While most any light aircraft can be used in the backcountry, it is true that some are more suitable than others by design, and are called "bush planes."
What makes a good backcountry aircraft?
While most any light aircraft can be used in the backcountry, it is true that some are more suitable than others by design, and are called "bush planes." It is often said that one should let the mission define the aircraft: Does a pilot need 2 seats or 4? Is STOL performance important? High altitude operations? Rough terrain and off-airport durability? Speed? The list goes on, but these are the kind of questions appropriate for deciding on a bird.
List of backcountry aircraft
For a list of popular bush planes, both purpose-built as well as those that are good candidates for adaptation, check out the list.
Since backcountry flying can present some unique conditions like rough surfaces and short strips (or no strip at all) the most common modications address these needs. One of the most popular is the use of bushwheels, sometimes called "tundra tires." They're larger in diameter and are run at lower pressures to soak up the rough terrain like suspension. Another popular modification is a STOL wing kit, which usually comes in the form of a replacement leading edge cuff that slightly reshapes the camber of the wing to provide better low speed flight characteristics and a lower overall stall speed. Those are just two examples.
We're going to do our best to compile the best modications here (some not necessarily backcountry related) and provide approval documentation wherever possible. Head on over to the Modification index.
One of the most common questions and conversations is about tire/wheel setup. Check out the Tire Guide for more information.