There are a variety of different airplanes that are used for making skydives. These planes are often referred to as jump planes. Each drop zone has its own jump plane. The type of skydive aircraft can depend on the size of the facility and how many skydivers jump there regularly. A jump plane can be small carrying only 4 passengers or a plane that carries up to 24 people! Although there are many different types of jump planes, there are preferred ones. Which today, we are going to go over the top 8 airplanes to skydive from. These are the most common skydiving jump planes.
It is a fact that some skydivers will travel to drop zones with their preferred plane. This is because it means they are likely to get more jumps in a day. As well, some prefer jump planes that climb to altitude faster, so they are not sitting in the plane for as long. However, not everyone has the luxury of living near multiple drop zones to pick and choose which one to go to.
Another fun fact regarding skydiving airplanes is that for events and boogies, drop zones will bring in special aircrafts to jump from. Aircrafts such as helicopters, hot air balloons, C-130 or DC-3’s, just to name a few. This always gets skydivers super excited to attend these events and make these special jumps. But for now, we are just going to talk about the most common, top 8 airplanes to skydive from!
The Cessna 182 is the most common skydiving jump plane in the United States, as well as in the world. The average Cessna 182 is going to take 4 skydivers to an altitude of 10,000ft in about 20 minutes. There are no seats in this plane, except for the pilot. So skydivers are sitting on the floor.
The reason for this airplanes popularity is it generally has a low operating cost. The Cessna 182 is easily modified in to a jump plane by constructing a door that swings up. (Think similar to a garage door, not forward like a car door). Skydivers have a small platform, or step to use during their exits and a strut to hold onto. You will likely find these aircrafts at smaller drop zones, with only a few active skydivers. As well, busier drop zones often have a Cessna 182 on site, which is always there if needed for a small load to go up! Its a very small and cosy ride to altitude with you and your skydiving friends.
This next Cessna aircraft holds the ranking of most popular skydiving jump plane in the world with a single turbine engine. Although there are a two models of the Cessna, they are both awesome skydiving planes! There are also a number of upgrades that can be done to the engines, making the jump plane more powerful and faster climb to altitude. Depending on the model and modifications the Cessna Caravans can carry 15-21 skydivers. Of course, depending on the modifications the climb time to altitude changes. This can be anywhere from approximately 10 – 15 minutes to climb to altitude of around 13,000ft.
Skydivers are fans of this jump plane because of the high wing, big door, with lots of space for exits and there is often a front float step. There are 2 benches in the Caravans for skydivers to sit during ascent.
Next up we have a the Twin Otter which is a very popular and common twin engine turbine jump plane. The Twin Otter is a much loved skydiving plane because it is a fast and strong aircraft. It is a great plane for big groups, as it can carry 22 skydivers seated on two long benches, to altitude in less than 15 minutes. The wide door accommodates large exits and the wing is high, and out of the way of jumpers.
Two very famous and photogenic Twin Otter jump planes, are the Shark Planes at Skydive Perris in southern California. These planes have their nose painted with shark teeth down the sides. They make for amazing photos, and are very beloved by all!
The King Air is a double engine turbine, and its like a rocket ship to altitude. It is one of the fastest climbing skydiving planes in the world, and quite popular in North America. In only 10 minutes it can take skydivers to an altitude of 13.5k. It is a very fast plane and allows for loads to turn quickly all day. Although it does have a smaller, more narrow door and a low wing that jumpers must caution, it is a great jump plane. Skydivers generally don’t like waiting forever to jump, so the King Air doesn’t have us waiting for loads all day! This aircraft can take 15 jumpers to altitude each load.
The Skyvan is without a doubt one of the most favourite planes for skydivers to jump from. So of course they make the list of top 8 airplanes to skydive from. They are often brought in for skydiving boogies as a special aircraft to accommodate all the jumpers. Although, some drop zones are lucky enough to have Skyvan’s for jumping year round. These big birds can accommodate around 23 jumpers. Although they do take a lot of time to climb to altitude, there is a space inside for everyone. A cool fun fact about this aircraft, there is actually only about 40 Skyvans in existence today!
The real highlight of jumping from a Skyvan is the tailgate door. You really do feel like a badass running out of the back of an airplane! It makes a lot of different and unique exits more accessible. For example big ways and fun inflatable jumps! Which is exactly why they are often brought in for skydiving boogies.
The PAC is the only aircraft that was specifically designed for skydiving. All other airplanes used for skydiving have been modified and altered from their original purposed to become suitable for skydiving use. The PAC is not the fastest plane out there to take to altitude. It can take 16 passengers to altitude in about 15 minutes. The PAC does have a small door and a low wing, which skydivers must be cautious of.
Last in our list of the top 8 airplanes to skydive from is the Dornier G92. The Dornier G92 is a popular skydiving plane in Europe. This aircraft is a twin turbine. It is high wing plane with a fast climb to altitude. It takes 15 jumpers to 15,000 ft in just 11 minutes. This is a great plane to turn loads fast at a busy drop zone. Skydivers also love to Dornier G92 because of its large sliding door. The door is slightly larger than a Caravan door, making it great for big ways.
Although the Pilatus Porter is not as common in North America, it is a very popular and common skydiving jump plane across Europe. A Porter can carry up to 10 skydivers to altitude at a moderately quick speed. Although this can depend on whether it is turbine or piston powered. The aircraft seating is a little funny, with some skydivers sitting towards the tail on benches, some towards the front, and others on the floor. It can get cramped up in the Porter, but it is a fun aircraft to jump from.
The Porter is a perfect jump plane for drop zones that are too busy for a small Cessna, but not busy enough to have a larger Caravan or twin turbine. The Pilatus Porter has a nice high wing for jumpers, a sliding door and usually fitted with a nice big step outside. There is a step over the wheel and a strut, so its possible to launch some bigger group exits out of the porter.
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There are many different types of skydiving aircrafts. These are the top 8 airplanes to skydive from, but there are other aircrafts in the world used for skydiving. Which is your favourite airplane to skydive from?
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