Beechcraft Bonanza "Waikiki Beach" - (scan - 1997)

Bonanza appeared shortly after end of WWII and immediately gained distinction as Cadillac of single-engine, light-plane aircraft. Waikiki Beach was fourth production aircraft. Was one of several early Bonanzas used for flight test. For some tests, was given a wild paint scheme and equipped with radio controls for unmanned flight. Dived to over 300 mph with subsequent "high g" pullouts without structural failure or permanence deformation. For long distance flights, only modifications made were fixtures and tubing for extra fuel tanks--126-gal tank in cabin and 2 62- gal wing-tip tanks. Bonanza easily recognized by V-tail configuration which was tested during waning years of WWII and found to be most promising. Important advantages of design were reduction in weight and in number of parts and reduced drag. Control response of V-tail equivalent to conventional tail of 40% greater area. Bonanza still in continuous production although with a conventional tail. As Waikiki Beach, was first light plane to fly non- stop from Hawaii to US mainland, Jan 49. In Mar 49, set another record from Hickam Field HI to Teterboro NJ going non-stop in 36 hrs 1 min. Following national tour, aircraft turned over to NASM. In 1951, returned to Beech and refurbished for round-the-world flight and rechristened Friendship Flame. Congressman Peter Mack departed Springfield IL 7 Oct 51 and visited 45 major cities in 33 countries. After 113 days and 33,000 miles, returned to Springfield 19 Apr 52. Again refurbished by Beech before being returned to NASM 1975. In recognition of its 2 significant flights, plane carries Waikiki Beach markings on left side of fuselage and Friendship Flame markings on right.

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