November 11, 2009
Oct. 11 - The Sweepstakes Bonanza is definitely a cross-country airplane. Yours truly, AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Steve Ells, covered the 597 miles from Mineral Wells, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, in 3.6 hours, averaging 165 knots across the ground. This weekend, the Bonanza is a featured show airplane at the American Bonanza Society's thirty-third annual convention.
The last time I flew N2001B was before Dennis Wolter and his staff at Air Mod installed the new interior. The seats and sidewalls are now covered in soft leather that happens to be the color of my favorite ice cream concoction - butterscotch malt.
In May I flew the Bonanza from West Chicago to Salina, Kansas. The new instrument panel in front of my eyes combined with the tattered interior gave the Bonanza the look and feel of a partially completed project. When I snugged the door closed before my takeoff from Mineral Wells, I took a minute to look around. The new airplane smell, the finish, and the comfort of the interior made me appreciate how far along the project has come.
On October 13 I'll again climb aboard and wing my way west back to Mineral Wells, the home of Meggitt/S-Tec. On November 6 an AOPA Pilot editor will fly it to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for AOPA Expo, which is scheduled from November 8 through 10. The Bonanza is a great airplane. And, of course, it could be yours.
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