This is another in our continuing series of information and maintenance tips provided by highly experienced technicians at Twin Commander factory-authorized Service Centers. Our thanks to Steven Reid of Legacy Aviation Services for providing his insights on the structural aspects and the integrity of Twin Commander aircraft. Portions of this article are variations of previous or historic publications.
Throughout all the variations of the Twin Commander models, the basic design and appearances were a constant. This was because pilots quickly learned to appreciate the superior handling and performance qualities that were built into to these aircraft. Twin Commanders soon gained a reputation for being capable and a pleasure to fly.
Twin Commander aircraft are considered the strongest in the general aviation fleet, and are noted for their low Vmc, stall speed, and straightforward handling. These qualities make them very desirable both to the domestic private and corporate market as well as foreign operators.
Durability is an important design objective for any aircraft, for both safety and sales reasons. It is often said that Twin Commanders are small airplanes built upon big-airplane philosophy. They have been described as massive, heavier, and structurally superior than most. American pilot Mr. R.A. “Bob” Hoover became famous for flying aerobatics in Twin Commanders. The aircraft’s strength, capabilities, and maneuverability became legendary.
Twin Commanders feature a distinguished profile and a robust structural design, along with the high wing and engine configuration that keeps the engine heat and exhaust well away from the cabin. They are well suited to a variety of roles, having served as regular public transport, military transport, cargo, passenger charter, coastal patrol, aerial photo, surveillance, oceanic pollution control, forestry, fish and wildlife services, mineral survey, air ambulance, calibration of airways and navigation aids—even V.I.P. transport for a U.S. president and an Australian prime minister.
Twin Commanders are known to be competitive in capital cost and speed, but far superior in terms of reliability and cost of operation. The design continues to amaze modern-day aerodynamicists and pilots alike. With a loyal following of pilots, owners, freight operators, corporate flight departments and modification enthusiasts, we can look forward to enjoying this fine aircraft well into the future.