take ownership of a brand new Baron G58 (White 11). Even though the Baron is piston powered, it boasts a number of attractive qualities. Though environmental issues such as density altitude and wind factor have to be taken into account, the Baron’s maximum range with full fuel and maximum allowable payload is approximately 1,559 NM (hawkerbeechcraft.com). If less fuel is...