Compare the fixed costs, variable cost, and performance of Twin Commander 500S Shrike to over 500 jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft, with accurate data from Conklin & de Decker.
The 520 led to the 500, 560 and 680 series of light twins. All four were variants on each other with different engines, weights and fuel loads. In 1964, the 65, 500A, 500B, 560F and 680F Commander models were dropped in favor of the improved 500U. With a minor change, the 500U became the 500S and was also known as the Shrike Commander.
The 500S was built until 1979 and remained essentially unchanged during that time. Two 290 hp Lycoming engines power the 500S. While top speed is not a strong suit of the 500S, handling and comfort are. Anyone who saw Bob Hoover’s aerobatic demonstration of the bright yellow 500S, complete with power-off landing, acknowledges the aircraft’s fine handling. The cabin was comfortable and seats a pilot and six passengers. With the high wing and low-to-the-ground cabin door, entry and exit are easy. Approximately 372 Twin Commander 500U/500S models were built.
In 1991, an airworthiness directive related to the wing spars almost drove the Twin Commanders out of existence, but support from the current certificate holder, Twin Commander Aircraft, ensured a long future ahead for the aircraft.
Lycoming Ly IO-540-E1B5 2