Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Bit of a Bender

Ok, that last video is a pushover. They just flew over the road at low level. My dad just sent me one that beats it into the dust... literally.

What about taking off from a jungle road? In a regional airliner? In Africa's Congo? In the daytime performance-killing jungle heat and humidity? Surrounded by trees so close they can smack your wings?

Still too easy? I might add that this road-turned-runway has a 45 degree bend in it.

The airplane being flown is a Czech twin-turboprop LET-410. It can carry up to 19 passengers or 3.5 tons of cargo and is widely valued for its performance in "unprepared fields". I believe a curving road in the middle of the African jungle qualifies as an "unprepared field". :)

Note: the airplane graveyard off to the left as he lifts off into the air. Looks like an Antonov An-2 Colt biplane and some other Eastern Bloc aircraft met their ends there. That's ironic, since the An-2 is widely considered a "classic" STOL aircraft. The manual doesn't even state an actual stall speed.

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