An open question.
I may have the chance to base an aircraft at a 630M grass strip extremely close to my house. My current SEP is not really suitable, so what should I get?
I would like an aeroplane that will operate safely into the 630M strip, visit my mates at similar strips in East Anglia, but will also be fast enough to take me to the near part of France etc. I am partial to something modern with glass and summer IFR capability including a good autopilot. When it gets to business meetings and I have to be there on time I have access to bigger stuff that goes in almost any weather so this is personal pleasure trips only. Unforunately these bigger aircraft have spoiled me with their extensive equipment!
I think a G1000 equipped C182 would do the job, and probably a DR400. The former is a bit plain vanilla, the latter is lovely to fly but I would end up spending money to get it equipped how I want it, G500 and GTN750, and there are few with autopilots fitted.
Is there anything else that I’m missing?
I once flew a C182 out of Sitterdorf LSZV, which has 1500ft grass and 66ft “legal trees” at each runway end. That C182 had a STOL kit installed, but no tundra tyres :) No problem at all…
630 metres is not really a short strip. Many aircraft (if not loaded totally to the max) will be able to cope with that. Of course, it will also depend on the strip, notably the firmness of the ground and if there are any obstacles.
What actually is your current SEP? As Bosco sais, 630 m is not really a small strip unless there are obstacles.
That’s my POV aswell … But i think a normal C-182 is a perfect airplane for that type of airfield. I regularly land the SR22 on a 750 m grass strip, and even though one rwy direction goes downhill i never need more than 550 m. The take-off shouldn’t be a problem in any of the +200 hp tourers, but 630 m is fine for a C-172/Warrior/Archer as well. It all depends on the condition of the rwy and the obstacle situation.
+1 for the C182. Perfect airplane for this kind of mission. Will also take you around Europe w/o problems. The Katmai Peter references is great (I’ve flown one across Europe once), but you don’t really need that STOL performance on 630m, unless there’s something rather unusual about the strip, e.g. obstacles, very soft ground, etc.
I currently have a Slingsby T67C, but I am ready for an update, lovely as it is I’ve had it for nearly 10 years. The T67 is a pleasure to fly, but airfields like Netherthorpe are out without a good wind down the runway. Over the years I’ve owned, shared, or had good access to lots of aircraft, including a Super Cub 150, TB10, Beagle Pup, TB20, C303, and even an ASK16 motor glider. Now I fancy something with an autopilot and some gadgets.
630 metres would be my base, and it’s a reasonably decent strip, a few obstructions but no 100ft trees on final etc, but I have some old haunts with runways more like Netherthorpe.
Someone has helpfully posted a 182T performance section.
Using CAA safety factors for short wet grass (60%) and the 1.43 landing factor, results in a 976 metre landing distance required over 50 feet. Take off factored for wet grass is slightly over 630 metres – both assume no wind and operating at MAUW and MLW, and 0% slope.
The backcountry crowd prefer the early 182 types (A through C). These had variable incidence tail plane trim (like the 180/185 and Super Cub), taller landing gear (and better prop clearance), and were much lighter than the later versions. Few of these left in Europe although G-ARAW may still be available, if not recently sold. None of these would sport a glass panel or an autopilot!
We operate a C172s out of a 500 mtr grass strip and use it for touring also. The newer ones are equipped with autopilot, GPS etc. and can also be G1000.
A 182 will haul more load, cruise a bit faster and burn more gas.