SUPERSTOL goes bird watching
In 2015 pilot George V Kirtaev and a team of biologists were looking for an aircraft with which to conduct surveys of wildlife populations along Russia’s coastline where it borders the Ural Mountains, the Barents Sea and Kara Sea above the Arctic Circle. They ordered a Just Aircraft SUPERSTOL homebuilt kit, which Kirtaev built, and performed its maiden flight, on wheels, in June 2016. Since then the aircraft has spent most of its life on floats, which have been used for water operations in summer and landings on snow in winter. With 200 hours now logged in the SUPERSTOL he says that, “for our purposes it is a very good aircraft. It is possible to fly low and slow, which is essential for [bird] counting and photography. There is a lot of space inside for gear and you can even spend the night in it. With wings that fold easily, one person can move the aircraft on virtually any surface, even on floats.” In the summer of 2018 Kirtaev will journey further north in an attempt to measure polar bear populations and habitat.