Universally Accepted Easiest Flying Machines
The easiest aircraft to handle are often the ones that are used for training new pilots both in civil as well as military aviation. Some of the most popular trainer aircraft across the world include the Cessna 172, Cessna 152, Piper Warrior, DA20 and the Liberty XL2. All of these models have features which make their handling and control extremely user friendly so as to facilitate the training. These machines are quite forgiving in their stall and spin characteristics, providing automatic recovery in most of the cases.
Cessna 152/ 172
The different variants of Cessna have trained more pilots than any other aircraft in the world since 1959. The Cessna 152 is a two seated small plane that is extremely easy to land, earning it the nickname of “Land-O-Matic". Its 100 HP engine provides great response at critical junctures. With a takeoff distance of 775 feet and a landing roll requirement of less than 450 feet, this machine can easily be operated from confined landing strips. The subsequent four seated version called Cessna 172 is equipped with 160 HP engine for the additional all up weight. This model has the best general handling qualities among all small planes in the world, primarily due to its light controls that make complex maneuvers relatively easy to perform.
Various models of Piper have served the aviation training industry for the last five decades. The Piper Warrior, also popularly known as the Cherokee, has some of the most impressive safety features, which are responsible for its global acceptability. The longer wingspan with a tapered chord implies that even if the inboard wings stall, the outboard portion with the aileron controls will continue to function. All these will ultimately result in a controlled stall which occurs at very low speeds, making it easy to recover. The dihedral wings, coupled with special stabilizers ensure a high degree of roll stability, which simply means that perfectly balanced turns can be carried out even with the hands off the controls.
The Diamond Aircrafts’ DA20 has two basic variants, namely the Katana and the Eclipse, both of which have been extensively used for training military aviators by the US Air Force. The Continental IO-240-B, 125 HP engine is suited well for its stated maximum of a weight of 605 pounds, providing sufficient reserve of power for all kinds of aerobatic and general maneuvers. This plane has a built in tendency of going nose down at the point of stall which makes the recovery almost automatic. The low landing speed of 55 Knots provides adequate reaction time, making it easy for most pilots to apply corrections during landing.