All good questions, narfi, and you are much closer to the industry than I am.That is a very broad and undefined term......
Does it count only commercial operations, or does it include 'incidental' part 91 Lodge Flying?
Does it count $$$per hour? Everts fuel and air cargo still operates some pretty big piston aircraft....
Does it count float planes or amphibious planes? (I assume it does since that favors the 206)
Does it count for sheer number of planes (say 'cub type')
Does it count multi engine piston such as the Navajo? (a common work horse in its own class)
Does it count the big operations as well as the single pilot operations?
Does it count operating cost vs. income? hard to beat the A36 for that.
I don't know, but it sounds anecdotal.
It could very well be the top money maker, I am not arguing..... just curious .... would be interesting to see a real break down.
You should have seen the look on most of the tow pilot faces when I had the line boy run up there and tell him I needed a minimum of 70 knots for the first 800 feet ! They thought I was crazy. I was of course, but I wasn't wrong about that.Gliders will lift off before you, and every take off is a STOL type and slow climb to keep to the glider's preferred tow speed.
The object is not to create that lift gradually as soon as possible, it is to have that lift available and use it as soon as possible.Hm. An aircraft should leave the ground when its lift equals its weight. Ergo, the object is to create that lift as quickly as possible. The argument is that by raising the tail you reduce drag, helping you to accelerate. Fair point. However, with the tail low and letting it accelerate, you're creating lift from the start. Less wheel drag on the ground since the airplane is getting lighter on the wheels from the moment you start to move. Especially with big soft tundra tires. (Ever tried pushing one of those?)
Or, you could just test it on an actual airplane. Which people here have said they've done, which the people up in Valdez have definitely done, and have come to the same conclusion, lift the tail for shortest takeoff. You're not suggesting a brand new technique that's never been tried before. That video posted doesn't ever use the recommended technique, he starts with the flaps at 10 degrees, and increases them to 30 degrees at about the midpoint of the roll, and uses almost no rotation, the tail is nowhere near the ground when lifting off. Look how high the tail is compared to every other takeoff from that video. He waited way too long to rotate, and put the flaps on way too early.I suppose you'd have to plot lift and drag plus ground friction for the entire airplane versus distance covered, with whatever technique one favors and the see what comes up. I'm a firm believer in real numbers, rather than "we tried this and it's better" . Too tedious to work out for this hot afternoon though...