37¢ 35 Bonanza
American Advances in Aviation
Issue Date: July 29, 2005
City: Oshkosh, WI
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 10.5
The Beech Aircraft Corporation built more than 7,000 combat aircraft during World War II. After the war, Beech introduced the 35 Bonanza, a modern, high-performance, personal airplane. At a time when most light planes were still made of wood and fabric, the 35 Bonanza was all-metal. It was very fast, with retractable gear, and a distinctive V-shaped tail to reduce drag.
Beech sponsored two flights to showcase its airplane. Captain William P. “Bill” Odom set two distance records in the Waikiki Beech, a 35 Bonanza modified with extra fuel tanks.
Odom set one record with a 2,900-mile flight from Hawaii to the continental U.S. Then, as his log book states for March 6-8, 1949: “X-country record-breaking flight: 36 hours 01 minutes, Honolulu to Teterboro, New Jersey.” The flight was 5,273 miles. At 19.4 miles per gallon, the trip cost less than $75 for fuel and oil.
As he flew over Ohio, Odom used an electric razor and put on a clean shirt. When he arrived at Teterboro, he was clean-shaven and neatly dressed.
More than 1,400 orders for Bonanzas were placed even before the start of production, at a price of $7,975. Variations of the original 35 Bonanza design continued in production to modern times.