IAI Westwind

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Jet Commander/Westwind
The Westwind is a Business aircraft with a mid-wing and two aft-mounted engines
Role Business jet
Manufacturer Aero Commander
Israel Aircraft Industries
First flight 27 January 1963[1]
Introduction 1965
Status Active service
Primary user Pel-Air
Produced 1965–1987
Number built 442
Developed from Aero Commander 500
Variants IAI Astra
Gulfstream G100

The IAI Westwind is a business jet initially produced by Aero Commander as the 1121 Jet Commander. Powered by twin GE CJ610 turbojets, it first flew on January 27, 1963, and received its type certification on November 4, 1964, before the first delivery. The program was bought by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) in 1968, which stretched it slightly into the 1123 Westwind, and then re-engined it with Garrett TFE731 turbofans into the 1124 Westwind. The 16,800–23,500 lb (7.6–10.7 t) MTOW aircraft can carry up to 8 or 10 passengers, and 442 were produced until 1987.


Early 1121 Jet Commanders are powered by thin CJ610 turbojets, and they have five starboard and three or four port windows.
Later 1123 Westwinds are stretched by 22 in (56 cm), they have tip tanks, and six starboard and five port windows.
The 1124 Westwind is powered by two larger Garrett TFE731 turbofans, the Sea Scan maritime patrol aircraft of the Israeli Air Force has a nose radome and additional aerials.
The final 1124A Westwind 2 has winglets on the tip tanks

Aero Commander[edit]

The Westwind was originally designed in the United States by Aero Commander as a development of its twin-propeller namesake aircraft, first flying on January 27, 1963, as the Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander.[2] After successful testing, the aircraft was put into series production with deliveries to customers beginning in early 1965.[3]

After initial testing of the prototype, it was modified to production standard with an addition of 2.5 ft to the fuselage length and increased payload and maximum weights. The second prototype first flew on April 14, 1964, which was followed by the first production aircraft in November 1964. Type approval was awarded by the FAA in November, enabling the first customer delivery on January 11, 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 antitrust laws. Therefore, the company decided to sell off the rights to the Jet Commander, which were purchased by IAI in 1968.[3]

Israel Aircraft Industries[edit]

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 increasing 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.[4] Not long after the aircraft went into production, the original General Electric CJ610 turbojet engines were replaced by more fuel-efficient Garrett TFE731 turbofans[3] Numerous airframe modifications also were made, 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[4] delivered from 1976.[3]

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. It had originally been developed to meet a requirement for the United States Coast Guard to replace the Grumman HU-16 Albatross, but they selected the Dassault Falcon instead.

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.[3]

By 2018, 1980s Westwind 1124s were priced from $300,000 to $700,000.[5]


The Jet Commander/Westwind was of broadly conventional business jet arrangement, with two engines mounted in nacelles carried on the rear fuselage, but the wings were mounted halfway up the fuselage instead of the typical low-wing arrangement of aircraft in this class.

At FL310 and Mach 0.74 (436 kn; 808 km/h), the 1124 burns 1,600 lb (730 kg) per hour, and 1,200 lb (540 kg) at Mach 0.7 (413 kn; 764 km/h).[6]


Type certificate data sheet[4]
Model Approved Engines Thrust Mmo Ceiling MTOW pax fuel Serials
1121 Nov 4, 1964 CJ610-1/-5 2,850–2,950 lbf
12.68–13.12 kN
0.765 40,000 ft
12,192 m
16,800–17,500 lb
7,620–7,938 kg
8 926 US gal
3,505 L
1121A[a] Sep 19, 1967 CJ610-1 2,850 lbf
12.68 kN
41,000 ft
12,497 m[b]
17,500 lb
7,938 kg
1,090 US gal
4,126 L
1121B Apr 23, 1968 CJ610-5 2,950 lbf
13.12 kN
IAI 1123[c] 8 Dec 1971 CJ610-9[d] 3,100 lbf
13.79 kN
20,700 lb
9,389 kg
10 1,300 US gal
4,921 L
  36 built[3]
1124[e] 17 Mar 1976 TFE-731-3-1G 3,700 lbf
16.46 kN
45,000 ft
13,716 m
23,500 lb
10,659 kg
1,400 US gal
5,300 L
1124A[f] Apr 17, 1980 0.785
  1. ^ overwing refuelling points with integral fuel tanks, new wheels, tires and brakes, improved cockpit lighting[citation needed]
  2. ^ with passengers, 45,000 ft (13,716 m) with crew only
  3. ^ Increased fuselage length, tip tanks, double-slotted flaps and drooped leading edge, Increased horizontal tail span...
  4. ^ plus Microturbo SAPHIR III APU
  5. ^ Improved drooped leading edge, added dorsal fin, new pod and pylon shapes, new wheel well fairing...
  6. ^ winglets on the wing tip tanks, New leading edge profile

