Operate from 450 feet of grass?

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TFF

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December 1981 popular mechanics on the 50th anniversary of the Piper Cub lead page shows what to do.
 

Riggerrob

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I wonder if you could "soup up" a Brodie system by attaching cables to winches and using the winches to catapult the airplane on take-off. This adds complexity considerably beyond the finances of the average homebuilder, but it might still be practical for a ship.
 

Riggerrob

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View attachment 118295

Instead of doing this laterally, why not vertically?
That circular dirt track reminds me of a delivery system developed by a (American-born) missionary pilot named Angel. He put small packages (e.g. medicine) or messages in a bucket and trailed it out the door of his Piper Super Cruiser (big brother to Piper Cub). As Angel flew in a circle above his client, the bucket slid towards the center of the circle and hovered in front of the recipient. The recipient merely un-hooked the bucket and Angel flew away.
During the late 1940s, an American inventor demonstrated a similar system that allowed an Ercoupe to take off from a tiny field by accelerating in a circle around a stout mast. A rope ran from the mast to a wing-tip of the Ercoupe. Once the Ercoupe was fast enough to fly on its own - and above the trees - it released the rope and flew away.
 

Dillpickle

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Check out Pitman Airs Dragonfly Rancher model. Has a nose on but no cabin. Watch the vids on his overly fussy website. I couldn't believe the short field performance with 400 lbs of spray equipment and a 200 lb pilot. Second seat and ag tank options. LOTS of YouTube vids showing minuscule takeoffs and some pretty impressive aerobatics. Even a float takeoff in twenty yards or so. Can be experimental kit or Sport Light. Power off snap rolls. Flat spins. Fun.
 

Rhino

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Jon Humberd flies his Zenith 701 off a 350 foot runway with trees. The only problem he ever had that I know of was an issue of width when he hit a fence post. He's planning to build a 750 Super Duty and fly it from the same strip, so it can be done with the 750. Jon does have a 130 hp UL Power engine in his 701, which is larger than what's typical, and he'll probably go with a larger than 'normal' engine with the 750 since he loves to enter STOL competitions and that'll get him into a higher class. But it can be done with Zeniths. I was kind of hoping to fly my 750 to his place someday, but that's way down the road.
 

Twodeaddogs

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In effect,you are backing yourself into a corner with your requirements. You are chopping away safety margins, especially with trees in the way. You should get a longer field or a helicopter, simple as.
 

BJC

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I have 450 feet of flat ground to work with, aligned with the prevailing winds for the area. On each end I have about 50 feet of trees, approx 30-40 feet high.
Just Aircraft performance, with an expert pilot under ideal conditions near sea level:
take off roll 400 ft 400 ft 400 ft 400 ft
clear 50′ obstacle 800′ 800′ 550′ 550′
landing roll 300′ 300′ 250′ 250′
landing over 50′ 1000′ 1000′ 450′ 450′
The two right hand columns are for the two versions of the Super STOL, which is optimized for short over obstacle landings with leading edge slats and a long stroke landing gear. Don’t be mis-led by STOL competition landing distances; they are the results of minimum weight shallow angle approaches to the landing area.


BJC
 

BJC

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Check out Pitman Airs Dragonfly Rancher model. Has a nose on but no cabin. Watch the vids on his overly fussy website. I couldn't believe the short field performance with 400 lbs of spray equipment and a 200 lb pilot. Second seat and ag tank options. LOTS of YouTube vids showing minuscule takeoffs and some pretty impressive aerobatics. Even a float takeoff in twenty yards or so. Can be experimental kit or Sport Light. Power off snap rolls. Flat spins. Fun.
That is an impressive airplane.


BJC
 

robertl

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Wondering what the options are for operating safely from a short grass strip.

I have 450 feet of flat ground to work with, aligned with the prevailing winds for the area. On each end I have about 50 feet of trees, approx 30-40 feet high. I'm ok with trimming the tops down to 20' or cutting down some of the taller ones if needed. After the trees on each end are open fields suitable for a safe forced landing. I'm about 100 feet above sea level.

