Anyone here owns a rockwell commander?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by midcap, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    I see there are 112's, 114's 115's etc.

    I saw one at an airshow one day and I was in awe. The lines and the interior make it look like a biz jet.

    I looked at trade a plane and they seemed to be priced fair for what you get, 150kt cruise, decent range, decent useful load but that cabin surely looked plush.
     
  2. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    I think that are super cool. Not the fastest but lots to like. I've seen em but never gotten a flight... they aren't that common.


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  3. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    They're generally considered the nicest 4/5 place cabin in their class in terms of comfort. That extra comfort (mainly in width) comes at the cost of slower cruise performance than similar aircraft (Piper 24-series, V-tail Bos, etc.). The 112's were pretty low on the cruise/useful loads, but the 114/115 will generally give 1K-1.1Klbs of useful load, and many have factory A/C. The 114A models were the 70's variants, while the 114B was the "post re-start" model which had some small improvements to interior layout and some minor exterior mods. The 115 was the last of the breed, but are largely the same as the 114's. There's also the SuperCommander conversion which throws an IO-580 in the mix, which gives some great performance at the expense of some useful load and eye-popping fuel consumption, lol.

    The Commander owners are a pretty dedicated/enthusiastic group, and seem to have a line on most all of the parts production you'd need to keep on flying. All that said, they aren't the cheapest for the performance, and they are no longer made, so as long as you know that going in, it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  4. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Who are these general people?
    I've never heard that before, maybe the commander owners generally considered their own cabins the nicest?

    Unless you're a super lard arse, the PA24 should be plenty wide enough for most human sized humans.
     
  5. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    After sitting in one, I think they're the Buick of small GA planes, very plush and comfy.
     
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  6. Soldier64

    Soldier64 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Buddy on the airport has one, and I like it a lot. Very comfortable and fairly quick. He uses it for family travel, and I think it fits his mission well.
     
  7. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So you're telling us we should buy a PA24 and not a C180? Damn James, make up your ****ng mind! :rolleyes:
     
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  8. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    We do have a few Commander commanders here on PoA, for sure. I remember seeing it in someone's signature or avatar but can't remember.

    I love the Commanders but they are just a little too pricey for my checkbook. If I could afford one, I sure would have one. Great features on those airplanes.
     
  9. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course, I'd never say to buy a C180, now a A185 on the other hand ;)
     
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  10. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    isn't the cruise somthing like 150kts at 10k or somthing? That's plenty fast for me....Stall speed dirty on them looked to be in the upper 50kts too.
     
  11. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know what he means.
    The difference between driving 10 hours in a civic vs a accord.

    The interior looked a lot more plush than a PA24.
     
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  12. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    My brother in law had one, he liked it but sold it to a guy in Russia when he finished building his RV-8. I only flew with him in it once, briefly, very solid, seemed to handle nice though not my kind of plane at all. Seemed to me like a Bonanza only more so. Luxurious, yes. My sister (not a pilot) definitely preferred it to the RV-8.
     
  13. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Lol, I guess "nicest" is a bit subjective, but "roomiest or most comfortable" is probably the better descriptive term. People can say a Viking/Bo/Mooney/Cessna can be cramped in certain ways, I don't recall anyone saying that about the Commanders, even though many of the "specs" suggest that the Commander is ever so slightly larger in shoulder/hip room.
     
  14. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    I love the looks of them. I got a ride in a 114 not too long ago and was fairly underwhelmed at the takeoff performance. It was not a hot day and the plane was not loaded up to the gills. Seemed to take forever to get off the runway. Once airborne it flew nice. Seemed like the guy landed really fast too
     
  15. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    In the 172...I have to move my ass off the seat to close the door and then my shoulder just rest on the door while flying..I am a bit wide.:D
     
  16. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Used to fly a 112B. Very nice and comfortable but like everyone else has said, not the fastest. Trailing link gear made for really nice landings.
     
  17. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    what sort of cruise numbers you saw?
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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  19. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    IMG_0690.JPG I own a 76 Commander 112. When I bought it last Summer I knew the engine needed attention. It's currently in the shop for an IO-390 and a composite 3 blade, then a few other things. Yes, I'm at peace with the fact that I will be 'upside down' with the value, as if often the case.

