Here’s a video clip of a Pilatus PC-12, fitted with a new 5-blade MT propeller, taking off from the grass uphill/downhill strip at Locher, near Bolzano in Italy. Note the taxiway from the hangar to the “runway”. It’s so narrow the plane can’t stay on it when turning!
Looks like an enjoyable place for a bush pilot – all the fun of a tricky strip, but in civilized surroundings. What’s the Italian for “Here, hold my beer and watch this”?
Yous-a no drink-a mi Chianti. I-ma do dis.
Nice video, but the first 30 seconds has me baffled… The plane moves out of the hangar then the pilot gets in and pulls up the air stair. I don't see any tugs or cables in the video and the engine is clearly shut down.
How does the d*mned thing move? Does it have powered hubs in the wheels???
Fowler flaps over 80% of the span and 1,200hp will do that.
Rick T, most aircraft wheels are very high pressure compared to cars. A typical 10,000lb aircraft will have 120psi in the tires so the rolling resistance is almost nil. Also ramps have a slope so that rain water flows away from the hangar. One person with a tow bar can move a light single and the Pilatus empty is maybe twice the weight. Two or three people can start the airplane rolling out of the hangar and gravity does the rest once it rolls onto the ramp. Edit the video et voila!, the plane is rolling without a tug.
the apron appears to be sloped. The hanger floor may also be sloped to match.
I'm guessing that they used smaller planes prior to the Pilatus. The taxiway has been widened a bit at some point, but not really sufficient for that aircraft, as it would have been easy to add a little more. They've gone up in size a couple times, obviously.
Would have liked to see the beginning of the strip. At first, you think he is starting at the top of the hill, but the second takeoff shows it accelerating into view at the top.
My only hands-on experience was with a Cessna 150 Aerobat on a dead-level field (Barber's Point NAS in Hawaii) but I can see hard tires and a slope would make it easy..
Thank you both for the explaination.
Yeah, I was once tricked by a too narrow taxiway. Luckily my primary passenger was only The Director of The NSA. It wasn't too embarrassing. regards, Alemaster
Light load, lots of horsepower, downhill slope.
I had the same questions about it coming out of the hangar. The PC-12 has relatively low pressure tires – 60 PSI.
Around here a strip that close to trees would guarantee a deer collision. My only stick time landing and taking off is from a grass strip so I guess that's why I find them so interesting. That and I had a job mowing a couple (may again this summer). Nothing like being in your own world with ear pro on, mowing a strip and an air tractor pilot sneaks up on you from behind, guns the engine 10 feet over your head. Hilarious those guys. Neighbor use to do the same thing to guys in combines with his Cessna or super cub.
Two things: I thought, too, that the plane might have powered landing gear. It seems fooli9sh to allow it to roll out by itself with no one in control.
Also, it looks like it was registered in the United States.
there is someone at the controls as it rolls out of the hanger, although it's not obvious. Look closely. The hatchway is closed during movement. Video editing at work.
Look a little closer at the first 30 seconds. The air-stair is down but someone is in the left seat when it rolls out.