STOL: Not Just Desirable—Necessary
One of the first “mods” an MAF plane receives is a STOL
kit to improve its short takeoff and landing performance.
The MAF has tried and tested them all and prefers the
Sportsman STOL leading edge, but it also uses Horton and
Robertson STOL kits (see Resource Box for more information). STOL kits typically include a leading edge cuff (that
changes the effective camber and lift of the wing) and a
wing-top fence (to keep the air molecules flying in formation as they pass over the wing). Together, they help the
aircraft remain stable in the slow airspeed regime.
The MAF 206 fleet also has Flint tanks, auxiliary
wingtip tanks that carry an extra 30 gallons of fuel,
extend the wingspan slightly, and add to the low-end
performance of the airplane. Hook explains that in
testing the Flint tanks without the STOL kit installed,
they saw nearly the same performance numbers, proving that the Flint tanks alone helped keep the airplane
under control near the stall speed.
Because of the rolling motions, vibrations, and
industrial-strength jarring that MAF planes encounter
on the ground, the organization prefers the sturdy
Cessna 206G model, which ceased production in 1986.
When they become available for sale, however, the MAF
chooses the beefiness of the 206 with floats kits since
the seaplane structural members are extra robust and
help support the aircraft and prevent excessive flexing
on water or rough strips.
All MAF Cessnas carry a cargo pod. The Cessna 206s
use one from Aerocet. For most uses, the pod is great for
carrying suitcases or extra cargo, but as Hook describes,
“We’ve used them to carry pigs, chickens—you name
it—anything you really don’t want in the cabin with
Aero Twin developed, and has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) for, its gravel deflectors. The
“mud flaps” keep rocks from kicking up and hitting the
tail surfaces, saving on maintenance and wear and tear.
A rubber strip on the leading edge of the horizontal
stabilizer also helps keep abrasive dirt, sand, and rocks
from scarring the tail. Another minor modification to
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009
to Salute Those Who ‘Fly for Life’
The breadth and depth of good works accomplished by
general aviation will be in the spotlight at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2009, as a weeklong Fly for Life program will
recognize and honor aviators who fly for humanitarian goals.
This program will highlight public-benefit aviation
activities and mission-based flight operations, with EAA
working with the Air Care Alliance and the International
Association of Missionary Aviation, among others, that
represent more than 200 organizations. Activities will
include a major display adjacent to AeroShell Square,
including aircraft, forums, and other events.
“There are so many ways that general aviation serves
people around the world—even people who don’t have a
direct involvement with flying,” says Tom Poberezny, EAA
president and AirVenture chairman. “Aviation is used to
meet basic human needs and bring hope in so many ways,
including medical and dental missions to remote regions,
famine relief, and a wide range of other humanitarian
projects. We are looking forward to recognizing those
people and organizations during EAA AirVenture 2009.”
Many humanitarian organizations have been longtime
participants at EAA AirVenture through individual exhibit
areas and presentations. The Fly for Life program marks
the first time all these public-benefit and mission flight
organizations have come together to highlight the ways
that general aviation serves people worldwide.
“This is a story that we want to share not only with
the aviation community at EAA AirVenture but also
with the public that does not always understand the
depth of aviation’s contribution to our world,” said Bob
Warner, former EAA vice president, who is serving as the
program’s volunteer chairman.
Warner said the program welcomes those engaged in
humanitarian, public-benefit, and mission aviation efforts
to participate in the weeklong activities. Those groups
interested in participating may contact Bob Warner at
1. Wing-tip fuel tanks
2. Cargo pod
3. Interior cargo D-rings
4. Mud flaps
5. S-frame seats