I don’t post many pictures of my Cessna 185 because I simply don’t fly it as much as the Cub. I took this picture in June last Summer when I was out with a friend testing the effectivness of the 29″ bushwheels on soft and lumpy gravel bars. Everytime I see this photo it makes me wish it was Summer again.
For those of you that don’t know the difference between my two planes, the Super Cub weighs about 1240 lbs and grosses at 2000 lbs, has a 160hp Lycoming engine, cruises at 90 mph, is made of metal tubing covered with fabric, is certified to seat 3 people, and operates comfortably at gross weight off of 500′ runways. My Cessna 185 (pictured above) weighs 1800 lbs and grosses at 3200 lbs, has a 260 hp Continental engine, cruises at 140 mph, is made of sheet aluminum, certified to seat 6 people, and operates comfortably at gross weight off of 1100′ runways.
There are only a few airstrips that can handle the Cessna 185 in the mountainous terrain that we normally operate. If the 185 is light, it will easily handle a 500′ airstrip. If there is a steady 15 mph wind blowing it can work a 500′ airstrip with ease, and even haul quite a load. People often ask why we don’t use the larger Cessna 185’s for some of these jobs. The answer is that while the 185 can handle more than we give them credit for, there is little or no room for error in sub-ideal conditions on these marginal airstrips. The flexibility of the Super Cub in a variety of winds, lighting, and loading conditions makes it the most sensible tool for most of our jobs, and offers the most amount of margin. Margin makes me happy.
Here is a video of the 185 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnt5Zqgad5c