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Carenado V35B Bonanza
For FSX Designed and made by Carenado
Reviewed by Andrew Wang
September 2011

History/Geek Stuff
“Designed by a team led by Ralph Harmon, the model 35 Bonanza was a relatively fast, low-wing monoplane at a time when most light aircraft were still made of wood and fabric. The Model 35 featured retractable landing gear, and its signature V-tail (equipped with a combination elevator-rudder called a ruddervator), which made it both efficient and the most distinctive private aircraft in the sky. The prototype 35 Bonanza made its first flight on 22 December 1945, with the first production aircraft debuting as 1947 models. The first 30-40 Bonanzas produced had fabric-covered flaps and ailerons, after which, those surfaces were covered with magnesium alloy sheet.

In 1982, the V-tail Bonanza was dropped from production, though more than 6,000 V-tail models are still flying today. In general aviation circles, the epithet "fork-tailed doctor killer" became a familiar denigration of the V-tail model.

The conventional-tail Model 33 continued in production until 1995. Still built today is the Model 36 Bonanza, a longer-bodied, straight-tail variant of the original design, introduced in 1968.”

The installation/download was smooth and silky, no problems came up at all, except for maybe the download time. The file size is 62 megabytes, which for me took about a half hour due to my internet being not up to speed. It was a direct download, at least from where I bought it (simMarket), and no registration key was needed, which was a little strange in my opinion. Just run the executable file after download, and follow the instructions in which you can install your aircraft. Installation itself was fairly fast.

First Impressions & Listed Features
Carenado lists these as features that go in the V35B Bonanza:

  • Original GNS 430 included

  • Original HQ digital stereo sound recorded from the original aircraft

  • Customizable panel for controlling, windows transparency, 3D Knobs and eyes candies (wheel chokes, pitot cover and sights prop) Original V35 cockpit with leather seats and custom wood inserts on interior wall panel

  • FSX features: external dynamic shadows, internal dynamic shadows on VC, volumetric normal mapping, specular mapping and bloom lights

  • Realistic night lights effect on virtual cockpit

  • Polygon optimized model

  • Friendly FPS

  • Autopilot installed

  • Pop up V35 Bonanza manual with performance charts, normal & emergency check lists

  • Interactive virtual cockpit

  • Full moving parts: ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps, rolling wheels and trim tab

  • Animated sections such as: propeller, doors, windows, sun visor, copilot seat, vibrating antenna, cowl flaps, pilot and exhaust pipe

  • Realistic light effects on gauges

  • Nightlight effects on panel

  • Separate switches for instruments lights and dome light

  • Toggle yoke

  • Real behavior compared to the real airplane

  • Real weight and balance

  • 4 paint schemes

  • 2 models

  • Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF

For my first launch of the aircraft, I chose to go to Lihue Airport in Hawaii (PHLI). I recommend first choosing and launching your location in the default Trike Ultralight or Cessna 172, and then load the Bonanza from in-simulation. The first thing I focused on was the VC; very smooth lines, and was quite pleasing in the visual aspect. As I shifted to spot view to look at the exterior, I immediately fell in love with this addon. The external fuselage was VERY detailed, and this part was where I thought this addon shone, especially the distinctive V-tail.

Virtual Cockpit/Interior
I was most impressed with the virtual cockpit and the interior of the airplane. The level of detail was amazing, and it was clear the Carenado had put a lot of effort into making this plane’s inside enjoyable. The gauges and lines were clear and crisp; almost nothing was blurred. The custom gauges were a nice touch; nothing was generic.


Also, the level of interactivity within the VC was superb, with everything down to the last detail. I find it annoying when a default aircraft’s VC switches are sitting there, but not doing any function at all. Not here. Every single switch I saw could be maneuvered in some way. This is how a virtual cockpit is supposed to be like.

The GPS and gauges worked like clockwork, no misinformation was given (LOL, like who would do that) at all. The radio also was fully interactive.
Carenado even put extreme detail into the seats and back interior; you can see the individual stitches on the leather, and the spots on the seat indicating it was plush.

Lighting in the virtual cockpit was also very pleasant. The lights cast a soft glow over the instruments, making flying a breeze during the night. Frankly, it also made me feel cozy!

This is where this addon really makes its mark. Again, I was just blown away by the level of detail and “meat and potatoes” that Carenado put in. The lines are smooth, no blurred textures, and the paint schemes are unique and eye-attractive. It is without a doubt that I say
that the representation of the Bonanza in this addon is very appealing to the eye.

If you zoom in, you can see the individual bolts on the wing and fuselage. Even they are not blurred; it’s amazing that Carenado even focused on those small things.


Lighting was a new experience for me. I was used to the old default nav/strobe lights, with just a ball of colored light. Not here. The strobes/navs/anti-collisions were carefully shaped so that when they flashed, it would be a very realistic representation of the real thing. When the lights were off, you could even see the INSIDE of the light: the wiring, the bulb… I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw that. Picture and copyright by “Plexi1” of Reason of use being not being able to get a good angle myself.

During the night, the lighting was very good too. Looking from the exterior, the interior could be easily seen, and also with the extreme detail; it looked like Carenado had left no stone unturned in detail with the interior lighting, even from the outside. Of course, the main fuselage was dark, because there were no lights there, which made seeing the liveries a bit difficult. But since this being a realism aspect, I deduct no points from the addon for this.

This was where the “small things count” area of the addon came in. As Carenado promised, almost everything that could move based on the aircraft could move, down to the last, almost insignificant, things: the exhaust pipe vibrating, the antenna vibrating, etc. The animations were the “icing on the cake”, you might say. And a very “fancy icing” at that.

Flying Dynamics
Although I am not a real world Bonanza pilot, I say that this addon handled realistically. I tried the aircraft out in all types of environments, from calm to stormy to windy, and it handled like it should (no barrel rolls [hint hint, default A321], no extreme sensitivity, etc.). While I cannot fully critic on this aspect because, as I said before, I am not a real world Bonanza pilot, this addon wasn’t unrealistic in flying dynamics at all.


The sounds were excellent. A welcome change from default prop sounds, you could almost hear the individual blades chopping the air. I actually went on to YouTube, and searched up Bonanza takeoffs, landings, and sounds. The soundest sounded almost exactly the same, including the sound for initial touchdown (the sound when the wheels touch the runway). So this part of the addon, I had no problems with.

While getting a really good looking aircraft is well and all, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting really horrible FPS with it. Well, that wasn’t the problem for me (system specs at the end of the review). I normally get 30 FPS default max settings (every slider at the top), so when I ran the V35B Bonanza at max settings, it dropped down to about 25 average, with the low points at 20 FPS, which was acceptable. However, I toned down the weather a bit, and graphics from “Very High” to “High”, and it immediately popped back up to 30 FPS average, and it was steadier. So I can say with confidence that this addon does not hit your FPS like other addons.


The Bonanza, in both real world and in this addon, is a very unique aircraft. I feel that Carenado put a lot of effort into making this as realistic and as enjoyable to fly as possible. The subtle details ultimately paid off.


  • Great lights

  • Fantastic exterior

  • Realistic sounds



  • None that I can think of!

Therefore, I award this addon a 10/10.
Congratulations Carenado!

Review machine Spec:
Intel Core i3-2100 @ 3.1 GHz (no OC, dual core) (Sandy Bridge) | 4Gb Ram |NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti Graphics
|ASUS P8H67-M LE | Windows 7 64bit |FSX Deluxe with Acceleration