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Aero Commander (Rockwell) Jet Commander & IAI1123/4 Westwind

There are only a few bizjets with straight wings right through the middle of the fuselage, so it should not be hard to recognise the Jet Commander and its derivatives. Only the Hansajet has a similar wing attachment, but forward swept wings.

Furthermore the heritage of the Aero Commander model 500/680 is clearly visible in the Jet Commander, in particular in the tail, fuselage close to the ground (and thus short nose gear) and cockpit windows. Other particular recognition points are the main landing gear retracting outwards and the eyebrow cockpit windows.

After the sale of the production rights to Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) the latter company further developed the bizjet as the Westwind.

Nose of the Jet Commander/Westwind, which is clearly derived from the piston and turbo Commander series.

Different versions

To differentiate between the different subtypes you have to look at

  • the presence of tip tanks
  • the shape of the engine nacelles
  • the presence of winglets 

Model 1121, 1121A & 1121B Jet Commander/Commodore Jet

Three sub versions of Model 1121 have been built that only differ in engines (but all General Electric CJ610s) and performance, so they cannot be recognised externally.

When IAI took over Jet Commander production of Aero Commander (actually Rockwell) in 1967, there were still a few aircraft under construction. These were delivered as Commodore Jet.

Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander

IAI1123 Westwind I

IAI immediately began developing its own version of the Jet Commander, which was called Westwind I. Compared to the Jet Commander, the Westwind has a longer fuselage and tip tanks. Especially the latter make it recognisable from the Jet Commander

This is a IAI1123 Westwind I, although the engines are not clearly visible from this angle. Please let us know if you want to share a better picture.

IAI1124 Westwind II

The Westwind I with TFE731 turbofan engines received designation Model 1124 and marketing name Westwind II. These engines have a larger diameter than the original CJ610s, which is thus where you have to look at.

IAI1124 Westwind II. Note the straight wings with tip tanks and no winglets.

IAI1124A Westwind IIA

The last version of the Westwind was the Westwind IIA which has large winglets on the tip tanks. Furthermore it does not significantly differ from the Westwind II.

IAI1124A Westwind IIA

IAI1124N Sea Scan

Especially for maritime patrol IAI built the Sea Scan, based on the Westwind II. Compared to the Westwind II it has various pods for surveillance equipment.

IAI1124N Sea Scan

Confusion possible with

HFB320 Hansajet

hfb320

As the only other bizjet with wings through the fuselage you might mistake the Hansajet for a Jet Commander. However the former has a T-tail, forward swept wings and more distinctive cockpit windows.

IAI1125 Astra

iai1125

You are more likely to mix-up a Westwind and an Astra. The Astra is essentially a Westwind with low mounted, swept wings. The latter are a clear recognition point.

Cessna Citation

citation ultra

Another recognition error is possible with the cruciform tail Cessna Citations, in particular Citation V or Citation Excel series. While the general appearance may be the same, these all have low mounted wings, not straight through the fuselage.