- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Aero Commander 100
Darter Commander / Lark Commander
Aero Commander 100 Darter Commander - C-GACD.jpg
1968 Aero Commander 100 Darter Commander
C-GACD (sn 202)
Photo taken July 12, 2004
Boundary Bay Airport, BC - Canada (ZBB / CZBB)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Aero Commander 100, various models of which were known as the Darter Commander and Lark Commander was a US light aircraft produced in the 1960s. It was a high-wing monoplane of conventional design, equipped with fixed tricycle undercarriage.

Volaircraft 10X - C-FNYH
1962 Volaircraft 10X
C-FNYH (sn 10-013X)
Photo taken July 28, 2006
Creston, BC - Canada (AJ3 / CAJ3)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The aircraft was originally designed by Volaircraft, first flying in 1960. The firm marketed the original three-seat version as the Volaire 1035 and a four-seat version with a more powerful engine as the Volaire 1050 before North American Rockwell purchased all rights to the design on July 12, 1965 for production by its Aero Commander division. Production of the Darter Commander version continued until 1969 and of the revised Lark Commander until 1971 (by which time, Rockwell had dropped the Aero Commander brand name). The Lark represents the final evolution of the line featuring a swept tail fin and rudder, a more powerful engine, detail refinements to reduce drag, and deluxe furnishing of the cabin.

Finding the light aircraft market too competitive for its liking, Rockwell sold the rights to all versions of the aircraft to Phoenix Aircraft in 1971, but this company never actually put it into production.

Variants

Volaircraft

  • Model 10 - prototypes
  • Volaire 1035 - three-seat production version powered by Lycoming O-290
  • Volaire 1050 - four-seat production version powered by Lycoming O-320

Aero Commander/Rockwell

  • Aero Commander 100 - renamed Volaire 1050
  • Aero Commander 100A - renamed Volaire 1035
  • Darter Commander - 100 with revised windows and other minor modifications
  • Lark Commander - revised aerodynamics and Lycoming O-360 engine.

Specifications (Darter Commander)

General characteristics
Crew: 1
Capacity: 3 passengers
Length: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
Height: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Wing area: 181 sq ft (16.8 m2)
Empty weight: 1,280 lb (581 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 2,250 lb (1,021 kg)
Fuel capacity: 44 US Gallons (166.5 L)
Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320-A air-cooled flat-four, 150 hp (110 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 133 mph (214 km/h; 116 kn)
Cruise speed: 128 mph (111 kn; 206 km/h) at 7,500 ft (2,285 m) (75% power)
Stall speed: 55 mph (48 kn; 89 km/h) flaps down
Never exceed speed: 170 mph (150 kn; 270 km/h)
Range: 510 mi (443 nmi; 821 km)
Service ceiling: 13,000 ft (3,962 m)
Rate of climb: 785 ft/min (3.99 m/s)

Last updated December 29, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aero Commander 100".
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