“Why settle for an HJ when you can get a BJ for less money”
With the ever-increasing popularity of personal jets, many people are finding themselves in a position of wanting one but not being able to afford the hefty price tag.
If you fall into this category, you are not alone and it’s not your fault.
Sure, you could have studied a little more and possibly worked a little harder but who was going to drink all that alcohol back in college, and early in your career, and later in your career, and this morning?
You are an everyday Joe and that shouldn’t keep you from owning your own jet and that is where Beechcraft has stepped in to fill this niche area.
In 2019 Beechcraft will deliver its first personal Jet, the Bonanza Jet or BJ as it is nicknamed at Beech HQ.
Beech appears to be attempting to get a share of the Honda Jet market with their slogan “Why settle for an HJ when you can get a BJ for less money?”
This is a jet for every man. Every man that deserves a jet not because he works hard but because he really wants one and back in the 60s, they said we would all have stuff like this.
So, you skipped classes, dropped out of college, experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, did hard time for being a drug mule, never held a job for more than a month, and invested all of your life savings into the Flow Bee haircutting system in the 80s only to lose it all because people didn’t see the genius in it.
That alone shouldn’t keep you from owning your own personal Jet and Beechcraft doesn’t think so either. We asked the company to provide us with some stats on their newest aircraft. We were directed to “Gus” a 54-year-old test pilot at Beechcraft and he had this to say: “The Beechcraft BJ-50 maxes out at 425 kts true. It can climb easily to FL380 but warns it isn’t pressurized so pilot beware. It will carry 3012 lbs. useful load but it’s only a 4-seater.”
Gus said “It runs on Jet-A or Mogas but if you put low lead in it, it pings like a M-Effer” We asked about the auto pilot and Gus replied stating it doesn’t have a true autopilot but more of a semi-automatic pilot. “It doesn’t just turn on and stay on, you have to keep turning it on over and over. This keeps the pilot engaged. After all, this is a real plane for real pilots. We’re Beechcraft Dammit! We build planes for MEN!” he exclaimed.
Gus was visibly agitated but we asked one more question before leaving the factory; “Are there and drawbacks or weaknesses in this new Jet?” The response was interesting.
Gus sat down, rubbed his chin and said “Well… The stall speed is a little on the high side…seems this plane stalls as low as 300 kts. Damn thing is just stalling all the time, all over the place. Up-Down-Up-Down. Seems the only time this plane isn’t halfway into a stall/spin is when its sitting on the ramp and even then, that gear looks like it could fold up at any second. It’s a good bird, just a little dodgy here and there.”
As we retreated from the factory, Gus headed to the BJ for his first test flight in the plane. We observed from a distance. He turned on the master and immediately the stall horn began blaring. Gus shouted from the little plane “Tell my family I love them” and then started the engine.
We had hoped to observe the test flight but we had a quick discussion, and all agreed that we had gotten pretty hungry and there was an Arby’s a block away so we decided to grab lunch instead.
It was good. I had the roast beef sandwich and large curly fries.