Fifty years on the planet, two of those aloft in 77 different types of airplanes, and I finally flew a Commander today.
I took a one hour demo hop out of Torrance in N698R, a '60 500B that's been for sale for well over a year.https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/21081129/1960-aero-commander-500b
They asking 170K, but I think I can get it down to 150 or less. Maybe. Maybe not.
Really great airplane and so very nice to fly. Sublime. What should probably be described as an honest airplane. Perfectly stable with full roll authority at 50 KIAS. Linear gradient through the buffet, clean break where just partially unloading it while gaining about five to seven knots puts it right back into controllable flight with maybe 100 feet lost. Better stall manners than my J-3.
I liked the Turbine commander yokes, the Aspen and 530/430 combo. I loved the turbo Lycomings, very easy to manage. The taxiing was interesting. By the end of the flight I had it nailed. Anybody who saw me taxi out would have demanded a breathalyzer test. I can give give thanks for (mostly) decreasing amplitude on the swerves.
Energy management was a breeze and the landing was a cinch. She does nice lazy 8's.
Today is a sad day because I don't think I can afford it. Even if I bought Buddha Belly's Shrike, (Which is a lovely
airplane) I fear the associated costs would just eat me alive. (Avionics upgrade and eventual overhaul.) And it isn't just the financial reality because truth be told, I'd sell the Cub, and turn into the world's biggest open time whore to pick up as much flying at the airline as it takes to increase my monthly take home pay the $5000 or more I'd spend on the ten hours of 500B or Shrike flying a month I'd like to do. The decision making calculus between this one and Jeff's would be larger monthly note with little money spent on upgrades vs. smaller monthly note with bigger budget for airplane goodies.
I say I can't afford it mostly because my fiance doesn't like airplanes, isn't interested in this one and thinks it's a poor use of my funds. So I find myself at the realization that I would be foolish to spend all my time and money on something she doesn't see doing with me.
Which is sad because I'd love to take an Aero Commander all over the U.S. With her and the Weimeraners in back.
C'est la vie. I'm open to any hive wisdom y'all might want to offer up. Congratulations on your airplanes, they are wonderful flying machines. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm going to sit down with my finances tomorrow and do a gut check.