Sneak peek: BH Models Aero Commander Shrike

Sneak peek: BH Models Aero Commander Shrike

BH Models has just released a beautiful 81-inch 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 brings out its great lines. Construction is traditional balsa and light-ply throughout and covered with genuine Oracover. Typical to BH, it comes with a complete hardware pack that includes everything from adjustable control horns to fuel tanks and spinners. Though not a particularly difficult build, there is enough complexity in the setup and flying that one should be at least an intermediate builder/flyer.

Unique features
After unpacking the model from its rather large box, it was apparent that this will be a quick build. The wings have the ailerons preinstalled and only need to be secured using thin CA (same goes for the elevators and rudder). Up-turned wingtips are already in place and not only help with aerodynamics, but also look great doing so. Aileron servos are cover mounted on the underside of the wing, maintaining a clean appearance.

Sunny skies, cool, crisp air with just the slightest breeze right down the runway—what a day for a test flight. After topping off the retract air tank and fuel tanks, the Aero Commander Shrike was ready. During the run up, it was pretty obvious that the two Magnum XLS46R engines would provide plenty of thrust. Since I had the idle adjusted just a little on the high side for safety, I walked the plane into position. The short takeoff roll was well controlled thanks to the tricycle landing gear. Once airborne, I quickly realized that there was plenty of elevator authority, but once I switched to low rates, I could relax a bit. The landing is best done using a standard rectangular pattern so you can gauge and control the speed and descent rate. Flaps would definitely help this plane. The gear is actually quite sturdy, as I found out when running off the end of the runway the first time.

Name of plane: Rockwell Aero Commander Shrike
Manufacturer: BH Models (
Distributor: Hobby People (
Type: twin scale ARF
Length: 57 in.
Wingspan: 61.1 in.
Wing area 722 sq. in.
Weight: 166 oz.
Wing loading 325 oz./ sq. ft.
Engine req’d: two .46 2-strokes
Radio req’d: 6-channel w/ 7 servos
Price: $629.99

See John Reid’s full, exclusive review in the April issue of Model Airplane News.

Updated: July 16, 2015 — 3:58 PM


  1. Hi there, just correcting the text info, in the first line you say it is a 81in wingspan model, and on the end of the text, in specifications you say the wingspan is only 61.1 in.! Check it out! Any how this is a beautiful model and wish I could afford to buy one!

    1. I have an ubuilt Bridi kit NIB if u are interested. Fiberglass body and engine nacells 81″ span.

  2. Gregg

    Fernando, the author is correct in a way. There are two (2) Shrikes. One is an electric version in a wingspan of 58″. up’ extentions are available from hobbyshack that makes it 61′. Price is $299.99. Nitro unit is 81″ with extentions already installed. hope this helps.

  3. The author is in a way correct. There are two (2) ‘Shrikes’. The smaller one is an electric model at 58″. With the wing extentions its 61″. The nitro unit is 81″ and the extentions are already installed. The smaller unit is only $299.99. Hope this helps.

  4. The nitro-powered Aero Commander is 81″. The text in the article was incorrect. The Arf plane in the article, is priced a little high, but a very beautiful plane.

  5. Does it comes with electric option?

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