• Review: Carenado Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

    Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Meng Yu

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    To Start Off

    Well, the plane looks like it has been just released, although that was 2 years ago, in 2011. The Bonanza A36 will come under the microscope today, as we take a closer look at it. I'll explore areas such as the Exterior, Interior and Flying Dynamics, among others. I hope you enjoy the review, and let's begin!

    Background Information On The Aircraft

    Before I go into the review, let's get some background information on this aircraft:

    The Beechcraft Bonanza is an American general aviation aircraft introduced in 1947 by The Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. As of 2010, it is still being produced by Hawker Beechcraft, and has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history. More than 17,000 Bonanzas of all variants have been built.

    First conceived in the late 1950s as a lower cost derivative of the Vtail Bonanza, the conventional tail Debonair and Bonanza family remains in production today.

    Compared with the equivalent Model 35, the first model 33 Debonair introduced a conventional three surface tail, a less powerful engine and a more austere interior fit. It first flew on September 14 1959 and was included in Beech's model range the following year.

    (Adapted from Airliners.net)

    Manufacturer Beechcraft
    Engine Teledyne Continental IO-550-B
    Fuselage Length 27.5 feet (8.4 m)
    Wing Span 33.5 feet (10.2 m)
    Max Speed 184 kt
    Cruise Speed 176 kt
    Range 914 nm


    The Bonanza A36 was one of the first Bonanzas to have a conventional tail, with earlier models sporting a V-tail, which honestly, looks a lot cooler than the conventional tail this plane has. Nonetheless, Raytheon Beechcraft did a good job, and this aircraft was rather popular by many airlines, charters, and even the military of several countries. Today, we are able to experience this aircraft even though many of us do not currently hold a pilot's licence, thanks to Carenado for modelling this aircraft.

    First Impressions

    This aircraft gave me mixed emotions when I looked at the product page. Being a Carenado product, it should be of very high quality, but I know very little of the A36, and frankly, all of the Bonanza series. I was not sure if it would be easy to fly, or will I just stall it out on take off. However, I was able to overcome these feelings, and ultimately chose the A36 for review. Now, Let's take a closer look at the add on.


    Exterior wise, this aircraft is really good. The lighting effects are good, and the model is just high quality in general. Let's take a look at a few screen shots. These are pictures of the A36 in Japan Airlines colors:


    Now, onto the general looks of the model. The model looks fantastic, and many elements, including static ones, such as pitot covers and chocks, are available with the model. The model also features dynamics shine, which is also known as light bloom, and detailed lighting. However, all these do not matter if the add on is not even close to looking how the real A36 looks like. As such, I would like to show you some pictures, and you can come up with your own conclusions:



    I have provided plenty of pictures for your viewing reference, and I hope you can get some conclusions about the accuracy of the model. Feel free to share any information you have via the comments below.

    Next, I'll talk about the animations and textures of the model. There are several animations of the model, including doors, and some features inside the cockpit. We'll get to those later in the review. Most notably, is an animation of the back door, similar to that of the Baron 58 in FSX. This is probably the fanciest animation we'll ever find with the model. Perhaps you found more with your flying, but for all the time I got, I only managed to find the main exit and the back door. The textures on the aircraft are also very nice. They are not of High Definition, but they are pretty high quality. There are 4 pre-painted textures, and a blank one, awaiting your artistic touch. I hope this section has been informative enough, and let's move onto the next one!

    Virtual Cockpit/2D Panels

    I did indeed have high hopes for the interior as well. If you notice this interior is different from the ones seen in the pictures above. This is because the cockpit in this package has the G1000 Attitude indicator and heading indicator. Let me start you off with a few screen shots:


    I will first talk about the general look and feel of the virtual cockpit, as well as about the 2D panels, or at least what's included of the 2D panel. The general look and feel of the VC is very nice. The model is extremely high detailed, and there are plenty of animations available inside the virtual cockpit. I would also say that the cockpit is very realistically modelled, and offers the user a very nice experience with the aircraft. The 2D panel is rather left out actually. You will receive a interactive checklist, a GPS, and some other panels such as the item selection panel. This panel will add instrument reflections, static elements, etc. Although the panel (2D) is rather lacking in detail, I would have to say that the virtual cockpit makes it up for the user. I would also agree that not many people use the 2D panel nowadays, so not having it would not make too much of a setback.

    Finally, I would talk about the texturing of the virtual cockpit, as well as any other things I happen to think of, and have not addressed yet. The textures are of high quality, just like how it is on the outside. The lighting on the panel is just awesome. The lights are neat and clean, and Carenado even included shadows with the instruments when you turn on the lights. I would also like to add that the virtual cockpit is very frame rate friendly, and passenger views in the cabin are also included, thus raising the realism factor of the awesome aircraft.

