Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) is marking an important milestone – the 50th anniversary of its high performance piston twin, the Beechcraft Baron – by offering a limited edition model that incorporates elegant interior design features and amenities, a choice of four distinctive external paint schemes, and high performance Hartzell Scimitar propellers. More than 6,700 aircraft have been produced since the first Baron-55 was introduced in 1960. HBC is displaying its Baron, as well as information on the 50th anniversary model, at its exhibit #5016 at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Aviation Summit Nov. 5-7 in Tampa, Fla.
“The success of the Baron is a testament to its exceptional design, innovation and value-enhancing improvements over the years, and to its loyal and enthusiastic customer base,” said Shawn Vick, HBC executive vice president. “The Baron continues to be the performance leader among twin engine piston aircraft and provides versatility, speed and range/payload capability that are the best in its class.”
Designed to celebrate the Baron as an industry standard, the golden anniversary aircraft incorporates specially-engraved, 14-carat-gold Baron and 50-year emblems into the power quadrant and pilot/co-pilot control wheels, matching wheat leather seats and removable headrest covers with an embossed Beechcraft shield, and leather-wrapped yokes in an exclusive wheat finish. The aircraft also sports a heritage Beechcraft shield sculpted into the velvet cut Baron Brown carpet in the club seating area. Rosen sun visors, a Lightspeed Zulu headset and air-conditioning round out the internal enhancements.
Externally, the Hartzell blended airfoil Scimitar propellers equipped with unfeathering accumulators will provide a performance boost, while a choice of four color palettes and a specially-designed paint scheme give the anniversary aircraft a unique look. The limited edition Baron is identified by an exclusive number sequence (1/12) and proudly displays the heritage Beechcraft shield on the tail. Each aircraft features distinctive 50th anniversary commemorative graphics on the nacelles and fuselage, with upper leading-edge wing surfaces finished with select anniversary paint.
The Baron series debuted as an updated version of the Model 95 Travel Air. A stretch of the fuselage in 1970 changed the model designation from the B-55 to the B-58 and allowed for the addition of two more seats in the cabin. The current model, powered by two 300 horsepower Teledyne Continental IO-550 engines, has a maximum gross weight of 5,500 pounds. The G58 Baron has a maximum level speed at 6,000 feet of 202 knots or it can fly for up to 9 hours at a cruise speed of 167 knots, burning 18.6 gallons per hour at 10,000 feet. The 50th Anniversary model offers a useful load of 1,504 pounds.