It sure is fun to pull off to the side of the road and watch those agricultural planes do their work. These planes make a sweet sound as they swoop over country roads to spray a field. The lightweight plane is maneuverable and the pilot knows it. Going upside down, twists and turns are all part of the game. But most people don’t understand just how crucial the old “Ag plane” is to the business of farming crops. Continue reading What Is The True Cost Of A Grounded Agriculture Plane?
Where ground transportation is inadequate, and in some cases does not exist at all, companies use bush planes for passenger and freight transportation. Bush planes are popular in remote locations, such as the Alaskan tundra, northern Canada, and the Australian outback, as well as many locations in Africa. There are many varieties of bush planes, but most of them have common characteristics.
Characteristics Common to Bush Planes
The features of bush planes depend completely on the remote area they serve. For those that must often land in water or snow, such as Alaska, Canada and Russia, the planes are fitted with floats or skis to make landing easier. Almost all bush planes have high wings to make loading cargo easier and to improve downward visibility. In order to reduce weight and drag, bush planes have conventional landing gear, consisting of two large main wheels and one small rear wheel. Large, low-pressure tires are common on bush planes that must take off or land on unfinished or broken ground, and the planes offer short runway requirements as well, to allow for shorter ground rolls in areas with little clearance.
Originally, bush planes were used in Canada in order to explore and develop the country, as well as for fire patrol and aerial photography. The first bush pilot in Alaska was Carl Ben Eielson, an aviator during World War I who was originally from North Dakota. He moved to Alaska after the war, working as a math and science teacher. Eielson persuaded several citizens to invest in a Curtiss JN-4, which he used to transport passengers between settlements before obtaining an airmail contract to deliver mail between Fairbanks and McGrath in 1924.
Forest and Emergency Services
In addition to transporting passengers and cargo in remote areas, bush planes also provide important forest and emergency services. In many areas, bush pilots assist in spotting forest fires, rescuing those stranded in the wilderness and, on occasion, controlling wildlife. Some bush pilots work with the government to spot growing sites of illegal drugs as well.
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There are some great planes out there, such as the War Birds flown by Clyde Zellers, but these planes truly take the cake! This is the first post of two on some of the most unique planes on the planet! Enjoy, and let us know if you have found some crazy planes by leaving a photo on our Facebook page!
When it comes to unique planes, some things aren’t practical and some things are impossible.
There has been a rumor about a plane owned by someone so wealthy that there was a swimming pool onboard. Sadly, research has turned up no mention of such a plane. While it does spark the imagination, one has to consider logistics of such a feature. The pool would have to remain empty until level, steady flight could be established, and there could be no maneuvering of the plane during use. If the plane experienced turbulence, the pool would have to be drained fast lest imbalance and shifting momentum create a fatal incident. Furthermore, just the weight of any size pool would be enormous (water = 8 pounds per gallon). A large bathtub may be more likely, but a pool sounds as practical in a large jet aircraft as a retractable sunroof. There are, however, planes out there with some incredible features.
Celebrity owned aircraft.
Lumping celebrities with billionaires only seems fair. If one has a billion dollars, it is hard to stay hidden for long, and people are bound to watch what you do. The following is a short list of billionaire and celebrity owned aircraft and their special features.
Donald Trump’s $100 million jet with a reported $120 million in features.
What, “The Donald” has to fly in a 43-year old Boeing 727? It’s fired! Donald’s new, 757 has been sighted landing at LaGuardia Airport. The 727 has been placed on the market for $8 million, but has not drawn any offers as of yet. Mr. Trump purchased the 757 from fellow billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen. There are conflicting stories about how much of Mr. Allen’s interior remains, if any. It is known that the jet spent a few months at a Georgia location before showing up at LaGuardia. It has been reported that the jet features large leather swivel seating, a bedroom with two closets, a bathroom with gold sinks and fixtures, and a circular shower, flat-screen televisions and gold leaf plated seatbelt buckles. A hard-to-miss feature is the Trump name on the sides of the plane done in 23 carat gold.
The Caribbean Cowboy’s love for airplanes and boats is legendary.
Jimmy Buffett loves his planes and boats, so it is no wonder that he enjoys combining the two as an avid fan of seaplanes. He currently owns four planes, a 1992 Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900, a 1998 Cessna Caravan 208 with floats attached, a 1941 Boeing E75 Stearman biplane, and a 1954 Grumman HU-16 named the Hemisphere Dancer. The Grumman is the subject of his song, “Jamaica Mistaica,” which he wrote in honor of the Jamaican government who mistook his plane for that of a drug runner and began shooting at it while it was taxiing. His passengers, Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, co-pilot Bill Dindy, U-2’s Bono, and Bono’s wife and children were unhurt, as was Jimmy. The plane escaped with only a few new air inlet ports.
One cannot talk about planes and celebrities without mentioning John Travolta.
The planes belonging to John Travolta may not have all the intricate attention to lavish detail that some of the others have, but that isn’t what anyone talks about when his planes are mentioned. What they talk about is where he keeps his planes. John can wake up at home in the morning, have his breakfast, kiss the wife and kids, walk out to the hanger, climb in the cockpit and travel to his work destination. While this may be true for some lucky others, there are few for whom it is a Boeing 707-100 and a vintage Gulfstream G-2. By the way, if you look up pictures of his house, the control tower over the dining room is reported as being a mock-up.
Check the next post as we get away from the celebrity talk and get down to some very unique planes! As always, if you ever need your own plane engine looked at, be sure to stop by Covington Aircraft’s website, and give us a call!
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