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Pops

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When we needed a work airplane for the business, we sold the Cherokee and bought a Cessna 172 and lighten it up and flown in the Restricted Category.
 

Dana

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But there was a period when the Cherokee may have been the most popular bush plane in Alaska.
If you define bush plane as a heavy hauler to outlying villages.
The Cherokee six was very popular for that particular Bush mission for a long time.
That's short haul cargo and passengers to improved airstrips. "Bush plane", as most people define it, is short unimproved wilderness strips, gravel bars, etc., or float or ski flying. None of the Cherokee line are good (or designed!) for that kind of flying.
Is it fair to judge the Cherokee by the standards of the least powered smallest of the clan?
Well, no. Sorry, I though you had said, "140", but it was Tommy222. But while the larger Cherokees are better performers and offer more utility, they're still not "bush planes".
 

Pilot-34

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That's short haul cargo and passengers to improved airstrips. "Bush plane", as most people define it, is short unimproved wilderness strips, gravel bars, etc., or float or ski flying. None of the Cherokee line are good (or designed!) for that kind of flying.

Well, no. Sorry, I though you had said, "140", but it was Tommy222. But while the larger Cherokees are better performers and offer more utility, they're still not "bush planes".
Why aren’t they bush planes ?
Because they don’t have the traditional look of a bush plane or they don’t have the capabilities of a 172 for an off airport landing or is there something else?
Often things like that are tradition. Let’s face it a real bush pilot should fly a rag and tube high wing tail dragger.

On floats!
 
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12notes

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Why aren’t a bush planes ?
Because they don’t have the traditional look of a bush plane or they don’t have the capabilities of a 172 for an off airport landing or is there something else?
It's not a great bush plane because if a wing hits a bush, you're not flying out of there. Low wings need a much wider clear area than high wings.

On a Cherokee, you need no bushes higher than your waist for it's entire 30'+ wingspan. For a 172, you only need about 12' with of no bushes higher than your waist to clear the tail. The 172 can clear bushes up to about eye height for the remaining wingspan, except maybe another foot per side for the wing strut. (Couldn't find the actual heights of the wings, so you measurements are relative to a 5'10" person). The clear area needed for the wheels is about the same for both.

Having a nosegear is a problem on it's own, a bunch of 172s have been converted to tailwheel (there's at least 3 different companies that have had STCs), but only a couple of Cherokees have, and I couldn't really find anything out about them other than one is an abandoned project. Better to start with a plane that is already a high wing taildragger if you're looking for a bush plane, but you asked about the Cherokee in relation to the 172.
 

Jerry Lytle

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How about a Stinson Station Wagon, the 108-3. Not fast but carries a bigger load than a Cessna 180. 1320# if I remember correctly. Love that plane, but did not like 12 gallons an hour.
 

Dana

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Why aren’t they bush planes ?
Because they don’t have the traditional look of a bush plane or they don’t have the capabilities of a 172 for an off airport landing or is there something else?
Often things like that are tradition. Let’s face it a real bush pilot should fly a rag and tube high wing tail dragger.

On floats!
Maybe we should turn it around, what makes YOU think they ARE bush planes?

A C-172 isn't a bush plane either. A C-170 can be, depending on how it's set up. A CH701 (metal and nosewheel) is.

But just what is a bush plane? Should we use the assault rifle approach? "A plane that has three or more of the following features," say, light wing loading, big wheels, enough power to get back out of a short strip, adequate obstacle clearance (see, I didn't say 'high wing'), ability to operate from rough surfaces (not naming tailwheel specifically but it helps in achieving that ability), ability to be easily repaired."

Or the sports car approach? "A plane whose ability to operate from short unimproved strips is its primary design criteria."
 

Pilot-34

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Well I guess I’m gonna have to ask for another definition. What is a short and improved strip?
 

Pilot-34

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I’m not sure if it qualifies as a bush plane but there’s some discussion about Cherokees over in the back country forum with some really neat pictures Of Cherokees.

https://www.supercub.org/photopost/data/500/IMG_0015.JPG




And of course there’s a guy there who recommends the many advantages of his bonanza V tail in the back country.

Like I said before the best plane is the one you have.
 
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Pops

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Maybe we should turn it around, what makes YOU think they ARE bush planes?

