The Aero Commander 500 family is a series of light-twin piston-engined and turboprop aircraft
Aero Commander U4B family
The idea for the Commander light business twin was conceived by Ted Smith, a project engineer at the Douglas Aircraft Company. Working part-time after hours throughout 1944, a group of A-20 engineers formed the Aero Design and Engineering Company to design and build the proposed aircraft with a layout similar to their A-20 bomber. Originally, the new company was going to build three pre-production aircraft, but as the first aircraft was being built, they decided to build just one prototype. The final configuration was completed in July 1946 and was designated the Model L3805.
Registered NX1946, the prototype first flew on 23 April 1948. The L3805 accommodated up to five people and was powered by two Lycoming O-435-A piston engines., it was an all-metal high-wing monoplane with retractable undercarriage using components from a Vultee BT-13 Valiant. The market segment planned for this aircraft to be sold to small feeder airliner firms and was originally designed to carry seven passengers, but instead found use in the private business aircraft and military market. Walter Beech test flew the aircraft in 1949 and expressed interest in buying the project, but passed on it, to instead develop the Beechcraft Twin Bonanza. Fairchild Aircraft also evaluated the prototype at its Hagerstown, Maryland, headquarters.
The prototype flew successfully and the company leased, at no cost, a new 26,000 square-foot factory at Bethany near Oklahoma City to build a production version, certified on 30 June 1950. Nearly 10,000 hours of redesign work went into the model, including more powerful Lycoming GO-435-C2 engines, with a combined rating of 520 horsepower. The production model was named the Commander 520. The first Commander 520 was rolled out of the new factory in August 1951. Serial number 1 was used as a demonstrator, then sold in October 1952 to the Asahi Shimbun Press Company of Tokyo
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You are definitely intrigued to discover U-4B Air Force One.
One U-4B became a presidential transport aircraft for Dwight D. Eisenhower between 1956 and 1960. This was the smallest "Air Force One," and the first to wear the now-familiar blue-and-white livery.
As of 2004, Shrike Commanders remained in service with the United States Coast Guard and United States Customs Service.
A single 560F was operated by the Belgian Air Force as the personal transport of the late king Boudewijn from 1961 to 1973.
Aero Commander family
Aero Commander U4B family
In the late 1940s, renamed the Aero Commander company in 1950, and a division of Rockwell International from 1965. The initial production version was the 200-mph, seven-seat Aero Commander 520. An improved version, the 500S, manufactured after 1967, is known as the Shrike Commander. Larger variants are known by numerous model names and designations, ranging up to the 330-mph, 11-seat Model 695B/Jetprop 1000B turboprop.
Maximum speed: 215 mph (187 knots, 346 km/h) at sea level (TAS)
Cruise speed: 203 mph (176 knots, 326 km/h) at 9,000 ft (2,750 m), 75% power, TAS
Stall speed: 68 mph (59 knots, 109 km/h) flaps and landing gear down, CAS
Minimum controllable speed: 75 mph (65.5 knots, 121 km/h)
Range: 1,078 miles (936 nmi, 1,735 km)
Service ceiling: 19,400 ft (5,913 m)
Rate of climb: 1,340 ft/min (6.8 m/s)
U-4B Commander "Air Force one"
The Aero Commander 500 family is a series of light-twin piston-engined and turboprop aircraft originally built by the Aero Design and Engineering Company