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Old December 7th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

If you were to pick the ultimate bush plane for 4 people, what would it be? Something by Cessna? Maule? Found Aircraft? PZL Wilga? perhaps a homebuilt?

And I mean a REAL 4 seater, not something like a Tri-Pacer that only has enough room for a Hobbit pilot and co-pilot, and 2 Smurfs in the back seat.

Second question, what's a realistic number for the shortest take-off and landings possible for such a plane with 4 average adults??
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Old December 7th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Helio Courier
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Old December 7th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilawt View Post
Helio Courier
Do you know what its minimum take off roll is with 4 passengers??
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Old December 7th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Can't tell you for sure, but I know it is pretty doggone short.

How short do you need?

-EDIT-

Apparently about 335 feet at sea level.

http://www.helioaircraft.com/ourplan...rier_stats.htm
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Old December 7th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

I've seen one report of 217 ft*; mfr claimed 335 ft roll and 610 ft over a 50' obstacle.

http://www.aviastar.org/air/usa/helio_courier.php
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Old December 7th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Bockelman View Post
Can't tell you for sure, but I know it is pretty doggone short.

How short do you need?

-EDIT-

Apparently about 335 feet at sea level.

http://www.helioaircraft.com/ourplan...rier_stats.htm
The shorter the better. Was looking at doing some rock hounding in remote areas with a couple other guys. I imagine a good bush plane and pilot will be cheaper than a helicopter.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Helio Courier
I thought he was asking about 4 place airplanes?
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #8
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Many keystrokes and hangar sessions have attempted to suss this out. There is none. Easier to say what isn't.

My choice is an early 182 unless you need skis. Boring I know.

Edit: Or you can get a Wren, or the later Peterson 260SE, both modified later 182's. Heavier than a pre-1963 C182 but horsepower modifications, canards and wing modificiations made them great STOL performers.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Posted in reply to alaskaflyer's post starting "I thought he was asking about 4 place..."
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaflyer View Post
I thought he was asking about 4 place airplanes?
Does it not hold 4 people? It fits the mission. He did NOT specifically say "4 Place".
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #10
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

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Does it not hold 4 people? It fits the mission. He did NOT specifically say "4 Place".

Well sure it does. So does a Boeing 727 which arguably opened up the Alaskan bush as much as any airplane and has decent short field performance

I guess if you go back to the first variant it is a four-seater (the Helio not the 727 ). But then most of the attributes that make it a great low speed performer weren't added yet.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #11
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

You won't find many Helio Couriers sitting on the ramp at Bethel or King Salmon...more likely to see 206's, 180's, 185's etc. Some Cherokee Sixes.

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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Try this. It might give you an idea.

More often than not a 182 wins the heavy touring class, and there are 172s in the light touring class that give the Maules and early C180's a run for their money.

It is often software not hardware that makes the difference

As a friend of mine often asks in these type of online discussions, what is your definition of bush? Popular USFS strips in Idaho? Farmer fields in Kansas? Riverbars in Alaska? Gastons?

So, aside from gently prodding Pilawt and Greg about the Courier...for four actual adults, and short rough strips at possible high CA density altitudes, you might actually need an aircraft that came with six seats, or at the very least the same HP as one. To play devil's advocate with myself the 182 becomes less fabulous with 900 lbs of human on board. C185, C206 come to mind. Maybe the Found Bushhawk.

C180, Maule are great airplanes and we use the heck out of them up here, but we are operating closer to standard conditions (cool temps and/or near sea level.)
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Old December 7th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmrg View Post
You won't find many Helio Couriers sitting on the ramp at Bethel or King Salmon...more likely to see 206's, 180's, 185's etc. Some Cherokee Sixes.

Bob Gardner
There is one that regularly works on wheels out of Fairbanks. The one that was often seen in King Salmon on floats had a wing fail in flight killing four people including a popular Arizona glider school owner working for the summer as a bush pilot, resulting in an AD requiring a significant inspection of all wing spar carry through structures for intergranular corrosion and cracking.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #14
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmrg View Post
You won't find many Helio Couriers sitting on the ramp at Bethel or King Salmon...more likely to see 206's, 180's, 185's etc. Some Cherokee Sixes.

Bob Gardner
that's because it has a GO-720- 400 horse in it, Smart folks don't want to feed it let alone maintain it.

My vote goes to the C-182 with the peeponk/bushwheel mod.

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Old December 7th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #15
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

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Old December 7th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #16
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

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Old December 7th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #17
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Bushhawk
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Old December 7th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #18
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

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Old December 7th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #19
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Pilatus Turbo Porter. Game over. Thanks for playing.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:21 PM
Posted in reply to alaskaflyer's post starting "Many keystrokes and hangar sessions..."
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaflyer View Post
Many keystrokes and hangar sessions have attempted to suss this out. There is none. Easier to say what isn't.

My choice is an early 182 unless you need skis. Boring I know.

Edit: Or you can get a Wren, or the later Peterson 260SE, both modified later 182's. Heavier than a pre-1963 C182 but horsepower modifications, canards and wing modificiations made them great STOL performers.
Why would you choose the 182 over the 180 or 185??
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Why would you choose the 182 over the 180 or 185??
Why would you choose the 185 or 180 over the 182?

The 182 is cheaper to buy and insure apples to apples, easier to land. Later models have a wider cabin than either of their taildragger cousins. The LZ will have to be mighty rough to justify the taildragger. And as the link to YouTube above shows often they will get off the ground faster and shorter than either a 180 or a Maule.

I love taildraggers but if you are asking about purely utilitarian factors, most of the time they have no advantage.

On the other hand see my post above about the 185's extra horsepower. Later ones came with 300hp.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:01 AM
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Ford-Chevy!!!!!!
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaflyer View Post
Why would you choose the 185 or 180 over the 182?

The 182 is cheaper to buy and insure apples to apples, easier to land. Later models have a wider cabin than either of their taildragger cousins. The LZ will have to be mighty rough to justify the taildragger. And as the link to YouTube above shows often they will get off the ground faster and shorter than either a 180 or a Maule.

I love taildraggers but if you are asking about purely utilitarian factors, most of the time they have no advantage.

On the other hand see my post above about the 185's extra horsepower. Later ones came with 300hp.
taildragger can land in rougher terrain. other than that I agree with what you said
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaflyer View Post
I love taildraggers but if you are asking about purely utilitarian factors, most of the time they have no advantage.
Have you checked prop tip clearance above the ground on a C182/205/206?

There's not a lot of room between the ground and the tips.

Does that mean an automatic prop strike?

No -- but best case will be an early prop overhaul after it gets all dinged up from loose stuff on the ground.

I think the taildragger's principal advantage is in keeping the prop out of the gravel for most of the time the prop is likely to be in the gravel -- startup, taxi, runup, etc. Sure the advantage is lost once the tail comes up, but that's usually a short distance.

So while I agree a 182 or even (Gasp!) a Bonanza could be a good grass or dirt field bird, there will be costs that a similarly equipped TW will avoid.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #25
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Re: The best 4 seat STOL bush planes.

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taildragger can land in rougher terrain. other than that I agree with what you said

I disagree, you'll rip the gear off a tail dragger just as quick as a trike.

the trike will not nose over as quick as the Tail Dragger.

The only advantage of the tail dragger is the taxi turning ability, and the prop clearance.

Big wheels on a trike are slower but they will get in and out of the same places as the TD.
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