At the closing stages of World War Two a number of engineers assisting Donald Douglas with design refinements for the Douglas A-20 Havoc had their own visions for the corporate aircraft they were sure would be in demand after the cessation of hostilities. These men, soon to leave the Douglas Aircraft Company and form the nucleus of a design team known as the Aero Design and Engineering Company, were led by Ted R. Smith. The original Aero Company was formed in Culver City, Los Angeles, in December 1944 to design and build the Aero Commander. In 1950 it was reformed as Aero Design & Engineering Company in Oklahoma to build the Commander in series.
The first Aero Commander aircraft flew in 1948 and were produced as such until 1958, when Colonel Rockwell and his associates (Rockwell Standard) acquired the company as a wholley owned subsidiary in 1960. It then became known as Aero Commander Inc, a division of Rockwell. In 1965 Rockwell-Standard acquired Snow Aeronautical, continuing to produce agricultural aircraft at Olney as Snow Commanders (as division of Aero Commander), and acquired Intermountain Manufacturing Company (IMCO) 1966. In mid-1965 Volaire become a division of Aero Commander Inc. After the North American Rockwell Standard merger in 1967 the single-engined and twin-engined types continued in development.
Low-wing twin-engined Rockwell Commander 700 produced jointly with Fuji in Japan. Thrush Commander was very notable specially-designed agricultural aircraft. The entire Thrush Commander range sold to Ayres Corp and then became known by the Ayres name and Commander Jetprops were continued by Gulfstream American Corporation.