    I think that's all for the virtual cockpit. I'll leave you with the developer's notes before moving onto the next section on flying dynamics.



    • Original Aspen EFD1000 installed.
    • KFC225 Autopilot installed.
    • 3D gauges.
    • Reality XP integration with 3D Gauges.
    • Fresnel shader maps allow realistic reflections and lighting.
    • Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft.
    • Two original Carenado GNS430 installed.
    • Customizable panel for controlling windows transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and sights props.
    • Pop up A36 manual with normal, emergency checklist and performance tables.
    • Tested by real pilots.
    • Realistic night lights effect on gauges and virtual cockpit.
    • External and internal dynamic shadows, volumetric normal mapping, specular mapping and bloom lights.
    • Polygon optimized model.
    • Friendly FPS.
    • Interactive virtual cockpit.
    • Full moving parts: Ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps, rolling wheels and trim tab
    • Animated sections such as: propeller, doors, windows, sunvisors.
    • Lights: Navigation lights, landing and taxi lights.
    • 3D modeled pilots, cockpit area and passenger cabin area.
    • Separate switches for instruments lights and cabin light.
    • Toggle yoke.
    • Real behavior compared to the real airplane.
    • Real weight and balance.

    Included in the package:

    • 4 liveries.
    • 1 white livery.
    • 2 models (one pilot and two pilots).
    • Normal and Emergency Procedures - Performance tables PDF.
    • Quick reference table PDF.
    • Operations Tips and Reality XP Integration PDF.
    • Carenado GNS430 Users Guide PDF.
    • Autopilot KFC224 PDF
    • EFD100 Manual PDF
    • Recommended Settings PDF.


    Flying Dynamics

    I feel that writing a big passage would and can be rather boring for some reader, since majority of the time, I would just be reporting that everything is fine, and it is a good aircraft. Thus, I would like to make a table of everything, and thus you can get to the "main points" of a flight, and the pointers. Hope it makes the review a little more interesting, and if you see anything that is not included, feel free to point things out in the comments below, but please, phrase it in a way so that it would sound constructive. Thanks, and enjoy the rest of the review.



    • Complete set of gauges
    • Allows for full start-up using only the gauges
    • Engine would shutdown when you first load the simulator, a problem evident on some other Carenado aircraft
    • Engine Magnetos switch does not seem to be working, although it does seem clickable.


    • Takes corners tightly
    • The speeds during taxi can build up rather fast
    • Brakes are effective
    • Rest of the things are OK


    • Smooth accleration
    • Aircraft stays straight if there is no input, and aircraft is pre-aligned before throttling up
    • Smooth rotation
    • Engine accelerates aircraft rather quickly
    • Does not like to drift like some aircraft

    Climbout, cruise, and descent:

    • Easy to level off
    • Feels light but steady
    • Can get tossed by the wind a little
    • Overall, quite easy to control


    • Aircraft can catch the wind a little
    • Aircraft will not float if left on its own
    • Some control required to maintain glideslope


    • Aircraft does float a little
    • Is a good platform for training yourself on how to land better
    • Very nice animation for the wheels, and the flaps does indeed respond well when the input is made (fast response)
    • Good brakes


    • Nothing much for this aircraft really


    Summing Up

    I would personally give this aircraft 4/5 stars, as I do see very high quality, however, I would like to penalize the add on for the 2D panel not being complete, even if it was just a main panel. However, I guess not many people would mind, since not everyone would use the 2D panel, and more and more people are using the VC nowadays. I guess it sums up out review then! If you need to leave me a message, please do use the email address below, and do leave your comments in the comments section below, and it just adds more discussion to the review. Have a great day ahead and thanks for reading!

    Buy Here

    Meng Yu
    [email protected]

    Learn More Here

    1. boleyd's Avatar
      boleyd -
      Shouldn't it drift to the left on takeoff?
    1. kingnorris's Avatar
      kingnorris -
      This was my first Carenado plane, and I love it! Decent review, overall.
    1. mdlvas's Avatar
      mdlvas -
      The link is wrong in the "Learn More Here." It takes you to BlackBox - Airbus A330 Xtreme Prologue.
    1. 7hepro's Avatar
      7hepro -
      Quote Originally Posted by mdlvas View Post
      The link is wrong in the "Learn More Here." It takes you to BlackBox - Airbus A330 Xtreme Prologue.
      Oh, sorry about that...
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