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    Soaring Nostalgia: The 1978 Rockwell Commander as Today’s Top Aviation Pick

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    For fans of military might and the marvels of aviation, there’s a special kind of appreciation reserved for aircraft with a history, those that blend the rugged determination of military design with the elegance of general aviation.

    Rockwell Commander 114 ZS-JRP” by Asylumkid is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Enter the 1978 Rockwell Commander 114, a machine that not only boasts a military lineage but also offers an air of distinction in the general aviation market—a true conversation-starter amongst collectors and flight aficionados.

    Rockwell Commander 114 ZS-JRP” by Asylumkid is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    On May 23, 2024, Aircraft For Sale heralded the Commander 114 as its top pick, drawing attention to its rarity and desirable shape that stand out on airport ramps.

    Rockwell Commander 114 ‘G-OLFT’” by HawkeyeUK is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    This particular model, a gem from the disco-era skies of 1978, embodies the design philosophy of Rockwell—known for heavy-duty combatants like the B-1 Lancer bomber.

    G-JURG Rockwell Commander 114” by Aircaft @ Gloucestershire Airport By James is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Integrating elements typically seen in more formidable aircraft, the Commander’s trailing link main landing gear could metaphorically handle the demanding landings of an aircraft carrier.

    2-BEST Rockwell Commander 114” by Aircaft @ Gloucestershire Airport By James is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    What sets the Commander 114 apart is its generous cabin, rated highly for its comfort and spaciousness, a luxury not found in many four-seater competitors.

    G-TECH Rockwell Commander 114” by Aircaft @ Gloucestershire Airport By James is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The pilots benefit too, with good visibility and smooth handling characteristics that make every flight a pleasure. Despite its charm, the Commander never quite reached the popularity peaks of its rivals like Piper or Cessna, rendering it a relative rarity. Still, it boasts robust support from an active owner community, and parts availability is reassuringly good.

    N6081F Rockwell Commander 114” by Aircaft @ Gloucestershire Airport By James is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The panel of the 1978 Commander 114 is a testament to its time, yet updated with modern touches. It includes a range of instruments and systems such as a King KMA-24H audio panel and a Garmin GNS 530W GPS/Nav/Comm among others.

    With a Lycoming IO-540 engine and Hartzell propeller, it’s clear this aircraft is ready for many more years in the skies, all for a price tag of $179,000.

    Rockwell Commander 114” by Century Aircraft Painting is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    But the Commander’s story doesn’t end with the 114. The legacy includes its sleek twin, the Commander 700, detailed on September 12, 2023, as the top pick for Aircraft For Sale.

    Rockwell Commander 700 ‘XB-LGB’” by HawkeyeUK – Lest We Forget is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The 1970s were marked by booming general aviation sales and the Commander 700, a brainchild of the collaboration between Rockwell and Fuji Heavy Industries, epitomized the era’s trend for capable and complex aircraft.

    Fuji/Rockwell Commander 700 XB-LGB a” by Bill Word is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The 700 series boasted a pressurized cabin, maximizing passenger comfort—a prime feature for high-altitude travel without the need for supplemental oxygen.

    Fuji-Rockwell Commander 700 cn70031 XB-LGB c” by Bill Word is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Like its single-engine cousin, the Commander 700 enjoyed the limelight with an updated panel featuring state-of-the-art avionics, making it a modern contender in the light twin category.

    Fuji-Rockwell Commander 700 cn70031 XB-LGB a” by Bill Word is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This aircraft has 7,982 hours on the airframe, with 392 hours on one of its 340 hp Lycoming TIO-540 engines and 880 on the other. Both propellers have logged 165.8 hours since overhaul.

    Fuji FA-300 Model 700 ‘JA5258’ (48293650576)” by Alan Wilson from Peterborough, Cambs, UK is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    This particular aircraft, available for $220,000, represents a blend of history, performance, and comfort that continues to captivate the hearts of aviation enthusiasts.

    Relevant articles:
    This 1978 Rockwell Commander Is a Conversation-Starting ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick, FLYING Magazine
    COMMANDER 114B Specifications, Cabin Dimensions, Performance, globalair.com
    Today’s Top Aircraft For Sale Pick: 1978 Rockwell Commander 700, FLYING Magazine

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