A short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft has short runway requirements for takeoff and landing. Many STOL-designed aircraft also feature various arrangements for use on runways with harsh conditions (such as high altitude or ice). STOL aircraft, including those used in scheduled passenger airline operations, have also been operated from STOLport airfields which feature short runways.
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Many fixed-wing STOL aircraft are bush planes, though some, like the de Havilland Canada Dash-7, are designed for use on prepared airstrips; likewise, many STOL aircraft are taildraggers, though there are exceptions like the PAC P-750 XSTOL, the Quest Kodiak, the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and the Peterson 260SE. Autogyros also have STOL capability, needing a short ground roll to get airborne, but capable of a near-zero ground roll when landing.[ citation needed ]
Runway length requirement is a function of the square of the minimum flying speed (stall speed), and most design effort is spent on reducing this number. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag help the plane to accelerate for flight. The landing run is minimized by strong brakes, low landing speed, thrust reversers or spoilers (less common). Overall STOL performance is set by the length of runway needed to land or take off, whichever is longer.[ citation needed ]
Of equal importance to short ground run is the ability to clear obstacles, such as hills, on both take off and landing. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag result in a high rate of climb required to clear obstacles. For landing, high drag allows the aeroplane to descend steeply to the runway without building excess speed resulting in a longer ground run. Drag is increased by use of flaps (devices on the wings) and by a forward slip (causing the aeroplane to fly somewhat sideways through the air to increase drag).[ citation needed ]
Normally, a STOL aircraft will have a large wing for its weight. These wings often use aerodynamic devices like flaps, slots, slats, and vortex generators. [ citation needed ]Typically, designing an aircraft for excellent STOL performance reduces maximum speed, but does not reduce payload lifting ability. The payload is critical, because many small, isolated communities rely on STOL aircraft as their only transportation link to the outside world for passengers or cargo; examples include many communities in the Canadian north and Alaska.
Most STOL aircraft can land either on- or off-airport. Typical off-airport landing areas include snow or ice (using skis), fields or gravel riverbanks (often using special fat, low-pressure tundra tires), and water (using floats): these areas are often extremely short and obstructed by tall trees or hills. Wheel skis and amphibious floats combine wheels with skis or floats, allowing the choice of landing on snow/water or a prepared runway.[ citation needed ]
A number of aircraft modification companies offer STOL kits for improving short field performance.
A STOLport is an airport designed with STOL operations in mind, normally having a short single runway.
STOLports are not common but can be found, for example, at London City Airport in London, United Kingdom. Some sparsely populated countries have several, e.g. Norway and Greenland. There were also several STOLports in the United States that were used for scheduled passenger airline operations but are now no longer in existence.
Cruise-efficient short takeoff and landing (CESTOL), is an aircraft with both very short runway requirements and high cruise speeds (greater than Mach 0.8).
Many different definitions of STOL have been used by different authorities and nations at various times and for a myriad of regulatory and military purposes.Some accepted definitions of STOL include:
Additionally some aircraft manufacturers market their products as STOL, without providing evidence that the aircraft meets any accepted definition.
Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aerospace vehicle leaves the ground and becomes airborne.
A vortex generator (VG) is an aerodynamic device, consisting of a small vane usually attached to a lifting surface or a rotor blade of a wind turbine. VGs may also be attached to some part of an aerodynamic vehicle such as an aircraft fuselage or a car. When the airfoil or the body is in motion relative to the air, the VG creates a vortex, which, by removing some part of the slow-moving boundary layer in contact with the airfoil surface, delays local flow separation and aerodynamic stalling, thereby improving the effectiveness of wings and control surfaces, such as flaps, elevators, ailerons, and rudders.
The Cessna 152 is an American two-seat, fixed-tricycle-gear, general aviation airplane, used primarily for flight training and personal use. It was based on the earlier Cessna 150 incorporating a number of minor design changes and a slightly more powerful engine with a longer time between overhaul.
