The Model 680E was the sixth Commander model to be placed into production. The first six were built by the Aero Design & Engineering Company at Tulakes Airport (later re-named Wiley Post) in Bethany outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the last 96 by the Aero Design & Engineering Company as a subsidiary of Rockwell-Standard Corporation.
The 102 examples were built between July 1958 and May 1960 with serial numbers in the range 680E-623-1 through 680E-892-101, although serial numbers 680E-624-9 and 680E-242-102 were converted and re-serialled Model 680 Commanders –– serial numbers 680-624-250 and 680-242-1.
Of the 102 680Es, the initial 15 were certified in 1958 followed by 56 in 1959, and 31 in 1960.
Additionally, one example was converted from a 560A; six from Model 560Es, and 35 from Model 680; none of these were re-serialled.
A factory document describes the 680E, under Wing Drawing 5170023 with 32-inch wingtip extension. “The Model 680 was modified as follows to obtain the 680E: increased gross weight to 7500 pounds, added 32-inch tip extension to wing. This Model was certified on June 19, 1958 to CAR 3 Amendment 12.”
The Model 680E was indeed certified on June 19, 1958 under Type Certificate 2A4. It had 340 hp Lycoming GSO-480-B1A6 engines with 93-inch-diameter Hartzell HC-83X20-2C/9333C propellers on the first 25 plus 680E s/n 624-9, with the other 75 plus 680E s/n 242-102 using the -2C1 variant hub.
Gross Weight of the 680E is 7500 pounds.
On April 13, 1959 Miss Geraldyn M. “Jerrie” Cobb established a World Record for “Speed over a closed-circuit of 2,000 km without payload” of 364.12 km/hr, which equates to 1,242.74 miles at 225.55mph, in N6272B, 680E s/n 716-26. The course was McCarran Field in Las Vegas-Reno Municipal-Pescadero-Lindberg Field in San Diego-McCarran Field, at a height of 10,000 ft. The 1959-60 edition of Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft quotes “On April 13, 1959, an international class C-1.d speed record of 226.148 mph (364.116 km/hr) over a 2,000 km closed-circuit was set up by Miss Jerrie Cobb in a standard production 680-E.”
One interesting example is s/n 775-48, which had a Robertson STOL full-span wing trailing edge flap system and a contoured wing leading edge installation signed off on a Form 337 under STC number SA1782WE. The STC describes the modifications as “drooped ailerons, drooped wing leading edge, stall fence, and rudder seal.”