The Beechcraft Travel Air was a twin-engine development of the Beechcraft Bonanza. It was designed to fill the gap between the single engine Model 35 Bonanza and the much larger Model 50 Twin-Bonanza.
Design and development
The Travel Air took the fuselage of the G-35 Bonanza and the tail control surfaces of the T-34 Mentor. It was initially powered by Lycoming O-360 engines that produced 180 horsepower (130 kW) each. Later models would receive a fuel injected version of the same engine. In later production the tail control surfaces were replaced with a swept design which resembled the Debonair but was larger (to handle engine-out situations) and it was renamed the Baron. The Baron also had more powerful engines, Continental IO-470s that produced 260 horsepower (190 kW). Variants of the Baron later became turbocharged and pressurized.
The Travel Air was produced from 1958 to 1968. It first flew in 1956.
Beechcraft made four variants of Travel Air's during its production run from 1958 to 1968.
The initial model was built in 1958 and 1959. Production totals for 1958 and 1959 were 173 and 128 respectively.
Changes in the B95 version included a 19-inch (480 mm) cabin stretch to increase rear cabin area and the horizontal stabilizer and elevators were enlarged for better pitch control. A curved vertical stabilizer dorsal fairing is the most noticeable change. The gross weight was increased 100 pounds. The 1961 Model B95A featured fuel injected Lycoming IO-360-B1A engines. 150 B95's were built in 1960, and 81 B95A's were built between 1961 and 1962.
In 1963 the Travel Air featured a larger rear window that is common with the Model A55/B55 Barons. The nose section was reshaped and the forward baggage space was redesigned. 174 D95's between 1963 and 1967.
The E95 featured a one piece windshield and a more pointed spinner design. Just 14 Model E95 were built in 1968. The production drop off was due to the more affordable and powerful Model 55 Baron.
Published - July 2009
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