Read our affiliate link policy. Aviation museums with large collections of bush planes, "Bush planes used in areas where roads do not exist", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bush_plane&oldid=982969604, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 13:34. - Aug 11, 2018 2:25 pm UTC. ", High altitudes degraded the performance of the Wilga's relatively small cantilever wing as well. These rough-and-ready do-anything models deliver the goods and keep on flying. Last year, Mike Patey was flying his Wilga 2000 low over Utah Lake for a photo shoot with a group of other bush planes. "I have a plane that can go to 28,000 feet and do 180mph cross-country with four people and gear. Patey was flying a Wilga 2000 like this when it suffered an engine failure that gave him the idea to build the DRACO. But for Mike—a serial entrepreneur who founded and ran a deck/gazebo-building company with 200 employees by the age of 18 and later built a successful rapid-prototyping firm (Prodigy Engineering)—the opportunity to work is a joy. The engine swap was complemented by adding a 102-inch, four-blade MT propeller to harness the PT6's power. Posted on 15 Settembre 2020 by . They're in use everywhere from the Alaskan Tundra to the Australian Outback to the African bush. To really understand what went into it, watching Patey's series of build videos on YouTube is worthwhile—and not just for the technical detail. Vintage high-wing airplanes like the iconic Piper Super Cub (debuted in 1949), Cessna 180 (1952), or Maule M-7 (1984) join modern STOL airplanes like the Kitfox S7 Sti or Cub Crafters' Carbon Cub around camp fires atop mountain plateaus or at STOL competitions where pilots vie for honors with the shortest takeoff and landing distances and lowest stall speeds. A small two-seater weighing 1,023 pounds (464kg) empty, it can take off at sea level in just 110 feet, land in 140 feet, and stall at 36mph (58km/h). DRACO achieves performance and flexibility unheard of in other similarly designed bush planes. Patey points out that he can find jet fuel at most airports in the US and that, in other parts of the world, it is far easier to find than aviation gasoline. That was only the beginning of a long list of modifications, from redesigned longer, wider wings (plus-12 inches span, plus-11 inches chord), elevators, and rudder to bigger wing fuel tanks and special landing gear-leg tanks. Copyright © 2020 Flying. "Our parents taught us that if you started a project, no matter how much you disliked it, you finished it. It uses a turbine instead of a piston engine, and can take off in just 110 feet at sea level. Safely down, he decided he would rebuild the Wilga around an idea he'd been mulling for months. No longer considered a Wilga 2000, Mike has dubbed it "DRACO," a Latin-derived word meaning dragon or serpent. Yet I can take it where a Carbon Cub can go," he told Ars. A Bonnier Corporation Company. The STOL class excludes vertical takeoff and landing ( VTOL ) types, rotorcraft , aerostats and most light aircraft . The DRACO can climb at 4,000 feet per minute and cruise at 180mph. DRACO is twice its size—a 2,500 pound (1,360kg) four-seater that can take off in 97 feet, land in 110 feet, and stall at about 36mph. Ironically, DRACO has made the tens of thousands who have seen it fly online and in-person at Oshkosh happy. He opted for a new digital cockpit with autopilot, infrared night vision, and a backup camera, totally new wiring, heating and electrical systems, and HID landing lights from a 737 airliner. Standing by his airplane in the corn rows, Patey said aloud, "I'm going to fix this thing, get it out of here, and then it needs a turbine.". DRACO's PT6 will also run on diesel and other fuel mixes, which potentially makes it more of a bush plane. For comparison, take the popular Carbon Cub STOL airplane. Join the Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox. All rights reserved. Powered by a 260hp Russian-designed radial engine, the high-wing monoplane was sold from 1963 to 1996, followed by the improved Wilga 2000 (powered by a six-cylinder, 300 hp Lycoming O-540). Bush airplanes are the SUVs of general aviation—small, piston-engined aircraft designed or adapted to carry a passenger or two, or to ferry light cargo in and out of remote areas with crude or non-existent runways. The DRACO, a bush plane designed and built by Mike Patey in five months. A few have questioned whether DRACO—which cost around $1 million to build not counting Patey's time and which runs on jet fuel rather than more common 100 octane gasoline—can even really be considered a bush plane? At twice the power and about half the weight of the Lycoming, the PT6 would literally make the Wilga jump and perform even better at high altitudes. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. "To me, that makes it the ultimate bush plane.". But DRACO can fly high. They are used where ground transportation infrastructure is inadequate or does not exist. Before its conversion, the Wilga took off in 400 feet, landed in 280 feet, and stalled at 57mph (92km/h). However, experience has shown certain traits to be desirable, and so they appear frequently, especially on aircraft specifically designed as bush planes. It was the excitement of finishing a job.