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Aero Commander Model 500

The Aero Commander Model 500 Series aircraft has a very interesting and long history. The original model of the 500 series airframe was designed in the mid 1940’s and is still used today in civilian aviation applications all over the world. Some of the earlier models were used for light military transport assignments from the 1950’s until the mid 1970’s. Another version of this aircraft was even used by President Dwight Eisenhower for Presidential Transport between 1956 and 1960 and was known as The Smallest Air Force One ever flown.

As the original airframe continued to evolve, its major use became executive transport and air taxi services. Due to its outstanding stability, the Aero Commander was also used extensively as an aerial survey platform. The final series of the aircraft was last produced in 1978, ending a near 40-year history.

Aerial Viewpoint – Aero Commander 500 Specifications:
Flight Duration: 5.0 Hours
Flight Range: 1,000 miles
Economy Cruise Speed: 175 MPH
Maximum Ceiling Altitude: 18,000’
Camera Port Modification: 18” x 22” Camera Port with a hydraulically controlled door system. This camera port accommodates all our Leica Herrbrugg RC-30 and RC-10 series survey cameras.
Electrical System Modifications: Added two 100-amp alternators for additional electrical requirements.
Other Modifications: This aircraft has a Colemill Modification which includes higher HP engines and different propellers, thus increasing the useful load and overall performance.

Even though the Aero Commander had many roles in aviation history, its most famous role was one of aerobatics. The link below is an example of the flight potential of the Aero Commander Shrike in the hands of a very skilled pilot named Bob Hoover. The Aero Commander used in this video clip was donated to The National Air and Space Museum located at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington DC in 2004. It is one of only about 5 civilian aircraft on display at this museum.





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