AIRCRAFT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS - Beech Baron 58
Category: Corporate Aircraft – Comparative Analysis
Author: Mike Chase
Hawker Beechcraft Baron 58
In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis, we will provide information on a selection of pre-owned and new Piston Twin-Engine aircraft in the $240k to $1.35m range for the purpose of valuing the pre-owned Hawker Beechcraft Baron 58.
We’ll consider the usual productivity parameters - including payload/range, speed and cabin size – and cover current and future market values. The field in this study includes the current-production Baron G58, current-production Piper Seneca V PA 34 and the pre-owned Piper Seneca IV PA34.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BARON 58
The Beechcraft Baron is a light, twin-engine piston aircraft originally developed by Beech Aircraft Corporation and currently manufactured by the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (an Onex Holding Corporation). The Baron is a variant of the Beechcraft Bonanza. The first Beech Baron 58 model was manufactured in 1969 and ended production in 2005 - that’s a total of 36 years of production.
The Beech Baron 58 is powered by twin 300hp Teledyne Continental, six cylinder, fuel-injected engines. It has a maximum cruise speed of 200 KTAS and seats up to six. More than 2,300 Barons were built, and the aircraft continues to hold its position as leader in the piston twin-engine class of business aircraft. Recognized for its strong construction, speed and reliability, the Beech Baron provides unprecedented comfort in a light piston-powered twin.
Today’s new-generation Baron, the G58 operates on special-edition 300-horsepower Teledyne Continental engines and a state-of-the-art Garmin G1000 "all-glass" integrated avionics suite. This six passenger aircraft boasts a 232 mile per hour top speed. The G58 went into operation in 2006 following on from the straight-58 model.
PAYLOAD AND RANGE
The data contained in Table A is published in the B&CA, May 2011 issue but is also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we mentioned in past articles, a potential operator should focus on payload capability. The Baron 58 ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 300 pounds has the lowest payload compared to the rest of the field.
The cabin volume of the Baron 58/G58 is 150 cubic feet. The cabin volumes illustrated in Chart A were provided courtesy of Conklin & de Decker to World Aircraft Sales Magazine. The Baron 58/G58 cabin volume is the largest in this field of study. The Piper Seneca IV at 139 cubic feet has a smaller cabin volume (approximately 7% less interior space than the Baron 58/G58). The Piper Seneca V at 120 cubic feet has 20% less interior space.
TOTAL VARIABLE COST COMPARISONS
As mentioned previously in this article, the Baron 58 has two Continental Engines with a pair of Hartzell Propellers. Using data published by Conklin & de Decker we will compare our aircraft.
The “Total Variable Costs” as illustrated in Chart B is defined as the cost of Fuel expense, Maintenance Labor expense, Scheduled Parts cost, and Miscellaneous trip expense. The total variable cost of $385 per hour for the Baron 58 is the highest number in the field of comparison but it is only $1 more per hour than the Piper Seneca IV. The in-production Baron G58, meantime, costs less at $372 per hour.
The points in Chart C center on the same group of aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the Vref. The Productivity Index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary. Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:
1. Range with full payload and available fuel;
2. The long-range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.
The result is a very large number, so for the purpose of charting, each result is divided by 10 million. The examples plotted are confined to the aircraft in this study. A computed curve fit on this plot would not be very tight, but when all business piston aircraft are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters, but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with Price, Range, Speed and Cabin Size.
After consideration of the Price, Range, Speed and Cabin Size, we can conclude that the Baron 58 Twin Piston aircraft can be competitive in terms of range, payload and speed - with a larger cabin and with higher variable costs when compared to the higher-priced new market entrants.
Table B compares the long range cruise speed, cabin volumes, and payload, along with the retail prices (from Vref) for each aircraft. Sourced from JETNET are the number of aircraft in-operation and fleet percentage “For Sale”.
LOCATION BY CONTINENT
Table C shows the location by continent for the Wholly-Owned Baron 58 fleet. North America has the majority with 1,152 or 66% followed by South America at 16%.
NEW TWIN PISTON DELIVERIES
Table D shows the GAMA deliveries of new Twin Piston aircraft during the first six months of the past five years (2007 to 2011). Over the first six months of 2011 total deliveries stood at 63, which was better than the previous two years, but still was below the years 2007 and 2008 by slightly more than 40%.
This is good news as it does show that the Twin Piston market is on the road to recovery. Typically, the piston aircraft market has led all aircraft market segments in rebounds historically speaking.
In the preceding paragraphs we have briefly covered several of the attributes that business aircraft operators value. There are other qualities such as airport performance, terminal area performance, and time to climb performance. The Baron 58 performs well in these areas too.
Overall, the Baron 58 fares well among its field - so those operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. Our expectations are that the Baron 58 will continue to do well in the pre-owned market for the foreseeable future.
For more information: Michael Chase is president of Chase & Associates, and can be contacted at 1628 Snowmass Place, Lewisville, TX 75077; Tel: 214-226-9882; Web: www.mdchase.com
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