The IAI Westwind is a business jet that has a long and interesting history. It was born in the United States as the Aero Commander 1121 Jet Commander, a jet-powered version of the twin-propeller Aero Commander aircraft. It made its first flight on January 27, 1963, and entered service in 1965 after receiving its type certification.
However, in 1968, the Jet Commander program was sold to Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), which renamed it as the Westwind. IAI made several improvements to the aircraft, such as adding winglets, increasing fuel capacity, and upgrading the engines. The Westwind became a popular choice for business and executive travel, as well as for special missions such as air ambulance and maritime patrol. It could carry up to 10 passengers and had a range of over 4,000 km1.
The Westwind was produced until 1987, when it was replaced by the more advanced IAI Astra. In total, IAI built 442 Westwinds of various models, some of which are still flying today. The Westwind is a remarkable example of how an aircraft can evolve and adapt to different markets and needs over time.