Other aircraft of the KFS – #1: Trainer/Utility
There are a few mentions in ‘Bullets & Bluegrass’ of “other light aircraft” that are used by the Kentucky Free State. It seems logical that not every plane is a P-47 Thunderbolt. For a start… they need a plane to TRAIN pilots.
Therefore, I give you the KFS-170: a beefed-up modification of the Cessna 170. There are 2 versions, a civilian model with 4 seats and a military model with 2 seats in a tandem configuration (as seen below)
The KFS originally considered a fabric-covered plane like the 1940’s-era “grasshopper” liaison craft, but eventually decided that a plane with an all-metal skin would have a longer service life.
* Crew: 2 (Tandem cockpit with armored seats)
* Length: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
* Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
* Height: 7ft 3½ in (2.22 m)
* Wing area: 174 ft² (16.16 m²)
* Empty weight: 1,614 lb (732 kg)
* Max Takeoff weight: 2,400 lb (1089 kg)
* Useful load: 995 lb (451 kg)
* Powerplant: 1— KFS multi-fuel, 213 hp (159 kw)
* Maximum speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
* Range: 530 miles (853 km)
* Service ceiling: 20,300 ft (6,200 m)
* Rate of climb: 1,040 ft/min (317 m/min)
Note: Useful Load includes weight of crew/passengers
This aircraft is not normally armed, but it does have a small bomb rack under each wing. Each rack can carry 50 kg of ordnance or other stores. When artillery spotting, the KFS-170 is usually equipped with a twin rocket pod under each wing (usually smoke, but 70mm FFAR can be used).
The planes can be fitted with both floats and skis and are used in various utility roles such as: reconnaissance, aerial photography and for artillery spotting. With slight modifications, the KFS-170 can perform additional tasks such as cargo drops, laying communication wires and medical evacuation of wounded officers (accommodating one stretcher).
Two of these planes are put at the disposal of each Air Force Squadron . Allegedly these are allocated for Search and Rescue missions – but they are usually used for joyrides and personal transportation.
The Secret Police operate 3 of these aircraft and use them for the covert insertion/extraction of agents outside the borders of the KFS.
The civilian (4 seat) model has similar characteristics but a larger cockpit without armored seats and its top speed is approximately 10% lower. It is fairly popular as a bush plane and as a runabout for some of the Rich 5.