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Thread: Basic Bush Aeronautics?

  1. #1

    Default Basic Bush Aeronautics?

    Howdy. I'm new.. very new.

    I came up here to learn more about little planes and suchlike. Sure I can count my hours on one hand now, but that'll change - I'm looking to get papered in both piloting and A&P eventually.

    SO.. with that in mind - is there a text or two I can check out to learn more about modern bushplanes? Seems everything I can find is either about bigger airline craft, the frontiersy era, or is a coffee table book with lots of pretty pictures and nice stories but not much real information.

    What I'm looking for then is a book or suchlike that's a basic primer on "these are the planes you usually find in the bush. these are their ranges, useful payloads, and funny quirks. These are modifications you typically find on wings, landing gear, engine mounts, so forth and so on, and why some people like them and some people don't."

    Is there ANYTHING like that out there?



    PS - why is the SuperCub frame made from tubular steel rather than aluminum? Is the strength difference that much in this application?

    PPS - I'm still amazed at how much flying machines cost compared to say... power mowers, to say nothing of autos. How much of that is economy of scale, and how much FAA? (was that too much of a can of worms to open with a first post? )

  2. #2


    Here's a few:

    F.E. Potts Guide to Bush Flying
    Bill Clarke , Pilot's Guide to Affordable Classics
    Joe Christy, Piper Classics

    Also, check out websites like and backcountry

  3. #3


    Cool - thank you! The supercub site particularly looks interesting.

    I have the Potts book - I'll have to keep an eye out for the other two. Thank you again!

    (As a side note... how many ol' rusted out airframes are there in this state? I counted two or three sitting up on blocks just like the ol' trucks down south just walking around the neighborhood yesterday... different world it is it is...)


  4. #4

    Default Other books

    Try Sparky Imenson's "Mountain Flying Bible" & Plourd's (sp?) Complete Taildragger. Very informational & detailed.

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default basic bush aeronautics

    Is F.E. Potts still around?? an amazing guy...i'd like to read his autobio sometime. I have his flying book....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    chugiak, ak

    Thumbs up cool place for books

    Tidal wave on Northern lights in the same strip mall as REI as tons of used books. I bet you could find a bunch there. I have even found a few very interesting aviation books at yard sales!! I graduated a aero engineer and came up here with all my lisc, and got a job, and learned a TON from alot of the old timers. Go to these fly ins, thats where you will learn alot, talking to the owners of the old birds. Trust me, you hang around some of these places, and meet a few people, you will learn alot!! I have been up here 13 yrs now, and have about 14,000 hrs and learn something new everyday. If you haven't figured it out yet, it will take over your life!!!!!
    I have just been bitten by the kit planes!! anyone know anybody with a tundra? I think I need to try one of those out!!!
    I digress, anyway have fun!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006



    The best two books about bush flying in my mind are "Wager With the Wind" about Don Sheldon and "Flying Cold" about Russ Merrill. They aren't technical books with specifications and charts but you'll get a good idea about what planes they used and you'll enjoy some excellent reading.

    As for Cubs using steel tubes? Remember that these planes originated in the 1940s and evolved slowly after that. Steel tubing was light enough, available, and was easy to weld. Those rules haven't changed. 60 years later and airplane builders still look at Cubs as the benchmark for light plane performance, and nobody's come up with anything that has made Cubs obsolete. Compare that to cars and lawnmowers.


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