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DontfallOff

Best Short Runway Jump Plane

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A PAC would also be a reasonable aircraft. It has very competent STOL characteristics.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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AN-2 :)
"Take-off run: 170 m (557 ft) "

"Stall speed: ~50 km/h (26 knots, 30 mph)"

"The An-2 indeed has no stall speed quoted in the operating handbook. Pilots of the An-2 say one can fly the aircraft in full control at 30 mph (as a contrast, a modern Cessna four-seater light aircraft has a stall speed of around 55 mph). This slow stall speed makes it possible for the aircraft to fly backwards (if the aircraft is pointed into a headwind of, say, 35 mph (56 km/h), it will travel backwards at 5 mph (8.0 km/h) whilst under full control). (This is also possible with almost any other true Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft, but the Antonov has the distinction of being able to do the trick in the mildest headwind)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-2

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I second the PAC750. The Helio Stallion and Pilatus are nice planes, but having flown both I can attest to their forward visibility which sucks on the ground. You can't see much in front of you.
You live more in the few minutes of skydiving than many people live in their lifetime

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pilatus porter ?



+1

The Porter we had at Mt Vernon... grass strip of 1950' with 8 to 10 jumpers... VERY short takeoff roll. maybe a few hundred feet most days and in the afternoon winds Jim could damn near freaking hover over the end of the runway:D

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I second the PAC750. The Helio Stallion and Pilatus are nice planes, but having flown both I can attest to their forward visibility which sucks on the ground. You can't see much in front of you.



Frequently the case in tail-wheel aircraft.

The original poster didn't mention what type of runway he had to deal with other than "short." If it's also unimproved, the tail-wheel, high-wing, may be a better option.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I second the PAC750. The Helio Stallion and Pilatus are nice planes, but having flown both I can attest to their forward visibility which sucks on the ground. You can't see much in front of you.



Frequently the case in tail-wheel aircraft.



If it is a turbine converted Porter and at a smaller DZ, good luck finding a pilot that has enough hours in a turbine and a tail dragger that the plane insurance carrier will be happy! At least one that will consistently fly for the DZ at small DZ typical pilot pay rates.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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What options do we have if we are looking for a plane that has to take off on a really short runway (less than 800m and maybe as short as 500m) with around 5-10 jumpers on board and with summer temperatures rising up around 40C?



The DHC-4 Caribou has a bit more capacity than you need, but from the standpoint of short-field operation it is nothing short of amazing.

One Caribou pilot told me that they had a hard and fast rule in Vietnam - they would not operate at full gross weight unless they had 900 feet (277m) of runway. This sounds unlikely until you watch one in action with a skilled aircrew.

The DHC-6 is also overkill from the standpoint of capacity, but it is nearly as good as the DHC-4 for short-field ops, and it's turbine-powered to boot.

We used to fly in and out of Boston Logan 33R with runway to spare; 2,557 ft/779 m was much more than we needed.

The Dash-8 is, however, a bit pricey for a jumpship. Though phenomenally reliable if well maintained, upkeep is breathtakingly expensive.

For 10 people from a short, unimproved runway, the Porter is very hard to beat (there are effectively no more Helio Stallions in circulation). However, getting the thing insured is a bitch, and finding a pilot who can fly it well can be a challenge.

Good luck.


BSBD,

Winsor

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Sounds like everyone loves the Porter :)

There aren't many of those here in Australia - its a short dirt runway that we may lose more of because a mining company is trying to cut our operating space short so they can expand their rail operations.

The existing runway is 1200m of hard packed gravel, this is likely to be shortened significantly.

We need a plane that will let us work with a shortened runway or else we may have to close one of the best and oldest DZs in the country :(

The Helio looks good as well, what are they like to jump from?

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