The Model 560E was the fifth one to be placed into production, the first 46 by the Aero Design & Engineering Company at Tulakes Airport (later re-named Wiley Post) in Bethany, Oklahoma City, and the last 47 by the Aero Design & Engineering Company as a subsidiary of the Rockwell-Standard Corporation.
The 93 examples were built between March 1957 and May 1960, with serial numbers in the range 434 through 884, although serial number 434 had been converted from a 560A(HC).
Of the 93 560Es built, 34 initially were certified in 1957; 14 in 1958; 34 in 1959; and 11 in 1960. Six of the 93 were later converted to Model 680Es.
A factory document describes the 560E, under Wing Drawing 5170023 with a 32-inch wingtip extension introduced, as “certified on February 21, 1957 under the following certification basis: CAR 3, November 1, 1945, Amendment 12, May 18, 1954, and 3-431, May 15, 1956. This aircraft is the same as the Model 560A except for the 32-inch wingtip extension added to the tips and the increase in gross from 6000 pounds to 6500 pounds. The engines were later changed from Lycoming GO-480-C1B6 to Lycoming GO-480-G1B6.”
The Model 560E was indeed certified on February 21, 1957, and was added to Type Certificate 6A1, which says “Same as Model 560A except for engine installation, structural changes to the wing, wheel and brake installation, revised fuel system, and new landing gear location.”
The first 34 560Es had the 295-hp Lycoming GO-480-C1B6 engines, the remaining 59 leaving the factory with the G1B6 variant, which has piston cooling jets. The first 55 examples had the 86-inch-diameter Hartzell HC-83X20-2C/8833-2 propellers while the remaining 38 examples used the HC-83X20-2C1-variant hub.
Gross weight of the 560E is 6,500 pounds.
On May 25, 1957, Miss Geraldyn M. “Jerrie” Cobb, flying serial number 434, N2758B, named “Boomtown I,” established a world distance record by flying non-stop from Guatemala City to Oklahoma City in 8 hours 5 minutes. The FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) quoted the distance as 2,421.65 km, which equates to 1,504.745 miles, but in the 1957-58 and 1958-59 editions of “Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft” the date is listed as May 28 and the distance as 1,522 miles (2,449 km).
Ted Smith must have felt rather satisfied when the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc. purchased two examples of the 560E –– serial number 598, N6280B later changed to N70C, and serial number 737, N170D later changed to N170G. Also, Temco Aircraft Corporation purchased serial number 747, N3831C.
Barry Collman’s lifelong interest in airplanes began when he was growing up in a house located underneath the downwind leg to busy Northolt aerodrome, an R.A.F. base near London-Heathrow airport. As a young teenager he discovered airplane “spotting” –– hobbyists’ observation and logging of aircraft by make, model, and registration number. The hobby began to grow into a passion as Collman joined a club of like-minded spotters. At one point he purchased a copy of the January 1966 U.S. Civil Aircraft Register, and thumbing through it came upon the Aero Commander. He was hooked. Eventually he acquired every available FAA microfiche file on Commanders, and since 1995 has made annual pilgrimages to Oklahoma City to sift through FAA records. He now has a database with more than 96,100 records as well as a collection of negatives, slides, photographs, digital images, magazines, brochures, knick-knacks –– and a very understanding wife. This series on Commander production history originally was written for the Twin Commander Flight Group, of which he is an enthusiastic member.