Experimental airplane and student pilot need only tens of feet to takeoff

May 9, 2011
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I've never been to Alaska, but I have watched enough Discovery Channel to know that if you live in some of the remoter areas of Alaska, everything you get has to be flown in by airplane. These aren't the big commercial jets that we see flying everywhere in most states. The aircraft used in Alaska tend to be of the smaller variety, and they are designed to be very rugged and to take off and land in only a few feet.

Each year there is a competition held in Alaska to see what bush pilot can take off and land in the shortest amount of space. The takeoff distances are measured in tens of feet rather than the hundreds or thousands of feet that your typical aircraft needs. The competition is held in the town of Valdez. This year one of the competitors is a 17-year-old student pilot named Bobby Breeden. Two cool facts about Bobby include that he is only 17 and his aircraft is an experimental that he and his dad built just for this competition.

The aircraft is heavily modified Super Cub, which is a type commonly used in Alaska. One of the features that stand out on the aircraft are the giant tires used to absorb shock and allow landing on rough ground. If you want to see Breeden and his custom plane in action, check out the video below of him training for the competition. Did I mention Breeden isn't even from Alaska?

[via Wired]


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