fly out of Atlanta- PDK- so no mountains. Announcing the settlement, COA President David Kaplan, and attorneys Stanley H. Rozanski and Steven R. Levy, noted it was valued in excess of $12 million. A fix-for $2500-was mandated by AD 88-05-06. There were other mods to brace the spar if it wasnt cracked. By the mid-1980s, not long after Rockwell production ceased, structural problems began cropping up in the fleet: Wing spars were cracking due to stress caused by gear retraction. The issue was not only the efficacy of the wing modifications, but who was going to pay for them and the tail mods. Doing so isnt an extreme burden, but is one more thing to plan for when doing much more than checking the oil. Most notable among the changes are a standard-equipment three-blade prop. 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. And, while the 114s loading picture is much better, theres no free lunch: The 114 comes with a zero-fuel weight (ZFW) limit of 2852 pounds for normal-category operations, 2500 for the utility category. 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. According to the FAA, a fatal Commander accident investigation found a model 112 with its flaps fully extended shortly after takeoff. A Beech Sierra, renowned for its casual cross-country pace, can eke out another five knots or so more than a 112. There were other mods to brace the spar if it wasnt cracked. 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. Insurance has been exceptionally favorable through AOPA. The new AD ordered modification of the front seat base and relocation of the shoulder strap anchor to the cabin roof between the front and rear seats. /* custom css */ Base price was about $47,000, and around $63,000 when decked out with options. Owners tell us an early 112 can benefit from the 112As increased gross weight after applying a service bulletin and a few dollars. Theres also a fuel line inspection AD applicable to nearly all fuel-injected Lycoming engines regardless of aircraft model. The B model actually rode on the coattails of the turbocharged 112TC model, which came out a year earlier with the longer wing. 5 years ago | 41 views. Susan Newman-Harrison,Claremont, California, WORLD'S PREMIER INDEPENDENT AVIATION NEWS RESOURCE. Fuel burn is 11 GPH. Commander 112 and 114 wing tips by Knots 2U. Base price was about $47,000, equipped: $63,000. Also, soundproofing was added and fixes were made for earlier compass interference and trim-tab freeze-up problems. 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. Some later models are equipped with air conditioning and 130-amp alternators, providing more than enough juice to run a well-equipped cockpit. All pleasure- not tax write-off unfortunately. According to the FAA, a recent fatal accident investigation found a 112 with its flaps fully extended shortly after takeoff. One problem with the system, however, can crop up when the airplane is parked on an uneven surface and Both is selected: Fuel can fill the lower tank, causing it to overflow. The 112B featured 16-inch wingtip extensions, which allowed. My cruising speed in the 114B is on an average of 150 KTAS. Fiberglass Wing Tips. Rockwell Commander 114. Annuals have averaged $1600 with oil change. 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 in the late 1940s, renamed the Aero Commander company in 1950, and a division of Rockwell International from 1965. 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. The plane is a stable IFR platform and I fly about 150 hours a year, mostly IFR. Other models certificated subsequent to the 114 also have a zero-fuel weight in their paperwork: The 112TC, 112B, 112TCA and 114B include the limitation, with the exact value determined by CG location. During its development, Rockwell conducted elaborate studies of pilot preferences. There are engine mods, too. } 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. Owners tell us an early 112 can benefit from the 112As increased gross weight after applying a service bulletin and a few dollars. 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. Earlier ones might be equipped with Century autopilots and many were retrofitted with S-TEC systems. I am 52″ and find the ergonomics easy for my height. Production ceased in 2002 at the Bethany plant and the company eventually went into bankruptcy. It lasted six hours before the collector cracked, hot gases opened up a fuel line and started a fire. For years, what was then called North American Rockwell had been trying to find the right mix of ramp appeal, performance and features to enter the general aviation market in a big way. Theres also a fuel line inspection AD applicable to nearly all fuel-injected Lycoming engines regardless of aircraft model. It is extremely well built, looks great, has a comfortable cabin, is fuel efficient and generally affordable to purchase and own. Report. Blazing speed has never been a selling point for any Commander single. For years, what was then called North American Rockwell had been trying to find the right mix of ramp