True to its government-contracting and military experience, Rockwell built into the Commander line big airplane touches when it comes to systems. So, it seems to fit all sizes. © Belvoir Media Group, LLC. Meanwhile, ventilation, electrical and fuel systems are well thought out, in our view. Its been her experience on multiple trips. Owners familiar with the rest of the fleet tell us there are very few aircraft without the mods, but they do exist. The reward for his diligence was a prop hub that failed in flight due to propagation of a fatigue crack initiated by one of the prop strikes. The additional attention to gear-up drag improved cruise speed by a handful of knots. I have been an active member of the Commander Owners Group since 2002. Having said that, the Commander line is, nonetheless, a robust if complex airplane whose build method has more in common with military aircraft than with a modern Cirrus or Lancair. I travel 200-400 NM, 900 - 950 total useful load perfect 4 seats enough. Two doors, shoulder room, stands tall on the ramp, 130 knots on 10 GPH, super-stable approach with no trimming till 20 degrees of flaps (and then very little). What tipped the scale was the roomy cockpit, two doors and that it can handle four adults with no weight and balance issues. As an IFR platform it is perfect, in my view, because its stable, predictable and inspires confidence. The large spinner, great lines and the mid-tail give it a presence on the ramp that is hard to beat. The Commander 114 has a roomy, four-seat cabin, with largewindows, relatively low dashboard, and doors on both sides. Perhaps it could accelerate airline recovery. The distortion, it is speculated, results from hard or nosewheel-first landings. We hypothesize that more than a few pilots bought the complex Rockwell singles because of the low purchase price then discovered that a complex airplane is expensive to maintain and scrimped on maintenance. The normal switchs operation is relatively common across different manufacturers and is spring-loaded in the extension position. Squeezing even more load-carrying ability out of the airframe, Rockwell delivered the 112B in 1977, still powered by the same 200-HP Lycoming IO-360-C1D6 as earlier models. Finally, we felt the terror and shock of the Rockwell pilot who was idling on a narrow taxiway when a P-51 ran into his airplane and chopped off the tail. Owners tell us an early 112 can benefit from the 112As increased gross weight after applying a service bulletin and a few dollars. Also, soundproofing was added and fixes were made for earlier compass interference and trim-tab freeze-up problems. This website contains many older reviews. The few minutes lost is a small price to pay for an incredible comfort level afforded by the cabin size. Squeezing even more load carrying ability out of the airframe, Rockwell delivered the 112B in 1977, still powered by the same 200-HP Lycoming IO-360-C1D6 as earlier models. I am 52″ and find the ergonomics easy for my height. Owners tell us an early 112 can benefit from the 112As increased gross weight after applying a service bulletin and a few dollars. The Lark, Darter and efforts to revive the Meyers 200 didnt exactly work out the way Rockwell had hoped. View and Download Commander 114TC operating handbook online. Other problem areas reported by owners include nosewheel shimmy, corroding flap attach brackets and aileron hinge cracks. Theres also a neutral, or power-off, position in between. In 1990 a new corporation was formed called Commander Aircraft Corporation. We rarely see anything new when we review accident reports; however, we were struck by the owner who decided to design, build and install a lower drag exhaust system for his airplane. Rockwell's General Aviation Division started advancement of the first Commander 111 and 112 amid the late 1960s, and proclaimed its new run in late 1970. While exceptions certainly abound, it seems every other decade since the 1930s has included introduction of new aircraft or new technologies that further advance the state of the art. By spring 1989, after almost three years of legal pressure from COA, Gulfstream Aerospace and Rockwell International agreed to a settlement on the repair and upgrading of all Commander 112/114s in the U.S. and overseas. Even aviation journalists (Aviation Consumer editors included) were invited to take a look at preliminary designs and make suggestions. More comfort, features, and capability from Bethany For the past nine years the Commander Aircraft Company (CAC) has been mining â and refining â its successful niche in the new piston-single market. In addition to the iconic taper-wing Piper Cherokees, Cessnas original Citation and Beechs Model 200 Super King Air, the 70s also ushered in the Rockwell Download The Full December 2020 Issue PDF. There were other mods to brace the spar if it wasnt cracked. 114 A. The 112A featured an increased gross weightfrom 2550 to 2650 poundsat a nominal change in useful load. Climb performance and range of the 114 are both adequate. By this time the price had climbed to the $50,000 range, which was comparable to the Piper Arrow III. The net result was a cruise-performance improvement of 8-10 knots. In mid-2009, CPAC announced it had approved a letter of intent to sell itself to Montreal, Canada-based Aero-Base, Inc. Finalization of that deal was pending as this article was being prepared. Some later models are equipped with air conditioning and 130-amp alternators, providing more than enough juice to run a well-equipped cockpit. As is so often the case with a new aircraft, continuing improvements and a larger engine resulted in a new model, the 114, which arrived in 1976. There are engine mods, too. The newer-style pin can be retrofitted to any model without need for an STC and has been installed in many of the earlier 112s and 114s. In subsequent models, this part was changed to a solid pin and collapse incidents ceased. Doing so isnt an extreme burden, but is one more thing to plan for. Rockwell Commander 112 and 114, Spacious, Comfortable . GF142242. After moving jigs and other equipment to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, CPAC set about to produce spare parts for the fleet, but no new airframes. Despite the big cabin, the 112 was quite deficient in useful load, resulting in the 112A model, which came out in 1974. During its development, Rockwell conducted elaborate studies of pilot preferences and even aviation journalists (Aviation Consumer editors included) were invited to take a look atpreliminary designs and makesuggestions. In the 1990s, Commander manufactured approximately 127 114B models, plus 27 114TCs, while production of the 115 and 115TC hovered at around 15 or so each. Headed by Randall Greene, the company purchased. Only minor changes were made in the all-too-brief four-year production run of the 114. Even well before the Commander singles came along Rockwell had been trying to bring the right mix of ramp appeal, features and performance to the general aviation market. Presuming you accept that speed isnt everything, these unique airplanes can be a real value buy. Compare planes, view full specs and prices. Then there were the seats. With a typical empty weight of 1905 pounds, according to the Aircraft Bluebook, this limits cabin payload to around 950 pounds for everyday flying. Although pilots rave about the trailing-link design and its ability to soften otherwise firm arrivals, there has been a relatively high proportion of gear-collapse accidents in the past, so it may not be quite as good at sopping up thuds as conventional wisdom suggests. ... Carenado Aero Commander 500 Review P3Dv3 - Duration: 18:02. Susan Newman-Harrison,Claremont, California, WORLD'S PREMIER INDEPENDENT AVIATION NEWS RESOURCE. IFR regularly. The initial production version was the 200-mph, seven-seat Aero Commander 520. The 68-gallon fuel supply is enough for four hours or so at high cruise, but the 114 lacks the reserves of the Mooney and Skylane RG, both of which carry more fuel and burn less of it. She has back issues, so that statement meant a lot. Once its off, a Super Commander has a 21-percent climb gradient that can hustle to 12,000 feet in 12 minutes, says Aerodyme. A turbocharged version, the 114TC (powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AG1A), was added in 1995, with an average equipped price of $417,000.