Brazil’s Bandeirante is not the only classic twin-engine airplane celebrating its golden jubilee this year. The Textron Aviation Beechcraft Baron 58 first flew on June 23, 1969, and continues to be a steady seller as it evolves to meet market demand and technological innovations. An example of the latest version of the piston-engine twin—the Baron G58—is on show at LABACE
Beechcraft flew the first iteration of the Baron, the Model 55, on February 29, 1960, and the type proved an instant success on account of its good looks and high performance. The Baron 58 was a larger derivative with a longer fuselage and increased power. Its cabin could seat six in comfort and permitted club-style seating. Since production started in 1970, more than 3,100 have been delivered.
“With the fastest lightweight twin-piston available, the Baron 58 was a success once it hit the market, and our commitment to investing in the piston product line and ensuring our customers access to the latest in technology is why, after five decades, this plane continues to lead the category in performance,” said Chris Crow, vice president of piston sales.
The latest sub-variant, the G58, was introduced in 2005 with Garmin G1000 avionics. Continued refinements to the G58 have kept abreast of developments, including the latest G1000 Nxi avionics upgrade. New standard and optional equipment includes Garmin GMA 1360 audio panel, GFC 700 autopilot with enhanced automatic flight control system (E-AFCS), and GWX 75 Doppler weather radar.
Power for the G58 is provided by a pair of 300-hp Teledyne Continental IO-550-C engines that give a maximum cruising speed of 202 knots. Range at that speed with four passengers is more than 1,000 miles. The easily reconfigurable cabin and the short field length have made the Baron popular with many users, including those in the agricultural sector who employ the type for transport around often-remote farm businesses.