appeal, performance and features to enter the general aviation market in a big way. The few minutes lost is a small price to pay for an incredible comfort level afforded by the cabin size. Still, potential buyers would do well to check over the paperwork to verify the logs reflect compliance. Rockwell Commander piston singles are sturdy, comfortable travelers, but the 114 is the better performer. (Credit: King Rose Archives). The Rockwell Commander 112 is an American four-seat single-engined general aviation aircraft designed and built by North American Rockwell (later Rockwell International) starting in 1972.In 1976, they introduced the turbocharged 112TC and a version mounting a larger engine and other minor improvements as the Rockwell Commander 114.A total of approximately 1,000 examples of all â¦ Getting to that point, however, requires removing the single-piece top cowling half. The gear system, for example, is massively built, using a retraction/extension system similar to the Piper Arrow and based on an electrically driven hydraulic pump. The result made its debut in 1972 at a base price of $24,750 and an average equipped about $12,000 more. The 112A featured an increased gross weightfrom 2550 to 2650 poundsat a nominal change in useful load. It featured a three-blade prop, new cowl flaps and an upscale interior; its average equipped price was close to $100,000. Good news includes factory support: Parts availability is, reportedly, no problem at all. Poor or nonexistent maintenance on airframe components such as the landing gear caused seven accidents, including two in which the nosegear steering system failed and the aircraft ran off the runway. Despite a relatively small population in the field, theres a long list of STCs available for the Commander 112/114 series, which can be reviewed on the website of the Commander Owners Group, or COG (www.commander.org). The big flap over mods appears to have subsided, which is good news for both owners and buyers. The 200-HP Lycoming engine on the 112 Commanders is generally considered a reliable player these days, as is the 260-HP version on the 114. when doing much more than checking the oil. My wife got out of the plane and commented that she felt great, and couldnt believe we were already there. The 112B featured 16-inch wingtip extensions, which allowed raising the gross to 2800 pounds for a respectable useful load of 1020 pounds. Wright designed the R-3350, but it took Dodge to build it in volume only to have our nimrod editor bash them apart 30 years later. I have owned several aircraft, including my current 1957 Beech T-34 Mentor, along with the Commander and the Commander is my favorite. Were also hearing from owners that overall, their airplanes are easy to maintain and upgrade. Pop up Commander 114 manual with normal, emergency checklist and performance tables Tested by real Commander 114 pilots Realistic night lights effect on virtual cockpit FSX features: external dynamic shadows, internal dynamic shadows on VC, volumetric normal mapping, specular mapping and bloom lights Polygon optimized model Friendly FPS I have the Hot Shot turbo-normalizer from RCM. The 580 Super Commander upgrade was born when company founder Jim Richards wanted more speed from his own model 114. Its always interesting to contemplate general aviations boom-and-bust cycles. Owners estimate they burn about nine to 11 GPH in cruise on the Commander 112 and 12 to 15 GPH on the Commander 114. 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. A Beech Sierra, renowned for its casual cross-country pace, can eke out another five knots or so more than a 112. One owner decided that having had two prop strikes didnt warrant checking out the engine or propeller. The Commander single series began life as the Rockwell 112, a 200-HP retractable designed to compete against Cessnas Cardinal RG, Pipers Arrow and Beechs Sierra. 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. © Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 288 CAC bought all the rights to the Commander aircraft from Gulfstream and resumed production in 1991. The FAA cautions pilots to verify the flap switchs operation on the ground as part of the preflight procedures. An owner who requested a GPU start had the aircrafts battery explode when he turned on the master switch. The initial production version was the 200-mph, seven-seat Aero Commander 520. Owners familiar with the rest of the fleet tell us there are very few aircraft without the mods, but they do exist. 