Skip to comments.No-compromises SuperStol bush plane sells well [Just Aircraft scrambling to fill orders]
Posted on 07/30/2013 6:03:44 PM PDT by Errant
Just Aircraft Founder Gary Schmitt wasnt sure anyone else would be interested in the no-compromises bush airplane that he wanted to own and fly.
But in the year since the South Carolina firm introduced its SuperStol, the company has shipped 38 kits, added staff, and is backlogged until April of next year.
It turns out there are quite a few people who want to do the same kind of backcountry flying that I like to do, Schmitt said. Its come as sort of a surprise to us.
The two-seat SuperStol has leading-edge slats that deploy automatically at high angles of attack and enable the two-seat, side-by-side, tube-and-fabric aircraft to make extremely short takeoffs and landings. Shock absorbers on the main landing gear and tailwheel allow steep approaches with high descent rates and virtually no flare without damaging the aircraft. (See "Fly the new Just Aircraft SuperStol.")
(Excerpt) Read more at aopa.org ...
In terms of design, it kinda reminds me of a stripped down Pilatus turbo porter.
With those tires, you could land just about anywhere.
Yep, gear wise. In one of the videos, one of the co-developers talks about its roots being Kitfox, IIRC.
Amazing what current generation STOL aircraft can do.
But then, His Arrogance will probably state “you didn’t build that”!
I keep dreaming.
Yep, and don’t get it within 30 miles of his private 747 with several armed F-16s flying cover.
It ALL starts with a dream! ;)
I agree with you that it looks like it would be a helluva lot of fun to fly. It just seems to say, “Toss a backpack in here and let’s go!”
That could just about replace a helicopter.
I know someone who bird-dogged and did the 1st story on it and has a standing invite to visit and maybe snag a ride. Got to see it out of the corner of my eye last yr @ OSH. It is sick! LOL !!
Me too! It has really good numbers. He must think it’s a helicopter since he’s flying right seat all the time, or something about the way the controls are setup.
He also mentioned that they had enlarged the stabilizer and elevators for more control with reduced power on landing.
And a whole lot of less moving parts that a helicopter!
“It can’t exist without the prairy fields government built for takeoffs and la... wait. what?”
Osh is one of the items in my bucket list. ;)
Wow, amazing! Price is pretty amazing too.
4 Place Stol Simple...
I'd like to Propose the "The FrankenHawk"
The Highlander Folks ought to get together With Bearhawk's Bill Barrows and graft their Landing Gear Technology and Ribblet-Airfoil-Wing with Slats and Flaps on the BearHawk.
Oh My what a Monster it would be with a souped up IO-540...
Not a bad price for the kit. Not sure what the Rotax engine would cost. I’m guessing around 10K? Those 29” tires are expensive as heck. Don’t know if they’re included in the kit?
The Rotax engines are between 23k and 39k depending how much HP you want.
I have my wife, 5 kids and the dog. Can I get one for 8?
Neat little plane. Would this be considered an “ultralight” type aircraft, or would it be classified as a conventional/standard type? (I don’t know a whole lot about these things, so apologies if I just asked a really dumb question).
You can get a rebuilt Lycoming for that!
Not a dumb question. Would make a lot of difference in licensing.
You have good taste sir, they are a Favorite I hear in Alaska, replica and the real deal. The Bearhawk is easy to get in an out of, that is the 1st thing that struck me.
Yep! LOL, that’s the one I was going to recommend to him as well... ;)
Oh, didn’t realize the engines were extra (and maybe the tires too). Still, I’m impressed as can be. It’s going to be interesting to see how it does when they start turning up in Alaska. Also, wonder if they have any plans for a four-seater?
So do you, I must say!
thats an ubelievable vid. i cant believ that hting takes off and lands in like nothing.
i have landed in a piper on a stream bed in alaska and it was a lot scacier than that.
Have you heard of this?
It would be Certificated in the Experimental Category. I don’t think it is light enough to fall under the Light Sport Aircraft rules which is < 1320 lbs...
Last I saw, the Bearhawk still doesn't have a float option?
Errant, They have been put on floats, I am not sure if it is supported by Bud Daviddson and his team that do the kits.
I’m sure someone has since I’ve last looked into owning a Bearhawk. Too good of a design not too, even if the original fuselage design requires a little beefing.
Thanks for posting!!
PS: I could use the shock absorbers occasionally :)
No but thanks for sharing. Looks like a fun plane though.
Damn! I want one. That’s almost a helicopter!
Sounds like a modern version of the Fieseler Storch.
The advantage of light sport is mostly with regard to pilot qualifications. Less training to get a sport license. If you are older and worried about your medical you can use your driver's license as proof of medical qualification. I have a friend who had some significant heart surgery so he let his FAA medical lapse. He keeps talking about getting a light sport because he won't need a medical.
Regardless, the concept of operating off short unimproved strips and flying taildraggers should not be taken lightly. Even if you wanted to operate in the sport class it would be smart to get some high end training focussing on STOVL operations. I do have an affinity for aerodynamic slats. I flew TA-4s in flight training and thought they were pretty awesome.
Helicopter - "An assembly of aeronautical spare parts flying together in loose formation."
Looks like we both missed it again, this year...
Been to Sun-N-Fun several times, though.
Privileged to have spent 45 minutes one-on-one with Burt Rutan back in 1976, Dean Wilson for an hour and a half in 1998 and about a half an hour with Jay Carter back in the late 90’s, picking his brain on rotor performance issues.
I was then and am still amazed that these world renowned aeronautical geniuses would take that much time to talk with and mentor a nobody who also loves the “out of the box” aspects of aviation design.
Back to the subject at hand, Gary Schmidt brought a Highlander and an Escapade to our local Jackson County fly-in not long after they moved operations to Walhalla.
It is good to see that they are still around and doing so well.
I used to lease an abandoned B-52 air base for testing automobiles, and so I was familiar with the dimensions. This airplane would only use up half the runway if taking off SIDEWAYS on it.
I had an opportunity to consult with one of Rutan's former engineers about a personal project I was engaged with. Seems he had left under less than amicable circumstances, but confirmed my belief that Rutan is committed to advancing aeronautical knowledge. I'm sure that must have been some interesting discussion you had with him!