The Limited Edition Beechcraft Bonanza G36 is designed in honour of Olive Ann Beech who started the Beech Aircraft Company with her husband Walter in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo: Textron Aviation)

Textron Aviation on April 13 announced a special edition 75th anniversary option for its Beechcraft Bonanza G36 single-engine piston aircraft, distinguished by its custom interior and paint scheme inspired by Olive Ann Beech’s signature blue colour.

The order book is open for the limited-edition model that will deliver in 2022 – the 75th year since it first entered the market, which Textron claims to make it the longest continuously produced aircraft in history. The Beechcraft Bonanza continues to be a cornerstone of the company’s position in the piston market.

“The formula for the Beechcraft Bonanza’s longevity involves an ageless style and utility, a passionate legion of owners and aspiring owners, and a seven-decade commitment by company engineers to continuously refine and update features to meet customer, technology, regulatory and environmental needs,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Global Sales & Flight Operations, Textron Aviation. “We know Walter and Olive Ann Beech would be proud of where we’ve taken their stylish and powerful piston with today’s Bonanza G36.”

More than 18,000 Bonanza aircraft have entered the market since deliveries began, 15 years after Walter and Olive Ann started Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas.

“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,” O’Bannion said. “The interior colour combination is inspired by trends from the 1950s, when Mrs. Beech assumed leadership of the company.”

Olive Ann became president in 1950 upon Walter’s death, making her the first woman to head a major aircraft company. Her career spanned 50 years and, by the time she retired in 1982, Textron explains she had 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 75th anniversary special edition Beechcraft Bonanza G36 is inspired by “Mrs. Beech Blue,” a custom colour Olive Ann adopted on the advice of fashion designer Oleg Cassini. The colour became her brand, explains Textron, and could be found on everything from her dress suits and office furnishings to her automobile’s paint and personal aircraft interiors.

The commemorative Bonanza G36 incorporates the colour on the exterior paint scheme and the interior’s window panels, carpet and accents. Textron notes the seat upholstery lines and sidewall/table contours add a sporty, modern interest to the retro colour palette. Other details include a “Bubble B” logo registered in 1954 on the carpet entry and her signature used as a metal piece above the cabin table and as an exterior graphic below the pilot window.

The six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza G36 piston aircraft, according to Textron, has a cabin almost a third larger than its nearest competitor. Powered by a 300-horsepower Continental IO-550-B engine and a three-blade constant-speed propeller, the aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 176 knots, a maximum range of more than 920 nautical miles, a 1,060-pound maximum payload and an 18,500-foot service ceiling.

Among the recent upgrades taking the Bonanza G36 to new heights is Garmin’s G1000 NXI next-generation integrated flight deck. The aircraft’s spacious interior can be arranged into various configurations.