The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, commonly known as the Dash 8, is a series of turboprop-powered regional airliners, introduced by de Havilland Canada (DHC) in 1984. DHC was later bought by Boeing in 1988, then by Bombardier in 1992; then by Longview Aviation Capital in 2019, reviving the de Havilland Canada brand. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100s, it was developed from the Dash 7 with improved cruise performance and lower operational costs, but without STOL performance. Three sizes were offered: initially the 37–40 seat -100 until 2005 and the more powerful -200 from 1995, the stretched 50–56 seats -300 from 1989, both until 2009, and the 68–90 seats -400 from 1999, still in production. The Q Series are post-1997 variants fitted with active noise control systems.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, currently marketed as the Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter, is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air. The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL capabilities, twin turboprop engines and high rate of climb have made it a successful commuter passenger airliner as well as a cargo and medical evacuation aircraft. In addition, the Twin Otter has been popular with commercial skydiving operations, and is used by the United States Army Parachute Team and the United States Air Force's 98th Flying Training Squadron.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, including as a bush plane, but is overall a larger aircraft.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined high-wing propeller-driven short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft developed and manufactured by de Havilland Canada. It has been primarily operated as a bush plane and has been used for a wide variety of utility roles, such as cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application, and civil aviation duties.
A flap is a high-lift device used to reduce the stalling speed of an aircraft wing at a given weight. Flaps are usually mounted on the wing trailing edges of a fixed-wing aircraft. Flaps are used to reduce the take-off distance and the landing distance. Flaps also cause an increase in drag so they are retracted when not needed.
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. is an aircraft manufacturer with facilities based in the Downsview area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The original home of de Havilland Canada was the home of the Canadian Air and Space Museum located in what is now Downsview Park.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-7, popularly known as the Dash 7, is a turboprop-powered regional airliner with short take-off and landing (STOL) performance. It first flew in 1975 and remained in production until 1988 when the parent company, de Havilland Canada, was purchased by Boeing and was later sold to Bombardier. Bombardier sold the type certificate for the aircraft design to Victoria-based manufacturer Viking Air in 2006.
The Peterson 260SE is a STOL conversion of a Cessna 182 airframe made by Todd Peterson. The conversion consists of the addition of a high-lift canard and a 260 hp (194 kW) engine.
A leading-edge cuff is a fixed aerodynamic wing device employed on fixed-wing aircraft to improve the stall and spin characteristics. Cuffs may be either factory-designed or an after-market add-on modification.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is an airport on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo is a short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport turboprop aircraft developed from the earlier piston-powered DHC-4 Caribou. The aircraft has extraordinary STOL performance and is able to take off in distances much shorter than even most light aircraft can manage.
A STOLport or STOLPORT was an airport designed with STOL operations in mind, usually for an aircraft class of certain weight and size. The term STOLport did not appear to be in common usage as of 2008 although was commonly used by pilots flying into Biggin Hill during 1986/87 when the London City airport was opened restricting approaches and ceilings to the north of Biggin. A STOLport normally had a short single runway, in general shorter than 1,500 metres (5,000 ft). STOLports only accepted certain types of aircraft, often only smaller propeller aircraft, and often with limits on the amount of fuel that can be taken. In the United States, short runway facilities are simply known as airports and the term STOLport has not been commonly used since the early 1970s.
Metro Airlines, originally Houston Metro Airlines, was a commuter airline that was originally headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States,. Metro subsequently moved its headquarters to north Texas. The airline had an operational base located on the grounds of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and also had offices on the airport property and in Grapevine, Texas. Metro evolved into an airline holding company with the acquisition or creation of a number of different airlines, including as the banner carrier operating feeder services for Eastern Airlines as Eastern Metro Express which was based in Atlanta, GA and Metroflight Airlines which operated American Eagle service from the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1993, and the assets were acquired by AMR Simmons Airlines.
Walt Disney World Airport, also known as Lake Buena Vista Airport and Lake Buena Vista STOLport, is a former small airfield owned by The Walt Disney Company, located within Walt Disney World, just east of the former Walt Disney World Speedway, in Bay Lake in Orange County, Florida, United States. When it was active it accommodated smaller commuter airliners such as the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprop which had STOL capabilities and could operate from airfields with short runways with such airports being known as STOLports. It is no longer registered as an active airport by the FAA, ICAO and IATA and as of December 2017 serves Walt Disney World as a parking and storage lot.
A three-surface aircraft or sometimes three-lifting-surface aircraft has a foreplane, a central wing and a tailplane. The central wing surface always provides lift and is usually the largest, while the functions of the fore and aft planes may vary between types and may include lift, control and/or stability.
Clear Lake City STOLport was owned by Houston Metro Airlines, a commuter air carrier. It was located adjacent to Clear Lake City on Texas State Highway 3 approximately two miles west of the NASA Johnson Space Center just southeast of Ellington Air Force Base.