|Description (photos taken 27 June 2002)|
|Designation:||U-9; (earlier L-26)|
|Nickname:||Blue Canoe (Air Force)|
|Specifications (below is for U-4B)|
|Height:||14' 9 1/2"|
|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)|
|Cruise Speed:||230 mph|
|Max Speed:||260 Mph|
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.