U-9A Aero Commander

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Manufacturer: Rockwell
Designation: U-9;  (earlier L-26)
Version: A
Nickname: Blue Canoe (Air Force)
Type: Utility
Specifications (below is for U-4B)
Length: 35' 5"  
Height: 14' 9 1/2"  
Wingspan: 44' 1"  
Cost: $98,750  
Empty Weight: 4,300 lbs  
Gross Weight: 7000 lbs  
Propulsion (below is for U-4B)
No. of Engines: 2
Powerplant: Lycoming GSO 480-AiA6
Horsepower (each): 340 hp
Performance (below is for U-4B)
Range: 1,500 miles  
Cruise Speed: 230 mph    
Max Speed: 260 Mph    
Ceiling: 24,300 Ft  


The Aero Design and Engineering Company, a subsidiary of Rockwell-Standard
Corporation formed in December of 1944 in Culver City, CA, produced a
twin-engined executive aircraft prototype called the Aero Commander. Its first
flight was on April 23, 1948.

Aero Design and Engineering was established in Oklahoma in October of 1950 to
manufacture the aircraft. The first production version was the Aero Commander
520 Transport. This version received its Approved Type Certification on January
31, 1952. The first production aircraft was delivered on February 5, 1952.

These aircraft were used primarily for VIP transport duties. Throughout the
main part of its military career in the 1950s, the Aero Commander was known as
the L-26.  The museum's aircraft (52-6218) was an Army YL-26A liaison aircraft
from 1952 until the Pentagon system for aircraft designations was overhauled on
October 1, 1962, and it became a U-9A. (source: Robert F. Dorr, Air Force Times)

The museum's  aircraft, S/N 52-6218,  flew as a US Army U-9A and was last
stationed at Fort Eustis(?), VA.  It was dis-assembled and flown in a C-54 from
Virginia to the museum. This aircraft was received by the museum in 1988.
Between 1988 and 2002 it was painted and displayed with the grey USAF U-4A
paint scheme.  In May 2002, the aircraft was restored to it's original US Army
U-9A green and white paint scheme. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.