IAI Westwind

infobox Aircraft
name = Jet Commander/Westwind
type = Business jet
manufacturer = Israel Aircraft Industries

caption = IAI 1124 Westwind
designer =
first flight = 2 January 1963
introduced = 1965
retired =
status = Active service
primary user = Pel-Air
more users =
produced = 1965-1987
number built = 442
unit cost =
developed from = Aero Commander 500
variants with their own articles = IAI Astra Gulfstream G100

The Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Westwind is a business jet that became a cornerstone of the Israeli aircraft manufacturing industry and remained in production for twenty years. Usually set up for seven passengers, it can carry as many as ten, or be quickly reconfigured as a fast air freight aircraft.


The Westwind was originally designed in the United States by Aero Commander as a development of its twin-propeller namesake aircraft, first flying on 2 January 1963 as the Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander. It was of broadly conventional business jet arrangement, with two engines mounted in nacelles carried on the rear fuselage. However the wings were mounted halfway up the fuselage instead of the typical low-wing arrangement of aircraft in this class. After successful testing, the aircraft was put into series production with deliveries to customers beginning in early 1965.

Shortly thereafter, Aero Commander was acquired by North American Rockwell. The Jet Commander created a problem, since Rockwell already had an executive jet of its own design, the Sabreliner, and could not keep both in production because of anti-trust laws. It was therefore decided to sell off the rights to the Jet Commander, which were purchased by IAI in 1968.

Jet Commander production amounted to 150 aircraft in the United States and Israel before IAI undertook a series of modifications to create the 1123 Westwind. These included stretching the fuselage and increased maximum takeoff, maximum landing, and maximum zero-fuel weights, with the wing modified to incorporate double-slotted flaps and drooped leading edges and tip tanks. The trimmable horizontal stabiliser was also modified to have increased span and more travel. Not long after the aircraft went into production, the original turbojet engines were replaced by more fuel-efficient Garrett TFE731 turbofans There were also numerous airframe modifications, such as drooped leading edges on the wings, a dorsal fin, revised engine pylons and nacelles, and further increases in maximum takeoff, maximum landing, and maximum zero-fuel weights. With improvements to a number of onboard systems incorporated as well, these changes resulted in the 1124 Westwind delivered from 1976.

In 1976, in the wake of the terrorist takeover of the Savoy hotel in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Air Force decided to use the Westwind as the basis for a maritime patrol aircraft, which became known as the IAI Sea Scan.

In 1980 deliveries of the Model 1124A commenced; modifications included a new wing centre-section and the addition of winglets to the tips. The revamped aircraft was called the Westwind II, replacing the original design in production. IAI built its last Westwind in 1987, after a total of 442 Jet Commanders and Westwinds had been built, switching production to the Astra.


Aero Commander

;1121 Jet Commander: Original production version, powered by two General Electric CJ610-1 engines developing 2,850 lbf each; or modified with two CJ610-5 engines developing 2,950 lbf each. 120 built including two prototypes [http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/ad46abf7e926a72f8525672700701087/$FILE/ATT1CHYM/A2SW.pdf FAA Type Certificate Number A2SW] retrieved 2008-01-04.] .

;1121A: Slightly modified version with CJ610-1 engines. Eleven built.

;1121B Commodore: Version manufactured with CJ610-5 engines. Nineteen built.

;1122: Improved version developed but not put into production; two aircraft built and subsequently converted to 1123 Westwinds.


;1123 Westwind: Improved version of the 1121. The cabin was stretched by 0.51m (1ft 8in) and the aircraft was fitted with more powerful CJ610-9 engines developing 3,100 lbf each and a Microturbo Saphir III auxiliary power unit (APU). 36 builtFrawley, Gerald. "IAI Westwind", "The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 1997/98" p123. Aerospace Publications, Fyshwick ACT 1997. ISBN 1 875671 26 9]

;1124 Westwind: Greatly improved version powered by two Garrett TFE731-3-1G turbofan engines developing 3,700 lbf each, APU deleted.

;1124 Westwind I: Name given to 1124 after introduction of Westwind II.

;1124N Sea Scan: Maritime surveillance aircraft.

;1124A Westwind II: Refined version of the 1124 built from 1980 onwards.

In Popular Culture

In the first days of her administration, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin followed through on a campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet purchased (on a state government credit account) by the Murkowski administration. The state placed the jet for sale on eBay three times. In August 2007, the jet was sold through a broker for $2.1 millionNew York TImes. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/25/us/25jet.html Jet That Helped Defeat an Alaska Governor Is Sold. August 25, 2007] retrieved 2008-09-05] .



pecifications (1124A Westwind II)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?= plane
jet or prop?= jet
crew= Two (pilot & co-pilot)
capacity= Up to 10 passengers
length main= 15.93 m
length alt= 52 ft 3 in
span main= 13.65 m
span alt= 44 ft 5 in
height main= 4.81 m
height alt= 15 ft 10 in
area main= 28.6 m²
area alt= 308 ft²
empty weight main= 6,010 kg
empty weight alt= 13,250 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 10,660 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 23,500 lb
more general=

engine (jet)=Garrett TFE731-3-1G
type of jet=turbofan engines
number of jets=2
thrust main= 16.5 kN
thrust alt= 3,700 lbf
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=

max speed main= 868 km/h
max speed alt= 365 knots indicated, 544 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main= 4,430 km
range alt= 2,392 nm, 2,770 mi
ceiling main= 13,720 m
ceiling alt= 45,000 ft
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
more performance=


ee also

* Aero Commander 500
* IAI Astra

similar aircraft=
* Cessna Citation II

* List of civil aircraft
see also=

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