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Sporting a distinctive V-shaped or "butterfly" tail, the Beechcraft Bonanza set the standard for the stylish and well-equipped aircraft for the private pilot. Since its introduction in 1947, the Bonanza has been admired as a "classic" in the aviation world, even earning Fortune magazine's prestigious award as one of the 100 best designed mass-production products.
The Beech Aircraft Corporation, confident in its manufacturing capacity after building more than 7,000 combat aircraft during World War II, positioned itself for the postwar era by designing a revolutionary single-engine aircraft with a V-tail configuration that trimmed weight without compromising control. Company founder Walter Beech envisioned a light aircraft with a level of performance and comfort that would distinguish it from the competition.
From those humble beginnings, the now Hawker Beechcraft Corporation continues to be a world-leading manufacturer of business and general aviation aircraft.