November 11, 2009
Jan. 5 - After weeks of combing through the classifieds and one aborted attempt at purchasing an older Bonanza that turned out to be stricken with serious corrosion, we found N14422 in San Diego last fall. A 1966 V35 model, the airplane is a bit rough around the edges, but solid all around. A month later, AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Steve Ells delivered the airplane to Tornado Alley Turbo Inc. in Ada, Oklahoma, for an annual inspection. Other than minor corrosion, a nosewheel that needed replacement, and minor wear and tear items, the airframe has been determined to be in good shape. The stock 285-horsepower Continental IO-520 engine has been removed and will be replaced with a 300-hp IO-550 engine. Superior Air Parts of Dallas has agreed to supply one of its Superior Certified Millennium engines for the project. The engine buildup, final assembly, and testing work is being done by Western Skyways Inc. in Montrose, Colorado. The engine was shipped to Ada earlier this week. Technicians at Tornado Alley Turbo will install their STCed Whirlwind II turbonormalizer package. This consists of a heavy-duty stainless steel exhaust system with automatically controlled wastegate, a newly overhauled Garrett turbocharger, a Generation II folded flow intercooler, and other high-quality components. The installation will then be tested, and adjusted as necessary for optimum operation. Later in the year, we plan to add Meggitt Avionics electronic navigation displays, a complete stack of the latest Garmin avionics, a TKS anti-ice system, new paint and interior, and a host of other refinements to make this the highest flying, most refined sweepstakes airplanes we've ever created. Check back often for updates and read about the project every other month in AOPA Pilot, starting with the February issue.
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