FlightAware Discussions

Beech Bonanza vs Piper Saratoga

What plane do you like more, and what are the pros and cons of each?

I voted for the Bo, because over all its the nicer plane.

The saratoga seems more comfortable in the front, is cheaper to buy, and has cheaper parts.

The Bo is better looking, more comfortable for the passengers, handles better, breaks less often. However, OMG there are some expensive parts! Also, there is a 550 conversion for the Bo (turbine too, though i don’t really get that one).

Since I have no kids, I really don’t need either of these planes. If money were not an issue, I would like to restore and own an old V-tail.

range: toga
fit and finish: bonanza
resale: bonanza
cabin space: toga
handling: bonanza
beech bonanza design: simply outdated…winnner: toga’

Toga with the Lycoming TIO-540-S1AD in my oh so humble opinion is a flying fire hazard…not to mention the fact that it has only ONE mag. :confused:

Really? One mag?

DEAR LORD!!! I think Cirrus has been smoking crack… I’m guessing that he was comparing the Turbo Saratoga to the normally aspirated Bonaza. The Saratoga HP is slower ( 166kts high-speed cruise vs the Bonanza’s 176kts) and has less range than the Bonanza ( 859nm vs. 919nm). Even the Turbo Saratoga doesn’t outrun the Bonanza until you get above 10,000’, and even then it’s only by 4 kts (at 10,000’), and it has only 30nm more range than the Bonanza. As for the Bonanza being outdated, I wouldn’t call the " 'Toga" a new design. The Lance was introduced 1975, and the Cherokee 6 dates back to 1965. The Saratoga is hardly a new airplane. The Pipers will haul a load and get you there, but they’ve got nothing on Beech for comfort and quality. Besides, haven’t you ever heard anyone say " I couldn’t get an airplane, so I brought a Piper instead."

Here’s where to find the numbers:
newpiper.com/aircraft/sarato … ations.asp

newpiper.com/aircraft/sarato … ations.asp

raytheonaircraft.com/beechcr … mance.aspx

If you want to fly without oxygen, you might as well skip turbo’s.

There is a turbo conversion for the Bo as well, I believe. At any rate, I would not choose any of them over the other based on speed. Do a flight plan and you will see what I mean.

well, are U looking at a 6 seat Bo vs. the Saratoga? If you are looking 4 seat Bo then the comparison is not even. If you want normally aspirated then I’d look for an IO-550 Bo - then you might actually make it to TBO. Most Lycs, if they are properly cooled, will make TBO easily.

Bo parts cost a fortune. Keep that in mind if you ever need airframe / gear parts.

I did the whole analysis thingy a couple years ago, realized I really only needed 3 seats when full fuel and with 4 seats full did not need full fuel or any bags, so I saved $75-100k and bought a Bellanca Turbo Viking, 160-175kts, coupled 430, GTX330 for TIS, 160kts @ 13.7goh and 167kts @ 15gph.

people don’t buy bonanza’s for speed. They buy them so they won’t disintegrate in the air like a cirrus :laughing: :laughing: You would have to say though the bonanza’s are best handling plane and best built plane of all GA

Best Built

best handling
col 350

You might have to say that, but I wouldn’t. Traditionally, you would have been correct about quality; however, recent years have seen an increase in quality at many competitors with the late model Bo’s not being up to the standards of yesteryear. I would put Mooney up against them easily. Also, since many of the planes on the market today have been practically rebuilt since new, the initial quality becomes less and less a factor.

As for handling, I would put Mooney on par (better feel, worse balance) and Diamond and Tiger ahead of the Bo. Haven’t got to fly a new Columbia, but I am betting they would win as well.

Things change, don’t get me started on Mercedes…

" You would have to say though the bonanza’s are best handling plane and best built plane of all GA"

Wrong. Simply Wrong.

Go fly a Bellanca Viking. Look at the craftsmanship of the wing, the spar and the plywood used in the cockpit.

The Viking is the best handling GA aircraft without any comparison.

The Viking is the best built, strongest and safest GA Aircraft in the world, bar none. There was a Viking accident where a pilot without a current BFR or medical ran out of fuel in Sarasota recently. He landed on the street and took out, meaning snapped off, TWO wooden power poles. and then walked away. I DARE you to do that in any spam can or new-fangled plastic composite airplane.

The Viking is also the least expensive 160kt, 300hp, retractable in the world.

Except for the above, your post is accurate. . .

I am stuck in this exact debate right now. I want a fast, agile, four seater which can hold 4 tall adults comfortably. It does not exist. My back seat passengers will not tolerate 3 hours with thier knees jammed into the seat back. So I am looking at the Saratoga and the Bonanza. No doubt the Bonanza handles better and has better fit and finish. It is also significantly more expensive to purchase and maintain. Still debating.

Oh and I love internet forums. The 5 post rule is so true. The question was about Saratoga vs Bonanza and by post 5 the discussion is about Vikings, Mooneys, Cirruses and Columbias. I have flown the Mooney and Columbia, no way 4 adults can wedge into those. The Cirrus has more rear leg room, but umm, no thanks.

So, buy a Saratoga, take out 2 seats, and you have a 4 seater which can carry 4 tall and heavier than standard adults, their luggage and full fuel and may even get you 4 seater insurance rates if you agree to leave the 2 seats out of the airplane. . . I talked to a carrier about that when I was investigating getting a Lance. . .

A bo will cost more to acquire, insure and maintain, and do little to get you there any faster in the real world. Unless you get an IO-550 - then you will cruise in mid cruise about 170-180kts . . .at 20gph . . .

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Funny how the undisputed best airplane is always the one that the poster owns. After all, why would we have bought that plane if it wasn’t.

Been trying to stay out of this one,But I up until sept when I lost my medical flew a 2000 Saratoga TC. I did not own it!I also have considerable time in an A36. No question in my mind about the quality differences in the two. The Beechcraft wins hands down. The 2000 Saratoga with new paint, factory new engine because of the Lyc crank problems cost $324K with ALL the whistles and bells.
I always FP 170Kts above 10,000 ft and it works. All that considered, Sara wins in My opinion!

Real funny

I should contemplate who has the best selling airplane in the world???
cough…cir cough…rrus

um…you spelled cirrus wrong

Even without the seats, the Saratoga is a bit cramped in the back for tall passengers because the seats are not on a level floor. However, it is wider than the Bo. If the two upfront are not bothered by rubbing elbows in the Bo, then you will likely find it more comfortable overall. The bottom line on comfort is that it costs very little to sit in the plane, and that is the only way without measuring lots of body parts and filling out a 3 page questionnaire to know (and even that is not certain as all bets are off after a couple hours). Alternately, look at one of the big Cessna’s.

You should have asked that first. If you are not specific, you have no right to whine about the 5 post rule!!! :laughing:

Having been competing with Cirrus for airplane sales, I will have to tell you that it’s not the worst plane ever. It has many good traits. Neither is the Viking the best (though the owners are fanatical, and wood is stronger than steel). The viking is a real budget buy for the performance though.

The worst plane would likely not be one we would all recognize, and the best is not the same for everyone.

PS The crank problem shouldn’t really be blamed on the Saratoga, especially if you are then going to praise Lycoming.

Cirrus - the new Doctor-Killer

Another good new marketing line . .

Except for Lidle - haven’t all of the Cirrus crashes involved either doctors or real estate developers? Just thinning the herd.

More facts to confuse you!

If you were looking at new planes, see this:

raytheonaircraft.com/include … px?id=6939

Don’t get excited about the price just yet. The price was a hoax before, as they would offer anyone serious a $550k price last year.

Do take a look at the added elbow room, it was badly needed.