The Beechcraft Baron is a light, twin-engined piston aircraft originally developed by Beech Aircraft Corporation and currently manufactured by the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, an Onex Holding Corporation. The Baron is a variant of the Beechcraft Bonanza, and was introduced in 1961. Beech also offered a Twin Bonanza line, which featured some design commonality with the Bonanza but in all respects were entirely different airplanes and could not be considered to be true "twin bonanzas".
The early Baron 55, 55A and 55B were fitted with 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470 engines and had gross weights of 4880 to 5100 lb (2,200 to 2,300 kg). These had a typical cruise speed of 190 knots (350 km/h) at 7000 ft (2100 m), and came with 116 or 136 US gallon (440 or 515 L) fuel tanks.
The 55C, 55D and 55E models had an increased cruise speed of 200 knots (370 km/h) due to the 285 hp (213 kW) Continental IO520s. The gross weights of these later models increased to 5300 lb (2400 kg). They were about a foot (0.3 m) longer than the 55B Barons, and came with 136 or 166 US gallon (515 or 628 L) fuel tanks.
Model 55 Barons were produced from 1961 to 1983, and some 3155 were produced.