[HOW-TO] Best Practices to Fly Bonanza G36

When it comes to piston engine and you want to go fast and in style and carrying large loads, nothing in the market comes close to a Bonanza. It is, as they say, the Cadillac of the skies. I teach a lot on the Bonanza’s and of all the planes I’ve flown in my life, there is just a joy to fly the Bonanza’s.

The G36 in MSFS is a Normally Aspirated engine model. Meaning it will lose performance at higher altitudes compared to a Turbocharged or Turbo normalized Bonanza.

Let’s start with the Basics. Speeds you should know by memory for this plane

Vx – Best Angle of Climb 84kts
Vy – Best Rate of Climb 100kts
Va – Maneuvering Speed 140kts
Vfe – Max Flap Extended Speed Approach Flap – 145kts, Full – 124kts
Vle - Max Landing Gear Extended Speed 154kts
Vs – Stall Speed 68kts
Vso – Stall Speed in Landing Configuration 61kts
Glide Speed 110kts
Rotation Speed 73kts
Cruise Climb Speed 110kts
Approach to Land Speed 80kts

Lets go through the Power Settings and Mixture Settings for Each Phase of the Flight. The PAC (Power, Altitude, Configuration) chart below is a good way to fly the airplane. This allows you to know and have a set of numbers that will give you the performance you can expect from the airplane. It’s a very handy tool IRL flying.

I’ve modified the chart a bit to include all the items in one Table so its easier to consume and read hopefully.

Condition MP (Throttle) RPM (Prop) LEAN (Mixture) ATTITUDE KIAS GEAR FLAPS TRIM
Initial Climb (1000 ft) FULL Max RPM RICH +10 85 UP on positive rate UP +3 – Takeoff

Cruise Climb

Condition MP (Throttle) RPM (Prop) LEAN (Mixture) ATTITUDE GEAR FLAPS KIAS TRIM
> 1000ft 25” 2500 RICH +7 UP UP 110 As needed
1000ft -> 5000ft 25” 2500 20-22 gph +7 UP UP 110 As needed
5000ft -> 8000ft FULL 2500 18-20 gph +7 UP UP 110 As needed
Above 8000ft FULL 2500 16-18 gph +7 UP UP 110 As needed

Cruise

Condition MP (Throttle) RPM (Prop) LEAN (Mixture) ATTITUDE GEAR FLAPS KIAS TRIM
< 6000ft FULL 2500 15gph Level UP UP 155 0 or -2
8000ft FULL 2500 13gph Level UP UP 150 0 or -2
10,000ft FULL 2500 12gph Level UP UP 145 0 or -2
12,000ft FULL 2500 11gph Level UP UP 137 0 or -2

Descent, Approach and Land

Condition MP (Throttle) RPM (Prop) LEAN (Mixture) ATTITUDE GEAR FLAPS KIAS TRIM
Enroute Descent 15” – 18” As needed 2500 Enrich below 3000ft -2 UP UP Green Arc As Needed
Approach (Level flight) 17” 2500 As is 0 to +2 UP UP 105-110 +3 to +5
Precision Descent (ILS) 15” - 17” 2500 RICH 0 to +2 DOWN APPROACH 105-110 +3 to +5
Non Precision Descent 13” – 15” 2500 RICH 0 to +2 DOWN APPROACH 105-110 +3 to +5
Level MDA 20”-22” 2500 RICH 0 to +2 DOWN APPROACH 105-110 +3 to +5
Land 15” As Needed 2500 RICH 0 to +2 DOWN DOWN 80 +3 to +5
Missed Approach FULL 2500 RICH +7 UP UP 105-110 +3 to +5

Notes

Takeoff

Short Field / Soft Field Takeoff – You can use Approach flaps if needed.

High Altitude Airport – Just before Takeoff,

  • Full Throttle, Full RPM, Lean the mixture till you get the Max RPM.
  • Use that configuration and then Takeoff.
  • Cowl Flaps – Open
  • Flaps – Up. Almost all Bonanza’s you would take off with Flaps Up.

W&B – In the Real Bonanza you should always do a W&B for Departure and Landing. Depending on the Weight after a long flight the CG will be aft and you have to be careful not to get too aft as that will make the plane pretty unstable on landing. i.e. it will be very sensitive to pitch up motions. Based on what is modeled in MSFS, I think it looks relatively safe.

Instrument Approaches

Precision Approach – Descent is typically 500 – 600 fpm
Non Precision Approaches – Descent is typically 800 – 1000 fpm.

Typically reducing 1" of manifold gives you around 100fpm descent…

Pattern Work
So what we covered so far is all the key phases of the flight and power settings on average. How would we fly a standard pattern? This is a fast airplane. As soon as you pitch for level flight – watch that airspeed increase. So here’s what I do if you want to do some pattern work for say X-wind landing practice etc.

Phase of Pattern Throttle RPM Mixture Flaps Gear
Upwind (500ft AGL) Full Full Rich Up Up
Crosswind ( climb to 1000ft AGL) 25” 2500 Rich Up Up
Downwind (level 1000ft AGL) 20” 2500 Rich Approach (midfield) Down (midfield)
Base 15” 2500 Rich Approach Down
Final 15” – 18” 2500 Rich Down Down

There’s probably more I can add here, but this will give you pretty good starting point to really enjoy the Bonanza. If you see anything that is glaringly wrong or looking for other things to add, let me know…

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Thanks for the information,

I have around 500 hrs in real life in a Bonanza you should aim for 65% power in cruise

eg 24/2200
or 23/2300
or 22/2400 which I prefer as its the most achievable at cruise levels
All are 65%

The mixture must be adjusted and a new peak found every time you change altitude by 500 ft.

TAS expect 165 - 170 kts dependant on load and altitude.
Best performance will be achieved between 8000 and 9000 ft

Fuel Flow If operated in accordance with these recommendations, at 65% power and properly leaned then a fuel flow should be 53 lt/hr if in doubt use 60 lt/hr

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Pardon, but what you mean by W&B is something related to Weight and Balance? What it is done?

load from the front to the back is best practice in rl in an A36 don’t exceed MTOW

Thanks @Darrlyn1971 - what kind of Bonanza? I’ve used 23/2300 in the past as well and I think that is a good setting to use, but I think my experience has been around 160kts I think if I remember…

Lately, I’ve found that its easier to just keep it at 2500 rpms and full throttle especially at cruise and then setting up for approach, so you are controlling the manifold only (one less thing to think about in IMC) . I think fuel burn is an extra 1.2 GPH to 1.5GPH – depending on who you are - worth it for an extra 10kts

I can add a section to the table with 23/2300 rpm as another option to fly as well. 53lts/hr = 14gph??

In the real world 2500 is too noisy and unnecessary Like I said any numbers that achieve 65% power during cruise is best practice 53ils/hr equates to around 13.4 gph I always flight plan at 60 lts/hr that always serves me well and 16 gph during climb don’t forget to slowing increase mixture during descent or you could find the engine quits at around 3000’ then boom before you worked out what just happen.

You got some of these tables for other planes ?

No, I’ve not had the time to do it for others.

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