Home » Airborne Platforms » NOAA Rockwell Aero Commander (AC-500S) - 2 aircraft
NOAA Rockwell Aero Commander (AC-500S) - 2 aircraft
NOAA's two aero commanders are utilized primarily as aerial survey platforms for visual verification of aeronautical charts, high-resolution aerial photography, and snow water equivalent and soil moisture content measurements.
While NOAA programs are usually planned three years in advance, requests for the use of these aircraft can be made anytime. Requests for aircraft time should be submitted on NOAA Form 56-48 which can be found at: http://www.omao.noaa.gov/fleettimereq.html Instructions for its completion and submission are also located at this website. Any questions regarding this procedure can be addressed to the Programs Office, AOC at 813-828-3310 x3127
Airborne Platforms
The Rockwell Aero Commander (AC-500S) is a versatile and stable high-winged twin piston-engine aircraft
Dr. James McFadden
NOAA/Aircraft Operations Center
P.O. Box 6829 MacDill AFB, FL 33608-0829
(813) 828-3310 X 3076
Aircraft TypeRockwell AC-500S Aero Commander
Payload1,409 lbs. (fuel, personnel, cargo)
Range@Normal Cruise - 670 nm @Max. Endurance - 860 nm
Ceiling12,500 feet (without supplemental cabin oxygen) 18,000 feet (with supplemental cabin oxygen)
Endurance@Normal Cruise - 4 hr 30 min @Max. Endurance - 6 hr 10 min
Capabilityone of the aircraft (N51RF) is configured as a snow survey platform with a gamma radiation detection system
Airspeed Range90-150 knots
Runway Requirements
Max Takeoff Weight6,750 lbs
Max Fuel Weight958 lbs. (159 gal)
Flight Crew2 pilots
Number of Seats3
Airworthiness Certificatepublic
Typical UsesAerial surveys and photogrammetry
Data Systemuser supplied
Special Field Support Needs
Research PowerTwo 28 VDC 100 ampere alternators
Cabin Environmentunpressurized
Rack Space Available19" racks
Available Inletsnone
Available AperturesCamera ports on bottom of fuselage (approx. 1' x 1')
Available Hard Pointsnone
External Podsnone
Standard Instrumentsnone
Training Requirementsclass 3 medical
Available InstrumentsAero Commander N47RF is configured to conduct a variety of remote sensing missions. The aircraft has been modified with an 18-inch diameter, belly-mounted camera hatch. This hatch has a hydraulic door which can be opened and closed in flight.When open, the door swings out approximately 160 degrees to provide an unobstructed view of the earth below. Using different mounts, a variety of sensors can be installed above the “hole” to provide remote sensing data. Additionally, the relatively large diameter of the opening can, in some cases, allow for the simultaneous mounting of several complimentary sensors. The aircraft cabin has a 28v DC scientific power drop and a standard equipment rack to house data collection computers, video monitors, GPS systems, or any other electronic support equipment.
Other Systems
User Support
Aircraft characteristics are documented at http://www.aoc.noaa.gov/aircraft_rockwell.htm
The aircraft is used annually for snow surveys. It has been used in biological investigations, such as algal bloom measurements, marine mammal and sea turtle population assessments, post-hurricane and severe flood damage assessment photography.
19 Oct 2009 15:44