Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure

A look at the best aircraft for backcountry exploration

American Champion Aircraft

American Champion has taken the old Champ in a lot of different directions including the 180 hp Scout, designed specifically for backcountry-type flying. With a constant speed prop, longer wings, big flaps and a 750-pound useful load, it’s ready for a set of fat tires and the challenge of a serious runway. Price: $148,900.

High Country Explorer
American Champion’s High Country Explorer option is a cross between the Citabria and the Scout. This option has a Superior 0-360, 180 hp engine driving a long, fixed-pitch prop. It has slightly more wing than a Citabria, but not as much as the Scout and still has flaps. It’s also aerobatic, should you feel like doing rolls on your way into the outback. Price: $127,900.

Aviat Aircraft

Aviat Husky A-1C
The Husky was specifically designed to be a modern Super Cub, take people where most airplanes don’t like to go and do it in style. With a 925-pound useful load and lots of both flap and horsepower, it will let you set your feet where none have gone before. Price: $240,251 (200 hp); $196,811 (180 hp).


Carbon Cub SS
S-LSA or E-LSA capable, the Carbon Cub SS is a butt-kicking 180 hp STOL machine capable of leaping mountains in a single bound. It’s a very high-tech airplane and not your grandfather’s LSA. See the LSA Buyer’s Guide on page 34 of this issue. Price: $163,800.

Sport Cub S2
With 100 hp, the Sport Cub is a tamer, still-LSA Cub clone that will perform with the best of them but doesn’t have the almost-scary performance of the Carbon Cub. Price: $127,000.

Top Cub
Cub Crafters began their business a generation ago as the premier rebuilder of Super Cubs, but they’re now the builders of all-new 180 hp Cubs that took a good thing and made it better. It’s still the standard by which all other bush planes are measured. Price: $205,480.

Found Aircraft

Expedition 350
The Canadian-built 300 hp Found Expedition is a mission-specific utility bird more comfortable on gravel, water or snow than it is on pavement. Not a small airplane; its landing gear is meant to take on seriously “unimproved” runways—meaning rough—and is continually proving itself in the less hospitable part of the world. Price: $495,000.


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