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Aero Commander: First look at an unlimited aerobatic twin

Aero Commander: First look at an unlimited aerobatic twin

Over many years, the legendary Bob Hoover proved to millions of onlookers just how capable the Aero Commander really is.  He would take his green and white Aero Commander Shrike and put it through an impressive array of aerobatic maneuvers – first with both, then one, then none of the engines running.  Not a bad performance for a plane that was designed as a business class twin.

BH Models has just released a beautiful 81” ARF of the Aero Commander Shrike.  The roughly 1/7 scale twin is designed to be powered by two .46 2-stroke engines and comes complete with air operated, shock absorbing retracts that not only cleans up the airframe, but also brings out its great lines.

Our frequent contributor Michael York examines this model from start to finish and lets you know what he likes about it. You can check out his complete review in the April Issue of Model Airplane News.  Until then enjoy this video and some great photos from our photo shoot.


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Updated: December 29, 2011 — 2:24 PM


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  1. Very Nice. I have 4 twins now. 1 electric modified Twin Star, 1 Nitro Twin Star (GP28s), 2 Witchcrafts with 91FXs (1 taildragger, 1 trike). Oh, what the heck, 1 more will be OK. The sound of matched twins is incredible ovter turbo sounding.

  2. Fabulous new model! It would be perfect for electrics!

  3. Unlimited aerobatics, huh?

    While this is a model I’ve wanted for a long time, I don’t think this one is capable of “UNLIMITED AEROBATICS!” I think we need a more knowledgeable editor before someone hurts themselves with this.

    This will be my second electric twin, to go along with my comparable sized F7F Tigercat.

  4. I built the Bridi version of this airplane earlier on in the 70s. It was a successful project of the same size as this BH ARF, had Rhom-Air (now Robart) retracts and OS Max .40 engines. It flew really nice and still exists today hanging above a Shrike Commander in AZ. The 2-cycle .46s on the BH ARF version will be more than sufficient. I would not consider the Commander a fully aerobatic airplane. But it will do most of the Hoover-type maneuvers very nicely. An electriv version would be fun. I’m considering it.

  5. Thank you for the review! I’ve been waiting for this model to come back on the market, as many have. I guess the big questions is – Who’s selling it in the US? I do not fly with gas engine’s I’ll convert over to electric. But if anyone knows of a dealer here in the US please post the website address.


    1. Hobby People is carrying it: http://www.hobbypeople.net.

      1. Thank you Debra! They have both models for those interested:
        BH Commander Twin EP ARF 58” = $279.99 ON SALE
        and the BH Commander Twin 46 ARF w/Air Retracts 81” = $489.99

  6. Can anyone tell me how to balance this beautiful twin Commander?

    Thanks Tom.

  7. The instructions will have that marked, but if not you can measure about 1/3 back from the leading edge, but stay on the in front of the wing spar. If 1/3 back is beyond the spar, then measure at the spar line. This should get you close.

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