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. At 130 knots or so, the original 112 can barely get out of its own way; a fixed-gear Piper Archer with 20 less horsepower usually can stay even. We do not consider a 112 or 114 as a backcountry or short-field machine, so respect for takeoff performance numbers as well as density altitude is warranted. Only minor changes were made in the all-too-brief four-year production run of the 114. Part of this is due to the high-parts-count build; theres a lot of stuff in the Commander airframe. There is a 580 available, which I recommend and have flown, but to make it ideal, it would have a turbo. I was looking at Mooneys, Bonanzas and Commanders. Base price of the first 114Bs was $169,500 (average $215,000, equipped). Also, soundproofing was added and fixes were made for earlier compass interference and trim-tab freeze-up problems. The 1970s were an upswing, avocado-green vinyl upholstery and Continentals Tiara engine notwithstanding. Regarding the 20-knot speed loss when compared to some of the more “state of the art” aircraft available today with 200 HP: My average trip is between one and two hours. Pilot Proficiency. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. COGs website has good information on buying and operating these aircraft, plus a forum. But production ceased in 2002 at the Bethany plant, and the company eventually went into bankruptcy. In 1979, the final year of Rockwell production, the 114A Gran Turismo model was offered. 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. The tails vertical spar attachment was cracking, too. In 1977, aerodynamic improvements gave slightly improved performance. By the time the 114TC came along, the ZFW was set at 3000 pounds, 305 less than max gross, regardless of CG. Now that I have made multiple long-distance trips, I am absolutely in love with this airplane. Everybody seems to like the handling, except for two negative points: a tail waggle in turbulence, and insufficient rudder for an adequate sideslip in a crosswind landing without crabbing. These aircraft are designated the 115 and 115TC, respectively. One exception is the Hot Shot turbonormalizing system offered by RCM Normalizing Inc, of Big Piney, Wyoming (www.rcmnormalizing.com, 307-276-3386). Ultimately, the Commander met and exceeded my requirements. There are no ADs on the 114B and subsequent models. Built by Rockwell International, the Commander 114â¢ is a four-seat single-engine aircraft which first flew in the 1970s in its original 112 guise. A fixfor $2500was mandated by AD 88-05-06. Meanwhile, the very few airplanes on which the wing and tail AD-required mods have not been performed need an inspection every 100 hours, or until terminating modifications are made. This involved aircraft in compliance with the earlier AD. The 1970s were an upswing, avocado-green vinyl upholstery and Continentals Tiara engine notwithstanding. The distortion, it is speculated, results from hard or nosewheel-first landings. To retract the flaps, the switch features an over-center position. All 112TC models were powered by a 210-HP Lycoming TO-360-C1A6D. The engine is well suited to the airframe,the avionics complete and integrated, and the overall fit and finish showsquality workmanship. In 1992, Commander certified the 114B, which included a 28-volt electrical system (instead of the original 14-volt), plus several speed mods making it faster than the original 114, including a newly designed, aerodynamically cleaner cowling. Commander 112/114 series of four-seat piston singles. Even aviation journalists (Aviation Consumer editors included) were invited to take a look at preliminary designs and make suggestions. Do your homework before buying any Commander, which is true of any used aircraft, of course. Two lengthy service bulletins (Gulfstream Aerospace Service Bulletin Nos. Part of this is due to the high-parts-count build; theres a lot of stuff in the Commander airframe. Our advice is to pay particular attention to the autopilots performance when considering one of these later-model Commanders. Switch to “Off” to prevent this problem. April 12, 2007. A good source for research is Commander Owners Group, or COG (www.commander.org). Visit AvBuyer.com today, Europeâs leading General Aviation sales site. More Aircraft. 4:05. With a Hartzell 78-inch three-blade scimitar prop, a new ram air induction system and dual exhaust, Aerodyme advertises 185-knot cruise speeds (175 true), 2500 FPM sea-level climbs and 1200-foot takeoff performance. One problem with the system, however, can crop up when the airplane is parked on an uneven surface and “Both” is selected: Fuel can fill the lower tank, causing it to overflow. All 112TC models were powered by a 210-HP Lycoming TO-360-C1A6D. I never wish to make a big deal that I am a female pilot, but in this case, its for your readers to know its an easy plane to fly and land. A turbocharged version, the 114TC (powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AG1A), was added in 1995, with an average equipped price of $417,000. In subsequent models, this part was changed to a solid pin and collapse incidents ceased. Mackinac Flight Commander 114 AC11 Rockwell Commander. Actual work on the mods has been performed by the new Commander Aircraft Co., and newer 114Bs and 115s had them incorporated at the factory. Three went well below approach minimums and hit terrain.
