Joel Aiken (RDU)
(Public Guest)
01/12/07 11:50 AM
Re: Bonanza or Columbia

What a great reply.
I like all your comments about the strength of composite aircarft, the fixed gear "advantage", etc.
For some reason I have ignored the Cirrus in my aircraft search. I'll do some looking there, too.
I have been definitely leaning towards the Columbia 350 (or 400) over the Bonanza. The advantages of the Bonanza in my mind are the extra space in back, known quality and the long history of the tried-and-true airframe. But the Columbia is faster, considerably less expensive, still quality-built, and presumably less expensive to maintain (fixed gear, and no rivets...) From your post it sounds like composites are really strong and resistant to aging or weathering.
I've asked the Columbia sales people about the baggage space and here are his replies:

Total useful load on the Columbia 350 and Bonanza A36 are comparable, provided you are comparing them with comparable aircraft equipment. However, the baggage compartment in the Columbia is rated for 120 lbs capacity whereas the Bonanza is rated for 70 lbs.
Space wise, if you are comparing the true baggage space of the Columbia 350 and Bonanza A36, they are very comparable in cubic feet of space.
consider the Bonanza is going to burn a little more fuel per hour, i.e. 1 to 1.5 GPH more. And the Columbia 350 has much greater range with full fuel as you can carry 98 useable vs 74 useable in the A36 and you are burning a little less GPH in the Columbia.

Thanks again for your comments!

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