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VIDEO: Aircraft cliff-diving in Alaska

Cliff Diving Alaska Style - Pilot's View

Alaska Dispatch

These videos were taken by the folks at The DoubleEnder Project, aircraft developers seeking to redefine the "modern bush plane." Although not yet available for sale, this experimental-kit plane is based on experiences flying in Africa and Alaska and uses a "push-pull design" to maximize single-engine performance. It was also designed to combat one of the most common causes of Alaska aircraft accidents: stalls. From the website:

Safety comes in many shapes and forms, and single-engine performance is just one cog in a larger picture. How and when an airplane stalls is just as important a factor. This is why leading-edge slats were incorporated in the design from the onset. The slats redefine what critical angle of attack means. They allow you to fly the airplane at a much higher angle of attack before stalling out and give the airplane a “solid” feel when landing and taking off at slow speeds. If you do push the limit into the stall, the break is gentle and the airplane mushes down. This low speed maneuverability factor is crucial and provides a margin of safety that is not commonly found in fixed-wing airplanes.

The aircraft was flight tested in Alaska in 2010 when, presumably, these videos were made.

It is unclear what the load capability is, although the website does refer to carrying passengers -- so getting a full-size moose carcass in there along with the pilot is a possibility, although highly unlikely. It's basically a twin-engine Super Cub with a ton of modifications and a stripped-down instrument panel. Mostly, it looks like a fun plane to fly -- or cliff dive in. Get all the R&D information here.

Contact Colleen Mondor at colleen(at)alaskadispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @chasingray