Must have 2 seats and be able to lift 350 lbs from the described runway, would like a useful load of 550+ when operating from a longer strip. I would prefer an enclosed cabin for winter flying. Ideally i'd like to stay under 100hp, less is better. Aside from that it can be very basic, hand propping is acceptable.

It will be used for local recreationl flying, so flights can be restricted to favorable weather conditions. Speed isn't a priority, but it would be nice to cruise at 80+ mph.

I think that about sums up what I'm looking for. Ideally i'd like to hear from pilots who operate out of short strips in the real world vs manufacturer's claimed performance since it varies so much in the real world.

Thanks.
Gyrocopter !
Bob
 

Georden

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In effect,you are backing yourself into a corner with your requirements. You are chopping away safety margins, especially with trees in the way. You should get a longer field or a helicopter, simple a
The planned spot was over 800 feet when I got the idea I could put a runway there, it unfortunatly shrunk to 600 when I actually measured it, take out the trees at the ends and a bit for error and I'm left with 450. I knew 800 would work, I had a feeling 450 would be really borderline.

An R22 would be great, a 44 better but both well outside the budget. I've flown a rotorway exec, don't recall what model, but I didn't really like how it flew, could have been that particular one, or maybe I was just too used to robinsons, I was flying an R44 pretty regularly at the time so maybe I was too harsh on it since it's not at all fair to compare the two.
 

Mike von S.

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For load carrying, 2 seats (+1 tiny middle seat) = Schweizer 300C
Not as fast as a Robbie, but better load carrying and much more forgiving rotor system.
 

speedracer

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Wondering what the options are for operating safely from a short grass strip.

I have 450 feet of flat ground to work with, aligned with the prevailing winds for the area. On each end I have about 50 feet of trees, approx 30-40 feet high. I'm ok with trimming the tops down to 20' or cutting down some of the taller ones if needed. After the trees on each end are open fields suitable for a safe forced landing. I'm about 100 feet above sea level.

Must have 2 seats and be able to lift 350 lbs from the described runway, would like a useful load of 550+ when operating from a longer strip. I would prefer an enclosed cabin for winter flying. Ideally i'd like to stay under 100hp, less is better. Aside from that it can be very basic, hand propping is acceptable.

It will be used for local recreationl flying, so flights can be restricted to favorable weather conditions. Speed isn't a priority, but it would be nice to cruise at 80+ mph.

I think that about sums up what I'm looking for. Ideally i'd like to hear from pilots who operate out of short strips in the real world vs manufacturer's claimed performance since it varies so much in the real world.

Thanks.
Trees at the ends of runways belong in a sawmill. Or maybe a wood stove.
 

qchen98

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What about a ski jump? It's a quite doable project for someone with a bulldozer.That would help the plane to clear the trees.

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Rhino

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What about a ski jump? It's a quite doable project for someone with a bulldozer.That would help the plane to clear the trees.
Doesn't help with the landing roll, which is longer.

But you could use the dozer to build the whole runway up to the height of the trees. :p
 

reo12

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I consider those requirements an accident waiting to happen. It is just a matter of time before conditions are less than ideal and an accident is a result.
 

Mad MAC

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You are using the ramp wrong, would be better to start at the top of it and get better initial acceleration on takeoff and deceleration on landing.
 

jedi

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"lift 350 lbs from the described runway"

That includes fuel - Right?

I think you want a Wright style catapult for takeoff and arresting system for landing if you are considering regular operations.

If you could get airborne in 100 feet with good speed you would have a reasonable shot at the trees.
Also you need a positive safe stop in the last 100 feet.

Sooner or later you will get a cold launch or arresting failure.

It's not impossible. The Wright Flyer tookoff and landed in 120 feet but it didn't have the 350 pound requirement. BTW it was retired after the third flight as they searched for better performance.
 
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