In 1970, Beech introduced the Model 58 Baron using the stretched fuselage of the Model 36 Bonanza to give a full four-seat rear cabin with club seating. On the starboard side is a front crew entry door and a separate double rear door for passengers. There are 285 hp Continental IO-520 engines on early Model 58s but later examples have 300 hp IO-550s.
Sitting in the glass cockpit of the 50th anniversary edition of the Beechcraft G58 Baron- its precision-engineered Teledyne Continental Motors engines ticking away effortlessly- Im struck by a thought: This airplane was introduced when President Dwight Eisenhower was still in office. Its a hard notion to reconcile. With a bright and colorful flat-panel avionics suite- hand-sewn leather seats and a quiet and powerful air-conditioner- this classic is clearly a modern- impeccably detailed airplane in every respect. As I suggested- there are a few things that change along the way with legacy airplanes- including better avionics and more reliable and- usually- more powerful engines. But there's often the bad with the good. Its almost universally true that as time passes airplanes get heavier — this can be blamed as much on customers preferences as on manufacturers lack of discipline. The Baron is a far heavier airplane today than when it was born in 1960. This hasnt stopped the vast majority of customers from ordering every option available. Buyers surely dont want the extra weight- but theyre apparently willing to put up with it to get all the bells and In an era when fuel was cheap and the safety advantages of twins went without saying- the right-size and fast Beech Baron was a hit. It was- in fact- exactly what Beech intended- a twin-engine version of its immensely popular Bonanza single. (The Twin Bonanza- as you might know- was related to the Bonanza in name only.) That first Baron adopted a swept vertical fin in place of the Mentor-style straight tail of the Travel Air- and it upped the power to 260 and then 285 hp while stretching out a bit. The G58 model- which features Garmin G1000 glass- was introduced in 2006 and continues in production. The G1000 was a natural fit for the Baron- giving an already expensive airplane a near state-of-the-art panel- a feature without which the type might not have survived. Baron buyers get sumptuous interiors with leather wrapped seats- excellent soundproofing — HBC arguably does this better than any other piston manufacturer — and high-end aesthetics- including beautiful carpeting and interior paneling. Theres a lot more. You get approved flight into known icing (FIKI) deicing- tinted Rosen sun visors- Garmin color digital weather radar- the Garmin 820 dual-antenna active traffic advisory system with ADS-B- Jeppesen electronic approach charting- XM Weather and audio- including a remote for the audio player.