Commonwealth Skyranger

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Commonwealth 185
Commonwealth 185 (N90683).jpg
Commonwealth 185
Role Utility aircraft
Manufacturer Rearwin, Commonwealth
Designer Gene Salvay and George A. Stark
First flight 9 April 1940

The Commonwealth Skyranger, earlier produced as the Rearwin Skyranger, was the last design of Rearwin Aircraft. It was popular due to its easy and stable flight characteristics.

Design and development[edit]

The Skyranger was originally produced in 1940 and was furnished with a variety of opposed engines made by Continental Motors and the Franklin Engine Company. Seating two people side-by-side, it featured a fabric-covered steel tube fuselage and wooden wing and it sold for about $3000. It had a conventional landing gear with a tailwheel.

Commonwealth Aircraft[edit]

In 1942 the Rearwin Airplane Company was purchased by Commonwealth Aircraft of Kansas City, Missouri. In 1946 Commonwealth re-established the construction of the Skyranger at their Valley Stream plant for just one year. It had many minor modifications but was essentially the same aircraft. As the anticipated post-war boom in civil aviation had not then started, Commonwealth went bankrupt in 1947. 275 Skyrangers were built by Commonwealth.

Serial numbers in the 1500s were built by Rearwin. Serial numbers in the 1600s are Commonwealth 185 Skyrangers.


Commonwealth 185, built in 1946, at Boeing Field, Seattle, in May 1989

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2
  • Length: 21 ft 9 in ( m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in ( m)
  • Gross weight: 1,350 lb (612 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental C85, 85 hp (63 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 114 mph ( km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 103 mph ( km/h)
  • Range: 600 miles ( km)
  • Endurance: 5 hours
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft ( m)
  • Rate of climb: 650 ft/min ( m/s)


  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 757. 
  • Simpson, R. W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. p. 412. 

External links[edit]