IAI Westwind

IAI Westwind

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IAI Westwind

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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 20 years. Usually set up for seven passengers, it can carry as many as 10, or be quickly reconfigured as a fast air freight aircraft.

Design and development

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 2, 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.

Operational history

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.<ref...
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