Beckner Kinlen Beechcraft A36 Bonanza Spirit of NM
Spirit of New Mexico
First Albuquerque Visit: 1976
The Beechcraft Bonanza is a general aviation aircraft introduced in 1947 by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. The six-seater, single-engine aircraft is still being produced by Beechcraft and has been in continuous production longer than any other aircraft in history. More than 17,000 Bonanzas of all variants have been produced in both the distinctive V-tail and the conventional tail configuration. The Model 36 Bonanza is a stretched version of the Model 33 and a longer-bodied, straight-tail variant of the original design that was introduced in 1968.
The A36 was built from 1970 to 2005 and is a Model 36 with a deluxe interior, a new fuel system, a higher takeoff weight, and redesigned instrument panel and controls. Approximately 2128 were built.
The “Powder Puff Derby” was the name given to an annual transcontinental air race for women pilots that was inaugurated in 1947. For the first two years it was called the “Jacqueline Cochran All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race”. It was first called the “Powder Puff Derby” by humorist and aviation advocate Will Rogers in reference to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby. In 1977, plagued with rising costs and insurance premiums along with reduced corporate sponsorship, the derby competition came to an end after thirty years.
Roz Kinien and Claudia Beckner flew the Beechcraft Model A36, N8577R, named the “Spirit of New Mexico”, in the last Powder Puff Derby. The aircraft was borrowed from Roger Golder of ARCOR Inc.
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