Bay Super V
||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (July 2010)|
|Bay Super V|
|A 1948 Bay Super V|
|National origin||United States of America|
|Developed from||Beechcraft Bonanza|
Beginning in the late 1940s the United States aircraft company Bay Aviation (formerly Oakland Aeromotive) produced nine twin-engine conversions of the Beechcraft Bonanza called the Super "V" Bonanza. The basis of the conversion was the 1953 model C35 Bonanza with the original small V-tail surfaces.
Little is known about the history of the Super "V" Bonanza. The aircraft is an extensive conversion of the 1953 C35 Bonanza. The internal airframe was strengthened considerably in the process. The airframe is so different from the original Bonanza that, rather than supplementing the original type certificate, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a completely new certificate for the Super "V". The program was in full swing in 1955, with Bay continuing to use the small-tail variant even after Beech enlarged the control surfaces on its production models. Bay felt the aft fuselage of the new Bonanza was not strong enough for their purposes.
Oakland Airmotive was in the process of ramping to production conversions in the Spring and Summer of 1960. Prior to that time, apparently the Super V was strictly kit built. Ed Gough was the President. Financing (and probably ownership) was by Lawrence Warehouse Company in San Francisco through its Vice President, Art Adams. Probably during the summer, the FAA granted the first production certificate. Production drawings, bills of material, etc. were prepared and there were several conversions in the pipeline. Flying Magazine did a cover story on the Super V that summer and the marketing efforts were reaching a peak.
That first certificated model had an oil cooler which required a separate housing below each engine. However, Gough found an oil cooler which was flat and able to be included inside the engine housing, thus eliminating the extra housing and gain a bit more speed. He, probably with the agreement of Adams, ordered that the oil coolers be changed and slight modifications to the engine housings be made to accommodate the new cooler. Unfortunately, this required recerification and, more important, more time and money. It was a decision from which the Super V would never recover. Perhaps foreshadowing the company's demise, its sales manager was killed in Kansas while demonstrating the Super V to a FBO during the summer of 1960. It was believed that the gentleman had a heart attack or stroke while PIC with the flip-over yoke on his side of the cockpit.
To save money, Lawrence Warehouse closed the Oakland Airmotive operation and moved everything to Bay Aviation at SFO in the Fall of 1960. By the time that Bay Aviation was able to obtain a new production certificate (or perhaps it was never obtained), Lawrence was out of money, patience or both. The Super V operation at Bay Aviation started shutting down in the late Spring, 1961.
The Super V shown in Budd Davisson's article below, if converted/manufactured in California, was one of only one or two of the recertified "V"s to be built. Notice that the oil cooler is not visible under the engines. That was the last model built and was probably a production prototype used for FAA certification.
The Beechcraft Heritage Museum owns a Super "V" Bonanza (N3124V). Harold Bost purchased N3124V from the Oregon Aviation Museum, in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and donated it to Bonanza Baron Museum in October, 2004. The FAA Registry lists it as manufactured by Pine Air. In photographs its airframe appears identical, except for larger tail control surfaces, to that of the Super "V" (N551B) owned by the Warbirds of the World Flying Museum in New Mexico. The larger tail of the Beechcraft Heritage Museum airplane may be because the aircraft was damaged in a landing and rebuilt by George Felt of Felt's Flying Services with parts from a 1958 J-35 Bonanza.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 3 passengers
- Length: 25 ft (7.6 m)
- Wingspan: 32 ft 9.5 in (9.995 m)
- Height: 6 ft 6.5 in (1.994 m)
- Empty weight: 2,120 lb (962 kg)
- Gross weight: 3,400 lb (1,542 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 100 US Gallons (379 L)
- Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming O-360-A1C air-cooled flat-four engines, 180 hp (130 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 218 mph (351 km/h; 189 kn)
- Cruise speed: 196 mph (170 kn; 315 km/h) (65% power)
- Stall speed: 65 mph (56 kn; 105 km/h) flaps down
- Range: 1,400 mi (1,217 nmi; 2,253 km)
- Service ceiling: 23,000 ft (7,010 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,550 ft/min (7.9 m/s)
- Taylor 1961, p. 205.
- Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1961.
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