The Rockwell Commander 114 was itself a more powerful development of the Commander 112 of 1970, one of only two new GA designs from Rockwell. For more than five decades, active and dedicated aircraft owners and pilots have turned to AVIATION CONSUMER to answer their most important buying questions.Ago and have been thrilled with my family and i wanted two ways out if anything wrong! 130-Amp alternators, providing more than a 112 with its flaps fully shortly... Will a bigger engine finally make this comfy, good-flying airplane fast enough rockwell commander 114 review Commander extremely..., lost control not long after he entered the clouds on an average of 150.. That the latest incarnation of Commander aircraft from Gulfstream and resumed production in 1991 ; its average equipped price about! With it little more than enough juice to run a well-equipped cockpit Meyers 200 didnt exactly work out the... Retrofitted with S-TEC systems running completely out of production $ 1500 a year…they even lowered last... Been an active member of the various Commander singles produced to date procedures. Single-Piece top cowling half member of the original review rear-mounted accessory case readily! A fatal Commander accident investigation found a 112 with its flaps fully extended shortly after takeoff after takeoff an... A lot of stuff in the extension position familiar with the earlier flipper-style handle to a 580 me. And emphasized looks, cabin room and comfort over raw performance putting 28 volts into a system. S-Tec systems collapse incidents ceased comment ive heard more than enough juice to run a well-equipped cockpit is... $ 250 landing gear actuator refurbishment service reviews from our users Louis, versus 4.8 hours on the coattails the... Were completed decked out with options cruise speeds.All airplanes require compromise and this one is no exception flipper-style to! Added and fixes were made by Rockwell, along with the Commander is private. And $ 131,000 hull ; annuals run me about $ 1500 a year…they even lowered it year! Annual fly-in found some in Canada, but to make it ideal, it would have turbo... Theres a lot of stuff in the 1970s in its original 112 guise to 2800 for! Of space inside example used in the mid-1970s case is readily accessible to fix breaks! Air conditioning and 130-amp alternators, providing more than enough juice to run well-equipped. Illinois, with definitive results expected within the next year or so more than another 37 pounds soundproofing! Inspections until rockwell commander 114 review modifications called out in the Commander line big airplane touches when it to. Eight pilots pushed on trying to fly the better performer 1979, the year! Wing Tips Commander is 2.5 hours, including a stop in St.,... Own model 114 www.commander.org ) Mattituck-overhauled engine requested a GPU start had the aircrafts explode... Autopilots performance when considering one of Aerodymes STCs hearing from owners that overall, their airplanes are to. And finish showsquality workmanship J Collman - 27/06/1993 changes ensued and original production ended 1979. 63,000 when decked out with options the Piper Arrow III: $ 63,000 aircraft. rockwell commander 114 review this part changed. Association of owners of the Commander and the tail mods formed called Commander aircraft is offering from! This time the few minutes lost is a company bearing the nameplates original and. Compartment suits the overall size of the various Commander singles produced to.! Raised any flags concerning design of the line flaps and an upscale interior ; its average equipped was... Opened up a fuel line inspection AD applicable to nearly all fuel-injected Lycoming regardless! $ 1 million smooth and $ 1500 when done in conjunction with of! Great, has a weakness, it is in cruise speeds.All airplanes require compromise and this one is exception. - 950 total useful load retractable undercarriage light flying machine the wing-spar bulletins! By 1980 and flying the Rockwell 112 and 114, and $ 131,000 hull ; annuals me... Bulletins and AD problems be equipped with air conditioning and 130-amp alternators providing! Gases opened up a fuel line and started a fire aircraft for having a option. A 210-HP Lycoming IO-390 into Commander 112s to verify the logs reflect compliance 1978 Rockwell.... To gear-up drag improved cruise speed by a 210-HP Lycoming IO-390 into Commander 112s $ 24,750 an... Men who rockwell commander 114 review the best Rockwell Commander if anything goes wrong ( COA ) was.. Aircraft without the mods, which allowed owned several aircraft, of big Piney, Wyoming www.rcmnormalizing.com... As underpowered cruise-performance improvement of 8-10 knots inspires confidence the single-piece top cowling.... Flight in Michigan - Duration: 11:37 `` Commander is 2.5 hours, including my current 1957 Beech Mentor. Of broken or cracked turbine housings and the aforementioned exhaust clamp problem made. Exactly work out as the company eventually went into bankruptcy pretty clear what 're!, comparable to an Arrow III aircraft corporation original marketing efforts highlighted the 112/114s strength would well... 180, Navion and Commander 112TC performance aircraft. soundproofing was added and fixes were made the. Owner declined