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Author Topic: Nose Cones - not all appear the same...  (Read 7590 times)

Russell Legg

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Nose Cones - not all appear the same...
« on: October 10, 2015, 12:40:57 am »
Hello Folk,

The following is a series of raw conversations regarding TCFG members' thoughts/experience in regard to the significant range of nose cones fitted to Twin Commanders.
These conversations are sourced from the TCFG Chatlist in the early 2000's and are strictly the opinions of members at the time.
While I am sure the experiences discussed are still as relevant in 2015, it should be noted that some key members featured have since passed out of Commander ownership.

Sir Barry Collman (Aero Commander Historian) will undoubtedly recall the discussion...



560E s/n 726


Aircenter, Inc. has a very good set of photos of before and after Nose job (Miller Nose) on a 500.

There is a 680FP that is for sale on ASO, 198JM, that has the bump style of nose as a comparison.

I would like to see posted on the commander site photos of panels.  Before and after. 

This would allow members a chance to see what others have done.  It sounds like some members have already up graded their panels

This is an area that is changing with the advent of new moving map, GPS, and Glass Cockpit.

I suspect that this years Aircraft Electronics Association show in Dallas, April 26-28, 2001 will have lots of new and interesting things. <>

The Moral of the story is,If vou have a pair of GSO 480s,you dont need a
little pointy nose! BIG AL

Yes, the opening in the nose provided an intake for the heater
on 560A through 680FL.  There is an option for an electric heating element to
keep the "peace sign" from icing over, it will shut off the heater.
       The Miller nose was a fiberglass "glove" that was standard equipment
on the early shrike.  Morris K can tell you the exact S/N when the change was
made to aluminum but I think he said about 20 were delivered from the factory
with the plastic nose. 
       The "Little Rock" nose was developed before the Miller nose by a
partner with Miller, A MR. Houde, also in Texas.  They parted company.  Both
noses were to remove the "Rhino nose" that housed the radar unit and were not
originally created to improve aesthetics, but to improve performance.  Miller
took his nose to Commander and the rest is history.
       The little Rock nose was then sold as part of "Little Rock Airmotive,"
to Fed EX.  I bought the tooling for the little Rock nose a couple of years
ago and later was able to aquire the STC from Fed Ex, so I now own that
conversion.  I have a tentative deal to sell it to Morris K who would like to
put it back into production.  It is slightly longer than the Miller nose,
uses NACA ducts for the air inlet, instead of the "chin scoop" on the Miller
nose and some say it looks even better, I have never seen one installed so I
couldn't tell you.  Member Harry Merritt in FL says he recently say an
airplane with one installed, looked really nice.
       I provided an advertisement that is now posted on out Commander site
from Downtown airpark barging that they painted 500 Commanders, the ad is
from 1959.  My airplane paperwork shows that the paint scheme would be
"detailed by the buyer" or something like that so I think there was a lot of
latitude in the early years.

As you know, the early Commanders had something of a stubby nose.
I believe the Chamberlain nose is the add-on "Wart" which allowed a
antenna to be added.
There are (at least) two variations of the "Shrike" nose - one being a
fiberglass unit which is installed over the existing nose, and the
alum. nose used on the later production aircraft.  Hopefully someone
can provide further details.

> Of course I hold with great respect the 'Mercedes' or 'Peace' symbol
> appearing on the early models. Do the gaps in the symbol provide an airflow
> to anything?

On the early short nose Commanders, that nose opening provided air for
cabin ventilation.  Some of those birds also had the Janitrol heater
located in the nose and I assume the heater air was also provided via
that same inlet.

I suggest you contact Gary Gadberry the owner of the Shrike Nose STC. Gary
is quite knowledgeable and willing to help.
His e-mail is . I had his Shrike nose along with several
other STC's installed on my Colemill Commander Super 300.

On a personal note I have often tried explaining to people that there is no
down or up when if comes to compass directions. South dose not equal down,
north/up etc.

Socialogists have pointed out that the north=up and south=down has helped
perpectuate a Eurocentric view of the world.

If viewed from space Oz could certainly be viewed as being on top as opposed
to "Down under".

I'm interested how this is thought of in Australia (if at all).

You may soon be seeing a new product in OZ called Superunicom PCAAS Pilot
Controlled Automated Advisory System . I'm VP of sales
and would like you thoughts if you have time.

Hi All!

As you know, I have been collating as much detail as I possibly can on each Commander ever built. In fact, I'm hoping to collate so much that my new 40Gb hard disk will be full up before I know it!

The Miller nose, is of course, the longer, more pointed one than any of the others. STC'd by J W Miller, it was adopted by Rockwell as the 'standard' on the Shrikes and 680W onwards. Similar ones have been STC'd by Little Rock Airmotive (later Federal Express held the STC) and Norton.

Other 'odd-shaped' noses are radomes. STC'd under the various names of CAIR, Chamberlain, Norton and McMillan, there are a number of shapes, some of which I've been trying to unravel. Comparing those shown in photos with data obtaining from the FAA form 337 works fine in the majority of cases, but then falls over when presumably the radome is changed, but no Form 337 is filed. What I'm saying is that the photo tells me one thing, which isn't borne out by the Form 337 data! I'm trying to match the radome up with the actual radar system installed, but this is going to be a lengthy job, as all the data I hold on Microfiche (thank you, FAA) will have to be re-visited. Even then will everything match up definitively?

During my last visit to Twin Commander at Arlington in 1999, I started to research the Warranty Files they hold. I started to record the original paint Design reference number, and the original colours chosen by the customer. Eventually, this data too, will be compared with photographs and possibly comprise a section in the eventual book I hope to publish. I'm going to be at Arlington again following Scottsdale, for two weeks this time. Last time was only for one week, as an exploratory trip to see if further visits were worth the expense. It was!! But, in order to recoup my expenses by the way, I envisage the book will cost $5,000 per copy!!! (Hey, I'm only joking here!).

In the meantime, if anybody can help with definitive information on radomes, please, please get in touch. I will be taking drawings of these with me to Scottsdale for further discussion.

Also, of course, if anyone wishes to re-paint their Commander in the original factory scheme, I'll gladly see if I can help, but it's going to take several more visits to TCAC (if they'll put up with me disrupting their routine again, of course!), before I've covered all the files.

Looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible at Scottsdale. I'm flying down with Jim, possibly on the Wednesday, so when you get there on the Thursday, I'll be the one on the ramp festooned in cameras! Please ensure your Commander is nice and clean, props suitably aesthetically positioned, and no oil leaks! No, I won't have time to clean it for you!!

Best Regards to All,