RON SMITH COLLECTION
No. 11267. Aero Commander 680V-TU Fan Commander (F-BSTM c/n 680T-1540-6)
Photographed at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, Paris, France, June 1977, by Ron Smith

Aero Commander 680V-TU Fan Commander

03/31/2012. Produced as a Model 680T Twin Commander in 1965 the aircraft was registered to Aero Commander Inc. at Bethany, Oklahoma as N6300. In March 1967 it was lent to the UK distributor Miles Aviation and Transport (R & D) Limited at Ford Aerodrome, West Sussex and was fitted with two . Turboméca Astazou XIIM turboprop engines. Miles had agreed to certify the Astazou XIIM for the Aero Commander, however, as the engine did not meet the specifications Turboméca ended the production of the engine.

Subsequently the Aero Commander was given to Miles in return for work already done, and it was registered in the UK as G-AWXK on January 22, 1969. On November 19, 1970, Miles sold the aircraft to Turboméca who wanted it as a flying test bed for its new Astafan by-pass turbojet program.

It was registered as a Model 680V-TU under the French test registration F-WSTM and it first flew as a jet on April 8, 1971, fitted with two 1,465 lb (665 kg) Astafan I engines, subsequently it was named Fan Commander. After certification of the Astafan the aircraft was reregistered F-BSTM on September 6, 1972.

As captured in the following site files photos the aircraft was shown at the Paris Air Show fitted with 1,585 lb (719 kg) Astafan IIB engines, and it was subsequently used for many years as a company transport. The registration was cancelled on November 18, 1991 as the aircraft was put on display at the Mas Pelegry Aviation Museum, Perpignan, France. The Astafan III and Astafan IV versions were tested on a Model 690A Twin Commander (c/n 11240), redesignated 690A-TU it was initially registered F-WXAS, being reregistered F-BXAS on March 19, 1975.

Created March 31, 2012