This Plane Needs Only 10 Feet of Runway to Takeoff


(Video Link)


Bush pilots in Alaska need to be able to land and take off in short distances. Many of them recently attended a competition focusing on this skill in the town of Knik River. Bobby Breeden, a student pilot, can do it in ten feet using a modified Piper Super Cub. Here's how:

The massive 35-inch tires are inflated to less than 3 psi to absorb the impact of landing on rocks and other debris. They also give the wing a high angle of attack to aid in decreasing the takeoff and landing distances. The engine has been stroked out an additional 15 cubic inches (375 total) and puts out around 210 horsepower. To help balance the heavier engine, the composite propeller weighs just 14 pounds. The result is helicopter-like performance.

“It’s just full power with the brakes locked and you get the tail up,” Breeden says, “you just rotate immediately as you release the brakes and it just lifts off the ground.”


Link | Photo: Jason Paur/Wired.com

Previously: Fighter Lands, Turns Around, and Takes Off in Under a Minute

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@MarshlandSayyadina, scuse me but the grandaddy of the plane in the film would be the Taylor A-2 Chummy from 1928. The first Cub came a couple of years later. The Fieseler first flew in 1936, the Cub flew six years earlier.

The Taylor Cub was followed by the Taylor J-2 Cub which first flew in 1935 (a year before the Fi156 Storch) and the Piper J-3 Cub which made it into the air in 1938. After a Hiatus caused by WWII the Super Cub was introduced in 1949.

So, in short, the Fieseler Storch grandaddy of the bush planes used in Alaska today? Hardly.
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@whitcwa, and why would he do that. If you're attempting a short take off then you will always do it into the wind. Only a complete idiot would even think about, let alone discuss or attempt a short takeoff downwind.
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In WW2 the German's had a plane that was likely the great ancestor of these bush planes. The Fieseler, FI-156 Storch ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fieseler_Fi_156 ) could land and take off in some truly amazing distances and was even said to be able to descend vertically with a stiff enough headwind.
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Still, I was impressed. I have never seen a plane take off like a helicopter -- with almost no runway use. Would like to see the same plane and technique tried under different conditions, too.
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