Scrappy: Drag Racing Bush Plane

We like to feature hacks that are affordable and accessible to the average person, but from time to time it’s fun to dream about the projects we’ll tackle when we’re all grown up and stinking rich. [Mike Patey] appears to fall rather comfortably in the latter category, but thankfully he hasn’t lost his “excited kid with big plans” spirit. A talented and experienced experimental aircraft builder, he’s currently working on Scrappy, a small bush plane built to be a short take-off and landing drag racer.

Scrappy started life as a Carbon Cub, a modernized kit version of the venerable Piper Super Cub. The only thing left of the original plane is a part of the fuselage frame, with almost everything else being custom. The engine is a 780 cubic inch (13 liter) horizontally opposed 8-cylinder, scavenged from one of [Mike]’s racing planes, and fitting it required extensive structural changes to the fuselage. The paddle-like propeller was intended for an airboat, and is designed for high thrust at low speeds. The skin of the aircraft is all carbon fiber, and the suspension almost looks like it’s borrowed from an off-road racing truck. [Mike] also added (and test fired) a ballistic recovery parachute. The cockpit instruments are also over-the-top for an aircraft like this, with seven Garmin multi-function displays.

Scrappy is still missing its wings, which will also be heavily modified. From the oil-cooling system to the door latch and gust-lock for the stick, everything was designed and made by [Mike]. We’re enjoying the in-depth build videos that show how he tackles all the little challenges that pop-up in such an ambitious project.

[Mike] made a name for himself with his previous monster bush plane Draco, which was sadly destroyed during an ill-considered take-off last year. Fortunately nobody was harmed in the incident, and Draco became a part donor for Scrappy. If budget planes are more your style, check out [Peter Sripol]’s latest electric microlight.

19 thoughts on “Scrappy: Drag Racing Bush Plane

    1. I know lots of pilots, me included, which are afraid of heights while with their feet on the ground. As soon as someone puts them into a plane they are fine, so that’s not necessarily exclusive.

  1. Based on the wealth of experience he has I’m sure Mr Patey knows what he is doing, but after looking at this creation and the irresistible urge to push it to its limits, my gut feeling is a shorter than average lifespan for him.

  2. Having watched numerous videos of and read about Mike’s various aircraft projects, I’d say his craftsmanship is exceptional and his projects are very unique. Scrappy will certainly be in the top 5 most unique bush planes ever, even more so than Draco was, IMO.

    While I never met them in person, the impression I get is that Mike and his brother Mark are both humble and overall just dang good people. They are financially successful because they’re fortunate to be both intelligent and very hard working. I think they managed to find an additional 24 hours in a day because they’re just insanely productive.

    I look forward to seeing Scrappy complete. Judging by what airboats do with those props, that thing is going to have butt puckering performance. I think some magic will be required in order to keep the wings attached.

  3. Mike is great!

    His projects are above and beyond but he takes the time to show and explain some of the engineering and reasoning behind what he is doing.

    Alway look forward to his videos coming out and then chatting with me son about the quality of the workmanship.

    He is a real inspiration to folks of all ages.

    Love seeing him at Oshkosh (aka AirVenture) EAA’s (usually) annual aviation gathering each July).

  4. When I think of Mike Patey, I think of the old saying “Anything is possible with enough Time, Money, or Brains. Pick two.” Mr. Patey appears to be one of those rare people who gets to have all three at the same time :)

    1. Except for a bit of brain lack when he tried a takeoff with Draco in an extreme crosswind. Should either have gone back to the hangar or asked the tower if he could takeoff across the runway into the wind. With the wind conditions at the time it would’ve have maybe a 3 foot roll then gone up like an express elevator. Fortunately the only casualty other than the plane was his wife broke a fingernail.

  5. I’ve been following the Scrappy build from the beginning, and very few things on Youtube give me as much enjoyment as watching a new [Mike Patey] video. I can’t wait to see it get its wings on, and then the new Draco X build!

  6. Patey is a national treasure – it would be a tragedy to lose this person. His design genius and devotion to fine craftsmanship are not matched, by his own admission, with his judgement.

    I am hoping that in the near future, that he is able to have a few quiet hours with that the wise young CFII lad Josh Flowers (Aviation101).

  7. I have followed Mike for a long time, and his builds are always well constructed from the beginning, and the carbon fiber work is totally flawless.
    I also followed another plane builder that takes another route, he built a uniqe plane (also from carbonfiber) but nothing seems to work out as planned, and the build series is a row of modifications that all leads to other problems that needs modifications.
    He even tried to get proffesional test flyers to take the plane up for it’s maiden flight, but they looked at the build, found a bunch of serious problems, and declined, so he did it himself, an absolute white knuckle event with a barely flying plane, overheating, not delivering the power, and altitude sensors that doesn’t show correct altitude, non functioning hydraulics and so on…
    He is more oriented to finding excuses why things doesn’t work and masking problems for his YouTube audience then building a good plane.
    Among other things, he has the engines twin turbos wrongly configurated, a constructor of that particular engine and it’s turbo setup is among the commenters telling him why it doesnt work the way he has it configured, but the builder keeps ignoring him, or telling him he is wrong.
    That build series is going to end in a disaster.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.