What was wrong with the Commander 114?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by mirage00, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. mirage00

    mirage00 Pattern Altitude

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  2. AcroGimp

    AcroGimp Cleared for Takeoff

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    Performance vs. fuel burn and orphan status seem to be the primary objections.

    Personally, I think the Commander 112/114 are among the best looking piston singles ever designed.

    I almost did some work for Commander Aircraft when they resurrected the line and were in OKC but could never pin them down for schedule and budget.

    I haven't flown one yet but would very much like to try a 112A Alpine Commander or a 112 that has the RCM turbo kit on it since that seems to wake the plane up pretty well.

    'Gimp
     
  3. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Commander 112/114 series of planes are nice. The 114 is better (more power) than the 112-series.

    Competitively, they were positioned against the Bonanza, and against the 182/210 series Cessna & similar Pipers. Tough competition as the market collapsed. While quite comfortable to ride in, and a joy to fly, the plane was introduced at the wrong time at a premium price. The AD issues didn't help the reputation (note that the problem was resolved long ago). After the market collapsed, they didn't have any other product line to support them. The remains of the company have now been purchsed by a Chinese company. A couple of places still provide support.

    Love my 112TC, would have loved a 114TC but couldn't justify the extra cost.
     
  4. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Early on they also flew a fixed-gear Model 111 with 180 hp Lycoming and fixed prop.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm a big fan of the Commander, particularly for the two doors and comfy seats.

    Being an orphan aircraft would concern me.
     
  6. lmars

    lmars Pre-Flight

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    There are a lot of orphan aircraft. As a Commander owner, I have yet to be grounded for lack of a part.

    By the way, the 111 never saw production. Only a prototype.

    As stated earlier, the market timing was not good and the speed performance/fuel burn hurt a lot. I will say it is a very comfortable cross country aircraft.
     
  7. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    We looked at a non-turbo 112 or 114 (forget which) for our Phoenix based club.

    The density altitude performance was so horrible it would have been a safety issue. Even our Archers were much better at hot/high ops.
     
  8. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    I flew a rented 114. Nice bird, slow on climbout on hot days with two up.
    As for parts? Had a gear issue that turned out to be a shuttle valve in the gear hydraulic pac. Took 6 months to get the part.

    The Commanders have never been that fast for the HP and fuel burn.
     
  9. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    they has a tremendous amount of structural issues early on. Eventually fixed and the model rebadged to get away from the history, but it soured most people on the type. Throw in slow-for-the-fuel-burn and anemic climb. Basically you get a second door, but in a low-production-run orphaned plane. A comanche has just as much room and there are tons of them to drive parts support. And it moves at a reasonable speed per hp and can operate from fields smaller than white sands.
     
  10. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Cleared for Takeoff

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    Today, the biggest problem is that few have flown in one. I never have and I'd bet few have also. It hard to gauge comfort from a picture or an Internet forum. It's just way too easy to overlook planes like these. An activist owners group could help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  11. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    www.commander.org
     
  12. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm not sure how activist it is, but they have a nice owners group with a helpful forum.

    http://www.commander.org/
     
  13. SoloEqs

    SoloEqs Line Up and Wait

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    There was one of those that came to the field where I was at the time, and we called it a "Cherokommander."

    The thing that killed the plane was too much competition and not enough market. If they had managed to hang on another couple of years, they would have been THE plane of their class.
     
  14. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    I believe it was the first GA part 23 airplane.
     
  15. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think the "You can go faster, but you can't burn more gas!" applies to the Commander. But they're definitely roomy and are nice handling. One of my instrument students had one and I enjoyed it. He's now moved to a Columbia.
     
  16. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    The 114 is a really nice looking airplane.