July 7, 2005Commander Owners Take Over
By Russ Niles
The highly regarded Commander line of four-place luxury touring aircraft got a new lease on life last week with the acquisition of the type certificates, tooling and inventory of the bankrupt Commander Aircraft Corporation by an owner-based company called the Commander Premier Aircraft Corporation. Financial details of the acquisition were not released but a news release issued by company President Joel Hartstone suggests he thinks it was a bargain. "As a business, we begin life where most companies seeking to produce new aircraft find themselves after investing three to five years, and up to $100 million, in risky development and testing," he said. Hartstone said plans are to get the parts and service operations running as soon as possible with a return to aircraft production in 2006. One of the snags is that the company has to move out of the existing manufacturing plant in Bethany, Okla. But Hartstone said the new company has everything it needs to start over plus some intangibles that may help solidify the company. "Our Company was born because of the passion Commander owners have for their aircraft," Hartstone said. About 50 Commander owners have invested in the new company. The future location of its headquarters has not been released.
I. Safety: Commanders have the best safety record in their class1: 224% better than the Bonanza series, 240% better than the Mooney series, and 353% better than the Cherokee 6/Saratoga series.
II. Design: Commanders have a legendary heritage, are decades newer in design, and are certified to higher, more stringent standards of FAR 23 through Amendment 7. Bonanzas, Mooneys, and Saratogas are certified to the far less stringent standards of CAR 3.
III. Performance: The new Commander 115 cruises at 160 kts. (184 mph). The new turbocharged Commander 115TC cruises at 187 kts. (215 mph).
IV. Comfort: Commanders have the most spacious, comfortable and luxurious cabin in their class, with panoramic visibility from every seat. Superior noise suppression is provided by five separate layers of insulation, acoustical materials and rich pleated leather.
V. Service & Support: Commander Aircraft Company headquarters offers factory-direct, VIP marketing and service, augmented by one of the largest support networks in general aviation. Our growing number of more than 140 Commander Authorized Service Centers are leading FBOs throughout the world.
VI. Quality: Commanders are the best designed and built aircraft in their class: Commanders have had only three airframe Airworthiness Directives (ADs), and zero airframe ADs since recertification in 1992. The FAA has issued 43 airframe ADs on the Bonanza series, 40 airframe ADs on the Cherokee 6/Saratoga series, and 33 airframe ADs on the Mooney series.
VII. Resale Value: Commanders have the highest resale value in their class2. They are an investment. We do not discount aircraft prices nor do we use dealers who pocket up to 20% or more of aircraft values as their commission. Commanders have total price/value integrity.
VIII. Utility: The new Commander 115 has a range of more than 1,000 nm (1,150 sm), and operating costs of approximately $54 per hour3.
IX. Corporate Services: Commander Aircraft Company provides comprehensive ownership programs offering assistance with financing, insurance, trade-ins, training, hangaring, and pilot services. The company also offers aircraft brokerage and refurbishments services for all types of general aviation aircraft.
X. Exclusivity: Commanders are the most beautiful aircraft in their class and they are built to your specifications with the widest array of state-of-the-art equipment. Those who fly them are members of an elite group.
Commander Aircraft Commander aircraft offer the ultimate combination of performance, comfort, safety, and utility. Superior design and quality, comprehensive aircraft ownership and trade-up programs, worldwide service and support. Commander has set new standards. We invite you to visit our headquarters facility in Oklahoma City. You will see why Commanders are called the "Mercedes of the single-engine fleet."