Watch modified Super Cubs take off and land in ridiculously short distances…
Earlier this month, May 6th, pilots from all over North America gathered at the coastal town of Valdez for the annual Fly-In & Air Show. One of the fair main events is the Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) competition, in which pilots must take off and land within a short a range as possible.
Most competitors in the contest are experience bush pilots, however this year, a young rising star, Bobby Breeden, promised to give everyone a run for their money. His custom-built Super Cub, modified by Bobby and his father, features some dramatic upgrades that allow the plane to perform STOL maneuvers in less than 100 feet.
Most aircraft use between 1,000 or 1,500 feet to land on a paved runway, but landing in rough terrain of place such as Alaska pilots often only have just a few hundred feet to take-off land safely on the ground. Planes adjusted for STOL performance enable bush pilots to touch down on grounds not accessible to conventional aircraft.
The Breeden’s Super Cub has huge 35-inch tires that are inflated to 3psi to absorb the impact of landing on rough terrain; they also give the wing a high angle of attack which aids short take off and landing process.
The engine has been bored out to accommodate an additional 15 cubic inches (making a total of 375”) and puts out around 210 horse power. To counter the additional weight of the engine the composite propeller weighs just 14 pounds.
These mods allow the plane to fly more like a helicopter, resulting is super-short take off and landings.
“It’s just full power with the brakes locked and you get the tail up,” Breeden says, “you just rotate immediately as you release the brakes and it just lifts off the ground.”
Breeden placed fourth in the competition, with a total distance of 101 ft. The winning prize went to pilot Ed Doyle, of Manhattan, Kansas, who flew another heavily modified Super Cub known as the Cuzoom, owned by Mike Olson, of Yakima, Washington, a total distance of 78ft.
Their Super Cub featured, 238-hp Aero Sport Power 0-360 engine, with nitrous oxide boost; a special three-blade composite prop from Catto Propeller; an 80-inch diameter, 17 pounds, 37-degree pitch; extended gear legs; and an 80-degree flap system for ultimate control at very low speeds.
Watch the full competition including Ed Doyle’s Cuzoom and the Breeden’s custom Super Cub below.