    I even went to the annual 'Commander Owners Convention' last Fall in Pine Mtn, GA. Commander owners.org is a very useful resource if one is thinking about buying.

    Yeah, I was underwhelmed with my stock, tired, IO-360 in the airframe. I should be back in the sky later in March or so.
     
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  20. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I owned a 112TC, the turbocharged version. I traded a little bit of useful for altitude, but it was 90% of the time just me in the cabin. lI would usually cruse at 60-65% power and plan 145+ knots at 15,000. I liked being between 15,000-17,000 ft, O2 was a non-issue for me (tank "built in" to the plane.

    Loved the plane but gave it up as I wasn't flying enough to justify keeping it. I did own it 16 years. Comfortable, stable, great IFR platform. More than once my CFII said he would fly with me in conditions he wouldn't touch in a 172 or 182.
     
  21. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Isn't that the plane Bob Hoover flys? :eek:
     
  22. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    He doesn't fly much of anything these days.

    But you're thinking of his Shrike Commander.


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  23. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    how about the "Aero-Commander" ? ;)
     
  24. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I kinda hate to say because that was about 30 years ago, but, for some reason 130 kts sticks in my head. Had an IO360 as I recall so whatever the burn for that engine is. Got my commercial in that airplane.
     
  25. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Very close friend of mine had a 112TC. Rockwell design, and it shows; built very strong as you would expect from a military contractor. Gear looks like it was designed for carrier landings. Double pane windows. Decent room in the interior. Lots of ramp presence as it stands pretty tall and the cruciform tail is distinctive. However, all this means the plane is a bit heavy and a bit slower in cruise.

    He fell in love with a beautiful Mooney M20C and I almost bought the Commander from him. His wife loved the Commander for its comfort and room on long trips. She won't fly with him any more at all - hates the Mooney; says its like going on a cross country holiday in an MGB.

    If I was to ever own a Commander I would want the IO-540 engine.
     
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  26. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'd imagine the Turbo 540 or which ever the engine is, gets closer to 150kts?
     
  27. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's exactly what appeals to me about the plane....my wife sat in the 172 I train and and she was shocked at how small it was. With a Commander, I think she would be fine.

    I know she would love to have a Cabin Class airplane..but that's a bit out of my budget right now.
     
  28. comanche pilot

    comanche pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you got to go faster, there is always this...
    320 hp stc.

    And here is Hoover doing a demo in a 114.
     
  29. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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  30. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually Bob is flying again... difference is that now he has built-in wings!
     
  31. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Get her into one. See what she thinks. Put her into a Cessna 150 or a Citabria first though :D

    Have another friend who lives in the Bay Area. He and his wife are both retired United folks. He's got a Rockwell-built Commander with the IO-540 and they load that thing up and go everywhere in North America with it. Had it more than 20 years now. I have the same attitude to flying he does - I want to feel comfortable (I am 6'4", 135 lbs, and not as young as I used to be) and I want to carry a reasonable load. I am willing to trade off some speed for that. The Commander is a much better looking airplane for that than my Aztec, I will admit :)
     
  32. OverTQ

    OverTQ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not a chance. I'm sure over the last 80 years at least one ASI got in up there, and there's no way they're letting Bob have a medical now.
     
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  33. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    I like the 150 idea....she will then think the Commander is an airliner..:D
     
  34. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Dude, eat a cheeseburger or something.
     
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  35. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Cherokee 6's should be in the same range as a Commander. Not as plush but if you think she'd like a cabin-class and lots of width that would be a good bet. Better useful load and comparable cruise. Plus, no gear-up landings...
     
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  36. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    You know what's going to happen if I start looking at Cherokee 6's, i'll end up wanting a Turbo Lance...:D

    I have a friend of the family who has a Saratoga...he seems to like it a lot.
     
  37. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    no need for that now.....he's prolly rolling over in his grave. :D
     
  38. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Not a bad idea, but the Commander will have better fit/finish unless you pony up for a really nicely-appointed Six. It would also handle like a flying SUV versus a Lexus, from all of the reports I've seen.
     
  39. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Those types of ASIs don't end up there, they go elsewhere if you know what I mean. ;)
     
  40. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    And the roll is a 16 point slow roll of absolute precision. While pouring tea...