Shedding Pounds in the Sky

If we lose four and a half pounds, we might want to broadcast that exciting news to the world. But if an airplane sheds four and a half pounds, does it really matter that much?

MAF’s John Miller knows gaining seven pounds for an airplane that flies in the bush might be more noteworthy than a person losing that much weight.

“We fight for every ounce we can,” Miller said. “It can be the difference in how much cargo or how many people we can get safely onto an airplane.”

MAF Tow BarAnd it’s the quest to trim all the weighty fat that has Miller and MAF’s machine shop team creating a new dual tail stand-tow bar for its Caravan airplanes. And the tool is a must, required for when the airplane is loading (tail stand) and when the airplane must be moved to an area where it can safely start its engine (tow bar).

MAF recently created a combination tail stand-tow bar for the Kodiak airplane model but sought to make a lighter weight version for the Caravan. The result is one that is shaping up to help pilots be more efficient when attaching the tow bar because it’s a simpler process. By mounting bushings near the front wheel of the airplane, it is easier to attach and detach the tow bar.

“Most of us have flown in the bush and we know how difficult it can be to fly a small aircraft when you have to be concerned with all the passengers and cargo and weight,” Miller said. “So we like getting the opportunity to make the pilots’ lives a little easier.”

1 Comment

  • Jennifer Bottrell says:

    An extra couple of Bibles; taking the stretcher or leaving it behind; getting a missionary’s vegies or eggs on to a paid charter; over a year in PNG means we can carry about 2000kg (over 4000lbs) life saving cargo on the flights we already do. YEAH – I’ll take those 2kgs.

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