There are open cockpit airplanes — and then there are airplanes that are open EVERYWHERE. The king of these is the Super Breezy owned by Mike Butterfield of Yakima, Wash.
“It is an expansion on the original Breezy design,” he said.
The original Breezy was designed and built by Charles Roloff, Carl Unger, and Bob Liposky in 1965. It was created as a two-place, tandem design. If you have been to air shows in the morning, you’ve probably seen one giving rides. Pilots and passengers describe it as the ultimate aviation experience.
The Super Breezy takes it up a notch because it is a four-place airplane. There’s a front seat and a row of three seats in the back.
It gathers an audience wherever it lands, according to Butterfield. When it is on display at fly-ins, people often ask if it is a real airplane.
“I tell them it is,” he said. “It’s basically a standard Breezy but we gave it a little more power and put the Dakota Cub slotted wing on it. This aircraft is completely assembled from parts from a Super Cub, hence the name Super Breezy. It was adjusted so that we can use Super Cub lift struts, standard landing gear, and standard tail feathers.”
The Super Breezy is piloted from the back center seat. Instruments are on a raised dais in front of the pilot seat. The transponder is beneath the seat.
The engine is 200-hp Aero Sport Power IO-360-CIA. It is attached to a Warp Drive five-blade composite propeller.
The metal-and-truss design reminds many people of something out of a science fiction movie or video game. During a recent show, two young men remarked that it would be the perfect mode of transport in a post-apocalyptic world.
“Landing can be pretty much from any surface thanks to the beefy Alaskan tundra tires,” Butterfield noted, adding that no one flies a Breezy to get someplace fast. “It will go 80 mph at 2,500 rpm, but you are much more comfortable at 1,700 or 1,800 rpm at 65 mph. It feels very much like riding a motorcycle in the sky.”
The seats are modular. The outboard seats are of particular interest to visitors. Whoever sits in those seats better be strapped in tight because there is no foot rest to brace against.
The empty weight of the Super Breezy is 1,180 pounds, while gross weight is 2,400. “We’ve had a 400-pound person in the front seat — we call that the front office view. When we’re fully loaded, we limit the side seats to approximately 100 pounds a piece.”
You’d expect a lot of drag in such an open design but, according to Butterfield, it doesn’t feel like much.
“It flies very much like a Cub, but without the doors and windows and all that frivolous stuff that you really don’t need,” he joked. “It has a stall speed like a Cub, but because of the slotted wing, it flies slower than a standard Cub wing.”
Butterfield has flown the Super Breezy across country.
“People always ask, ‘you’re going where?’ ‘You’re coming from where?’” he smiled, shaking his head.
For more information: YakimaAerosport.com