Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : December 09 Contents 57
DECEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
e GFC 700 autopilot operation was
absolutely seamless of course. e little
muscles in its system -- the servos -- are
intelligent: they actually have their own mi-
crochips so they know how much to pull or
push to react to a particular demand from
the autopilot. Owner Peter uses his Bonan-
za extensively for business and is absolutely
thrilled with the level of sophistication and
ease of operation of the G36.
e autopilot's altitude captures, heading
changes and VOR/LOC captures were
smooth and progressive, never jerky -- just
like an A320 and better than the old 737
that I used to fly.
ere are two basic vertical modes for
climbs and descents; the first is called 'FLC'
or Flight Level Change, which works
just like in an airliner, the second is 'VS,'
vertical speed. Once FCL is selected the
aircraft will climb and descend at a given
airspeed decided by the pilot -- to change it
the climb/descent buttons are pressed once
for each knot change. With the VS button
the autopilot climbs/descends at a given
vertical speed. To change it hit the climb/
descent buttons once for each 100ft/min
adjustment required. Another pitch mode
is attainable via the 'TOGA' button aside
the throttle. is stands for Take Off/Go
Around, and pressing it commands a 7 de-
gree nose up pitch with full power selected
on the throttle for a maximum performance
climb away from the runway at takeoff or
go around. is is all Airbus/Boeing stuff
and it's great to use.
Experimenting with slow flight later, I was
surprised that the G36 Bonanza was so doc-
ile for such a high performance machine. e
stall was benign and occurred at 64kt clean,
61kt with flap, qualifying it for commercial
single pilot operation in the USA. At the
top end of the speed range the ailerons were
still light -- very unusual for an American
aeroplane -- and the elevators not too sensi-
tive. is Bonanza has a yaw damper to keep
the rudder under control -- the aeroplane was
IN THE CIRCUIT
e biggest deal with something as fast
as a Bonanza is energy management on
the descent and approach. What I didn't
want to end up with was to have to pull the
throttle back too much and end up with a
shock-cooled engine. I found that setting
'18 square' with the manifold and rpm was a
nice compromise combined with a 1000ft/
min descent. is slotted me into the circuit
very effectively and I was quickly back below
the 156kt gear/flap limiting speed. I flew
downwind at 120kt, base at 100kt, finals
at 90kt and over the hedge -- slightly fast
because of the wind -- at 85kt. I managed
to get a reasonable touchdown -- into-wind
wing slightly down and still fighting those
control springs with cross-controls.
Nevertheless, a very, very nice aeroplane.
I can understand why they're so popular,
despite the high price of admission.
I have a friend who happens to be in the
market for a four-six seat luxury tourer. He
has researched the G36 and its competition
including visits to the factories where they
He didn't feel particularly comfortable
flying the Cessna Corvalis 400 and the
useful load made it more like a three-seater.
He thought that the Cirrus SR22 was "a
slightly inferior aeroplane", with similar
load-carrying to the Cor valis 400. e G36
could carry more weight than both.
My friend compared the SR22 to a
Porsche and the G36 to a Bentley. He
thought that the G36 Bonanza was a
superior aircraft for similar money to the
SR22. Against that he set the G36's higher
But in the end the choice my friend
made was a G36. Having sampled one, I
can see why.
SMOOTHER & QUIETER G36s have new cabin door seals that help keep out wind noise, and more
soundproofing has been added to the interior sidewalls and flooring. G36 propellers also are dynamically
balanced, which reduces vibrations and helps cut fatigue.
FAMILY TIES The test subject G36 with a 1968 V-tailed Bonanza for comparison.
is slotted me into the circuit very effectively
and I was quickly back below the 156kt gear/flap
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