The 1122 Type Certificate was cancelled, the two airplanes manufactured have been converted to model 1123.[4] The 1124N Sea Scan is a maritime surveillance aircraft, and the 1124 was renamed Westwind I after the introduction of the 1124A Westwind II.[3] The 1121C is an unofficial designation for 1121 aircraft modified under a Supplemental Type Certificate with an increased all-up weight available from 1971.[citation needed] The 1123 Westwind was stretched by 22 in (56 cm).[7]


Civil operators[edit]

  • Pel-Air: six, of which four are in aero medical configuration.
  • Medex Aero: three, two of which are in aero medical configuration and one in coorporate configuration
  • Brasil Vida Táxi Aéreo: four aircraft, two in aero medical configuration
  • Helipro Fiji: one aircraft is in aero medical configuration.
 United States

Nomadic Aviation Group, LLC

North Country Aviation, Gaylord, Mi. Chartered

Military operators[edit]

 United States

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • The Rockwell 1121 had 21 hull-loss accidents causing 45 fatalities,[9] and the IAI 1124 had 25 hull-loss accidents causing 47 fatalities.[10]
  • The latest, on March 29, 2020, an air ambulance operated by Lionair, caught fire and exploded during take off at Manila Airport, killing all five passengers and three crew.[11][12]

Specifications (1124A Westwind II)[edit]

IAI Westwind II

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83[13]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 7 pax normal (maximum 10) / 1,474 kg (3,250 lb) maximum payload
  • Length: 15.93 m (52 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.65 m (44 ft 9 in) , 13.16 m (43 ft) excluding tip tanks
  • Height: 4.81 m (15 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 28.64 m2 (308.3 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.51
  • Airfoil: IAI 54-12 (Sigma 1 modified)[14]
  • Empty weight: 4,536 kg (10,000 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,660 kg (23,501 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 4,345 kg (9,579 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Honeywell TFE731-3-1G turbofan engines, 16.46 kN (3,700 lbf) thrust each


  • Cruise speed: 723 km/h (449 mph, 390 kn) economical at 11,890–12,500 m (39,009–41,010 ft)
  • Stall speed: 184 km/h (114 mph, 99 kn) at maximum landing weight, flaps down, engines idling
  • Never exceed speed: 868 km/h (539 mph, 469 kn) at 8,840 m (29,003 ft)
  • Range: 4,430 km (2,750 mi, 2,390 nmi) 10 pax, 5,385 km (3,346 mi; 2,908 nmi) with maximum fuel and four passengers
  • Service ceiling: 13,725 m (45,030 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 25.4 m/s (5,000 ft/min) at sea level
  • Wing loading: 372 kg/m2 (76 lb/sq ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.31
  • Take-off balanced field length: 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
  • Landing run from 15 m (49 ft): 747 m (2,451 ft) at maximum landing weight

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sport and business". Flight International. 14 February 1963.
  2. ^ Scott A. Thompson, Flight Check!: The Story Of Faa Flight Inspection (Government Printing Office, 1990) p108; "Jet Commander Flies", by Gerald J. Schlaeger, Flying magazine (April 1963)p30
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Frawley, Gerald. "IAI Westwind". The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 1997/98. Fyshwick ACT: Aerospace Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-875671-26-9. p. 123.
  4. ^ a b c d "FAA Type Certificate Number A2SW" (PDF). FAA. April 17, 1980.
  5. ^ Mark Huber (December 2018). "For many models, market hitting the apex" (PDF). Aviation International News. pp. 20–21, 24.
  6. ^ Hugh Field (25 November 1978). "Westwind 1124 in the air". Flight International.
  7. ^ "At the NBAA convention". Flight International. 9 October 1969.
  8. ^ a b c d Hartoch, Noam. Jet Commander - Westwind Tonbridge, Kent, England:Air-Britain (Historians), 1979. ISBN 0 85130 075 8, p. 42-44
  9. ^ "Rockwell 1121 Statistics". Aviation Safety Network. 30 March 2020.
  10. ^ "IAI 1124 Statistics". Aviation Safety Network. 30 March 2020.
  11. ^ Jason Gutierrez (2020-03-29). "8 Killed After Philippine Plane Bursts Into Flames". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Eight killed after medical evacuation plane crashes in Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport". Channel News Asia. 2020-03-29.
  13. ^ Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2, pp. 124–126.
  14. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". m-selig.ae.illinois.edu. Retrieved 16 April 2019.

External links[edit]