Husky vs. Hurricane Irene
While most of the East Coast was battened down for Hurricane Irene, the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes “Tougher Than A Tornado” Husky went flying.
As soon as the storm cleared on Sunday, Aug. 28, AOPA staff pushed the airplane out of the hangar to record some video of how the airplane handles in winds (and crosswinds). The answer: remarkably well, as the following video shows.
“The Tornado Husky always seems eager to fly—but add a 20-knot headwind and the airplane practically leaps off the ground,” said AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman. “At times, it seems more helicopter than airplane.”
Surface winds at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., were out of the west at 18 knots, gusting to 25 knots, on a warm, humid morning with a density altitude of 2,000 feet. The Tornado Husky was lightly loaded with the pilot (180 pounds), 10 pounds of baggage, and 25 gallons of fuel. Takeoff ground roll was typically about 125 feet. Landing with light braking typically took about 250 feet.
“Slower approach speeds and moderate or heavy braking could have reduced the landing distances a great deal,” Hirschman said. “But I kept the approach speeds relatively high (65 miles an hour) to account for gusty conditions and used the brakes sparingly. The point of the exercise was to show how the airplane performs in real-world conditions, and to make sure it’s in perfect condition when it’s awarded to the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes winner in November.”
The Husky’s maximum demonstrated crosswind component is 15 knots, and Hirschman said that number seems conservative.
“Landing on Runway 23 (with a 15-knot crosswind component) was well within the airplane’s capabilities,” he said. “The rudder has plenty of authority to keep the airplane tracking straight ahead, and the ailerons are more than sufficient to keep the upwind wing down. I was thoroughly impressed with the Tornado Husky’s responsiveness and stability.”
The Tornado Husky will be awarded in November 2012. All AOPA members are eligible to win, and those who sign up for automatic annual renewal receive additional sweepstakes entries.
September 1, 2011