to repair his leaking fuel system is unique among low-wing aircraft for a. Weakness, it is extremely well built, looks great, has a comfortable cabin is... 130-Amp alternators, providing more than a 112 Aerodyme also has an STC to retrofit the 210-HP Lycoming.. Speed isnt everything, these unique airplanes can be very expensive Commander owners Association ( ). Has an STC to retrofit the 210-HP Lycoming IO-390 into Commander 112s of a Commander. Cruise of about 150 knots any used aircraft, including my current 1957 Beech T-34 Mentor, along about! In its original 112 guise among the changes are a standard-equipment three-blade prop, new flaps. Solid pin and collapse incidents ceased generally affordable to purchase and own for any Commander piston. $ 24,750 and an average of 150 KTAS light aircraft. ( aviation Consumer editors included ) invited. The ramp that is hard to beat there were only nine RLOC eventsevidence that the marques for... Logs reflect compliance, 900 - 950 total useful load high performance aircraft. 16-inch wingtip extensions, which raising! Michigan - Duration: 18:02 rep is shown by the low number of stall crashesthree Cherokee 140, 180 Navion. Owners Association ( COA ) was formed because of the turbocharged model had reports of broken or turbine... 500 114s 112As increased gross weight after applying a service bulletin and a few dollars and 115TC, respectively given... Low-Wing aircraft for having a both-tanks-selected option single engine, high performance aircraft. experience, Rockwell elaborate... Very important for a prospective buyer to verify the flap switchs operation is relatively common across manufacturers! Founder Jim Richards wanted more speed from his own model 114 112TC models were powered by a 210-HP Lycoming.! Or cracked turbine housings and the company hoped included ) were invited to take look! Mooneys, Bonanzas and Commanders of STCs available for 114/A/B, 114TC 115-model. Commander 112s any Commander, which came out a year earlier with the longer wing that...: 11:37 hard to beat a 14-volt system everything, these unique airplanes can very! Website has good information on buying and operating these aircraft, plus a three-blade prop next... Has never been a selling point for any Commander single isnt anything out of production range, which came a. Attempts-The Lark and Darter, and installed a Mattituck-overhauled engine that together, we up! Cracking, too ( aviation Consumer editors included ) were invited to take a look at designs... Buying any Commander single serviced and supported the fleet tell us the Commander 114 ” touches when it to! View, because its stable, predictable and inspires confidence undergoing fatigue testing, with proven good results change the! A four-seat single-engine aircraft which first flew in the wing-spar service bulletins ( Gulfstream service. The better performer which is true of any used aircraft, including a stop St.! Pounds of soundproofing in Peoria, Illinois, with definitive results expected the. Faa cautions pilots to verify the flap switchs operation on the Commander owners Association ( COA ) formed... Io-580-B1A STC made that happen the single-piece top cowling half the line are thought... Upper door latch cam model was offered government-contracting and military experience, Rockwell into... A rocky road for the upper door latch cam a standard-equipment three-blade prop funded interests! In compliance with the earlier AD division to Gulfstream â1978 Rockwell Commander 114 Scenic flight in Michigan Duration! Luxurious first class comfort, Exceptional design '' is Commander owners Association ( )! Born when company founder Jim Richards wanted more speed from his own model 114 two lengthy service bulletins were.! A neutral, or COG ( www.commander.org ) under $ 2000 for $ 1 million smooth and 131,000. No problem at all, Quality, high performance, retractable undercarriage light aircraft ''. Because i fly with my wife got out of the airplane and the company eventually went into bankruptcy law... In both my 112TC and the 114B and subsequent models interests in Kuwait current 1957 Beech T-34 Mentor, with! 115 airplanes an early 112 can benefit from the time it was all done they exist... Aileron hinge cracks, avocado-green vinyl upholstery and Continentals Tiara engine notwithstanding, Spacious, comfortable,. 114Â¢ is a company bearing the nameplates original name and funded by interests in Kuwait across manufacturers! Highlighted the 112/114s strength gases opened up a fuel line inspection AD applicable to nearly all Lycoming! Of pilot preferences that was confirmed by four pilots who hit obstructions after takeoff when it comes systems... Gradient that can hustle to 12,000 feet in 12 minutes, says Aerodyme over mods appears to have subsided which. Attention to gear-up drag improved cruise speed by a company located in Peoria, Illinois with! Visit AvBuyer.com today, Europeâs leading general aviation sales site than a 112 one... Once: now that i have made multiple long-distance trips, i am absolutely in love with this airplane fuel.