Photography Magazine

Rockwell International Aero Commander 500U/ Shrike Commander

By Htam

2018_TAM_7426_D500_AuroraHDR2019.jpg@San Carlos, CA

October 2018

While acting as the event photographer for a Hiller Aviation Museum evening event, I overheard the Museum Chairman telling someone to check out what he flew in on.  A quick dash outside revealed this Shrike Commander in twilight conditions, presenting a photo op I couldn’t pass up on.  First flown in 1948, the Aero Commander was a light business twin designed by a group of Douglas engineers using the A-20 Havoc bomber as a starting point.  One became a presidential transport aircraft for Dwight D. Eisenhower between 1956 and 1960 and was the smallest “Air Force One,” and the first to wear the now-familiar blue-and-white livery.  The aircraft gained fame at the hands of famed pilot R. A. “Bob” Hoover as demonstrated the Shrike Commander 500S for decades in a variety of “managed energy” routines, including single-engine and engine-out aerobatics.  Nikon D500 w/18-200mm.

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