Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AERO COMMANDER “LARK”


1968–71


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STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,475. Empty wt. 1,532. Fuel capacity 44. Engine 180-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 138. Cruise mph 132. Stall mph 59. Initial climb rate 718. Range 525. Ceiling 11,000. Takeoff distance (50') 1,250. Landing distance (50') 1,280.

STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,250. Empty wt. 1,280. Fuel capacity 44. Engine 150-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 142. Cruise mph 128. Stall mph 48. Range 560. Ceiling 13,000. Initial climb rate 850. Takeoff run 750. Landing roll 390.

Aero Commander, a division of North American Rockwell, introduced the Lark in April 1968. It was intended to meet the needs of both the business and the pleasure pilot for a reasonable price. Equipped with a Lycoming 180-hp engine and a fixed-pitch prop, this airplane provides rather unspectacular cruise performance and short field capability for its class. The history of the basic airframe began in 1961 when Volaircraft Incorporated received type approval for the Volaire Model 10, a three-prototype version. The production version, the Model 1050, received type certification in 1965 with four seats and 150-hp. This design was acquired by Aero Commander 100. With the merger of Aero Commander and North American Rockwell the name changed again, this time to “Darter.” The Lark represents the final evolution of the line featuring a swept tail fin and rudder, a more powerful engine, detail refinements to reduce drag, and deluxe furnishing of the cabin. With the introduction of the Aero Commander 112 (subsequently Rockwell Commander 112), the Lark and Darter both went out of production in the early part of 1971.



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