SUPERSTOL goes bird watch­ing

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

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.

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