Backyard Airport

Great little movie of a small plane that takes off and lands in less than 100 feet. Small crowd elated. Though private aviation is hampered by extremely high liability insurance coverage, many dedicated experimenters continue to innovate.

thumbnail, STOL airplaneWanting to reduce remote and tribal poverty without huge industrial cost or impact, more than 15 years ago I set up a program to fabricate 10,000 Short Take Off & Landing (STOL) airplanes in the Philippines. Some components were European, some American, with fabrication planned near Manila.

Because of isolation due to a lack of roads or other access to income, indigenous and artisan regions are hampered, youth run to city slums and locals become suspicious and angry – a permanent challenge for island nations.

Even with a cargo of only 500-1000lbs, for many regions a STOL freight infrastructure is a smart policy.

(But o’ woe, it seemed that somebody big in PI was against the idea. There’s always somebody big in PI. We learned the containerized shipment of our sample plane was held in Philippine Customs and we were unable to release it after more than two years….!