A C-172 isn't a bush plane either. A C-170 can be, depending on how it's set up. A CH701 (metal and nosewheel) is.

But just what is a bush plane? Should we use the assault rifle approach? "A plane that has three or more of the following features," say, light wing loading, big wheels, enough power to get back out of a short strip, adequate obstacle clearance (see, I didn't say 'high wing'), ability to operate from rough surfaces (not naming tailwheel specifically but it helps in achieving that ability), ability to be easily repaired."

Or the sports car approach? "A plane whose ability to operate from short unimproved strips is its primary design criteria."

You are right, a C-172 is not a bush airplane. Put big tires on it , it helps. Change it to a taildragger, it helps. Change it over to the Lyc- 360, it helps. Add the STOL kit on the wings, it helps. Lighten it up by removing all the paint except the N numbers, it helps. It still can't run with the big dogs, might as well stay on the porch. The Cherokee never had a chance from birth. To high of a wing loading, to under powered, wrong airfoil, one door, etc.
 

Pilot-34

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Yeah I got to admit that one door thing really sucks.
What do you think of as a good bush plane ?
Let’s see there the super cub , .....?
 

Pilot-34

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Define your 1000 lb payload. People and fuel count towards the payload. Most welcome burning off the fuel so they can leave with less weight.
1000 pounds is the magic number for a number of reasons
Two big guys some camping gear and 50 gallons of fuel .
Four people and enough fuel for an hour ride.
One person lots of camping gear and additional fuel for a long trip out in the boonies.
One person and a significant amount of freight into a remote cabin or camp,mine etc. .
Sure 1200 or 1800
Is better but
More expensive and a heavier empty weight.
Something to keep in mind when you’re trying to get back out of that small field you just ferried 500 pounds of equipment into.
Like we were talking about in another thread a Cessna 175 with one person and a half an hours fuel on board have some pretty amazing short takeoff ability.
 

Dan Thomas

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Some people consider this "bush" flying for their Bonanzas and Cherokees:

1590850737255.png

It's not. That's an unpaved airport.

THIS is more like it. See the tiny spot in the middle of the picture?

1590850929503.png
 

Pilot-34

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I have to admit they have some very good qualities
And current relatively inexpensive support is among the most valuable of them.

I have to admit that I am surprised I don’t see more clones of them like I do of super cubs and the short wing piper‘s
 

Pops

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A light weight Bearhawk. I built seats that could be folded down to make a bed for 2 people. The Bearhawk Patrol for the performance but a little less cargo room.

Mile High, Idaho. He landed on the 450' part, then the other 400' is straight up the mountain. Bob Barrows ( designer of the BH) has landed the Bearhawk at Mile High.
We have local strip where you go down a mountain side and across a creek and then land on the 1800' gravel strip up the side of the mountain were a tri-gear airplane will fall back on the tail if it stops before getting to the flat spot on top were here is enough room to turn around. Taking off is like going off a ski jump and you have to turn left and go up the hollow to climb out.


 
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TFF

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Tripacer converted to conventional gear is darn cheap. Maules can be had reasonable too. If you are going into lodge strips, a Cherokee would be ok. You have no wing clearance for anything. The Piper aztec is a popular bush plane. It is not a sandbar fishing plane bush plane, but it feeds a bunch of communities in Alaska. I know someone who uses his a single seat Starduster biplane for fishing trips. Lands on a sand bar. There is someone in Alaska with a S1-C Pitts with Cub wheels that is flown back country. He just knows he is not going to go super crazy.

Another thing to consider, STOL bush planes create lots of lift at slow speeds. You have to anchor them down if it’s going to be windy. I know someone has a STOL Super Cub. He says it makes 2100 lbs of lift at 24 miles an hour. Wind blows at 24 miles an hour his plane will fly. He would really worry when storms came up until he got his hangar built. You have to be ready.

I bet a RV9 could be adapted to low brush bush flyer.
 

Toobuilder

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I know a guy with a Harmon Rocket that he uses for all kinds of backwoods flying. That guy brings it places some Husky pilots wouldn't.
 

Pilot-34

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In the bush the commando is quite popular.

Everybody rejoices when They see that thing come into town.
 
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