At AirVenture 2012, attendees were astonished to watch the performance of Just Aircraft's new SuperSTOL. The aircraft leaves the ground after a very short ground roll, but since it's a STOL (short takeoff and landing) design, that may have been expected. However, on landing, the reaction was one of amazement. SuperSTOL approaches slowly with its nose held high and its big tundra tires forward. In the hands of talented factory pilot and co-designer Troy Woodland, SuperSTOL touches down tailwheel first then settling to the big mains with surprising gentleness. Ground roll out is even shorter than takeoff.
I was one of the first reporters to fly SuperSTOL with Troy and we did seven landings, every one of them with the joystick held as far aft as the linkage travel allows. We had the joystick in this far back position from well out in in the pattern yet roll control felt the way it does as regular slower flying speed, that is, high maneuverable. The sensation is almost unreal and at first I recoiled from the first touchdown thinking it must be like doing a belly flop into a swimming pool. It was nothing like that, though. SuperSTOL touched tailwheel first but the shock absorption at that wheel made the feeling soft. Then the mains settled evenly, with such a mild feel that my senses felt fooled. Could that be it, I wondered ... that's how touchdown feels? My goodness, that was nothing! We repeated this exercise six more times and every time the very special main gear suspension handled the touchdown serenely, smoothly absorbing the touchdown forces, and (importantly!) not rebounding. This presents a remarkable capability, not only extremely STOL but superbly safe and straightforward. No aircraft afterward feels quite the same and I've flown several hundred.
SuperSTOL features an all-metal wing that greatly enhances slow flight capabilities yet takes nothing away from cruise speed. SuperSTOL's wing has self-deploying, two-section leading edge slats that automatically extend when appropriate (like they have a brain of their own) coupled with long span fowler flaps that assure the aircraft's stall range remains remarkably slow. Each main landing gear leg employs a hydraulic strut with a very long stroke that does a nearly magical job of absorbing touchdown loads. An important part of the overall system, SuperSTOL's tail wheel also incorporates a hydraulic shock to lessen aggressive off-airport landings. Just Aircraft says, "No other aircraft kit manufacturer offers a comparable airplane." I can confirm this is not an exaggeration. The kit costs a modest $36,650 (in mid-2013) with two 13.5-gallon wing tanks; streamlined stutted wings, gull-wing doors, 21-inch tundra tires, a dual-caliper "extreme" brake package and embroidered seat cushions. Add $2,500 for quick build wings. Even with the quick build option and the 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS (but before painting and avionics), SuperSTOL can be finished for less than $65,000, making it one of the light aircraft industry's excellent bargains.
UPDATE --- Check out the post appearing below (dated March 25, 2015) regarding the new SuperSTOL Stretch XL version that offers, get this!, up to 180 horsepower. Whoa!
Phone: (864) 718-0320
Address: 170 Duck Pond Road
Walhalla, SC 29691
CubCrafters now leads the field for Special LSA (see this report to learn more) thanks significantly to their early installation of the 180 horsepower Titan engine.
Video review: Just Aircraft — SuperSTOL with 180-hp Titan (2016)
Just Aircraft turns heads everywhere when they first introduced the SuperSTOL (STOL stands for short takeoff and landing).
Every quarter, like clockwork, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), issues its delivery report.
Building a kit is part of the American aviation dream but it isn’t for everyone.
Video review: Just Aircraft — Highlander SUPERSTOL (2013)
Just Aircraft’s SuperSTOL was a major hit on the Paradise City runway at Sun ‘n Fun 2013.
Video review: Just Aircraft — Highlander SUPERSTOL
An aircraft that grabbed everyone’s attention at AirVenture 2012 was the new Highlander Superstol from the South Carolina company.
Video review: Just Aircraft — Highlander
An all-American design, the Just Aircraft Highlander is more than “just” an aircraft.
Article updated 2/16/16 — In a freshly-edited video (see at end), Just Aircraft key fellows Gary Schmidt and Troy Townsend provide extra comments and we add additional footage of SuperSTOL climbing strongly with the Titan.
If you’ve read a newspaper or watched TV in the last couple decades, you might think America only imports stuff, mostly from China.
In this Copperstate Part 2 article we resume the list of aircraft Videoman Dave and I reviewed at the show south of Phoenix, Arizona in Casa Grande.
Boeing does it. Why not Just Aircraft? Of course, a stretched Boeing only transports more people somewhere.
We’re off to the races … OK, the race track … OK, we’re off to Sebring, which happens to be alongside the Sebring International Raceway.
The sixth annual Midwest LSA Expo just concluded. These LSA-only events offer a more intimate setting where you can speak at length with an aircraft or other product representative.
At the big show EAA likes to call the Summer Celebration of Flight, we rove the grounds seeking new airplanes, new engines or propulsion systems, new panel gear, updated models and more.
Summer’s big show is over and most aviation business folks are back home having that love/hate affair with email that piled up while we worked the event.
Airplane-brand-specific fly-in events can be fun and informative. If the folks at Just Aircraft are involved and if they show off their amazing SuperSTOL, a company fly-in takes on a new level of excitement.
We all have favorites … foods, websites, movies, and of course, airplanes.
How do you take a laid-back approach to create a super exciting airplane?
Here are two aircraft from sources thousands of miles apart. Likewise, the aircraft could hardly be more different yet each has something special about it.
By all accounts — and none to the contrary (that I personally heard) — the “new and improved” Paradise City was an out-of-the-ballpark home run hit.
CESSNA’S DISCOVER FLYING
I met new business leader for the Skycatcher LSA, Tracy Leopold, at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 where she confirmed the Wichita giant’s support for their lightest aircraft, now being assembled in Independence alongside other Cessna models.
Through the first six months of 2008, Light-Sport Aircraft deliveries have reflected the same challenges afflicting the rest of general or sport aviation…and for that matter, the overall U.S.
The U.S. economy is hardly crashing, but while slipping backwards in late 2007 and early 2008, it has been on a bumpy plateau.
Pilot report: Just Aircraft’s Highlander
If you’re familiar with Avid Flyer or Kitfox aircraft, you know at least something about Just Aircraft’s Highlander.
Pilot report: On An Escapade
Just Aircraft’s Excapade … certificated in England and ready for sport pilots!
Pilot report: An Escapade Just for You
Engineering design is usually an evolutionary process. While occasionally a breakthrough idea comes to market, most development in aviation is a result of small steps.