AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 44

PILOT BRIEFING
AIRCRAFT FOR THE MISSION |

Fun in the sky

CESSNA 152 AEROBAT

The thrill of flying upside down
B Y J U L I E S U M M E R S WA L K E R
THE CUSTOMER: You love adventure.
THE MISSION: Flying makes you feel like a cowboy of the skies. You

love the thrill of going upside down, you and your flying friends
regularly do formation flying, and your idea of great airport food
is the cheese crackers in the vending machine. Your goal isn't to
go anywhere but up, and traveling doesn't interest you. As a bonus
you have access to a hangar, and you live close to the airport, so
you fly often and always keep your skills sharp. We asked backcountry " airplane whisperer " Kyle Bushman, owner of Creswell,
Oregon's Ragwood Refactory for his suggestions (see " Beauty or
the Beast, " June 2020 AOPA Pilot).
THE BUDGET: $50,000
julie.walker@aopa.org
THE OPTIONS:

EMAIL

Cessna 150/152 Aerobat 
Bushman says the Cessna 150 Aerobat is his first choice, as it
can be found in the $35,000 to $50,000 range. It will be a familiar airplane to a lot of pilots since it's a Cessna trainer. After the
Cessna 172, the Cessna 150/152 series was the second-best-selling Cessna aircraft. But the Aerobat is unique in its abilities to
do aerobatics. Cessna introduced the Aerobat in 1970. It had
the 100-horsepower Continental O-200 all 150s used, but differed from the original 150 in having more structural strength,
being rated plus 6/minus 3 Gs. Other aerobatic features include
four-point harnesses for pilot and passenger (if you must), dual
overhead skylights for awesome visibility (which, while standard on the Cessna 140, were not part of the 150 design), jettison
doors, and removable seat cushions so that parachutes can be
worn. In 1970, the Aerobat cost $12,000.

44 | AOPA PILOT May 2021

Clipped-wing Piper J-3 Cub
" Checks all the boxes " is Bushman's explanation for the Piper
J-3 Cub on his list. There is no one aircraft model that symbolizes general aviation and the seduction of flying low and slow
more than the iconic Piper J-3 Cub. This is the airplane that
taught the pilots of the Greatest Generation and World War
II to fly. And it's the aircraft those soldiers returned home to
hope to stick in a hangar of their own. Easy to fly, easy to own.
It's a fabric-covered aircraft and most models are the standard
65-horsepower version. A small number of J-3 Cubs have been
modified for limited aerobatics by removing 40 inches from the
root of each wing-inspiring the clipped-wing moniker-and
installing 85- or 90-horsepower engines. With less wing and
more power, the Cub leaps off the ground and dances in the sky.
This isn't your grandfather's airplane, and you can find one for
less than $50,000.
CHRIS ROSE

Pitts S-1
" Coolness factor. " That's what Bushman says gets the Pitts single-seat S-1C on his list. The aerobatic biplane can be acquired
in the $30,000 to $35,000 range. It's taught many pilots to fly
aerobatics; its throaty roar thrills airshow attendees; and it has
a rich, storied history-the Little Stinker hangs upside down
in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The
Pitts may be small, but it has exceptional handling qualities,

is sprite-like on takeoff, and is playful and seemingly full of
energy (if you anthropomorphize). This is a perfect airplane
for that " loner " we described-it's a bit drafty and the straightback seats are uncomfortable, but it is the cowboy way to suffer
for one's passion.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 3
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover3
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