This is a modification of the common Cessna 182 airframe and encompasses several different modifications to the original airframe. Todd Peterson has acquired the rights to the original Wren modifications and currently markets them under his name. The original Wren modifications involved flap and aileron modifications, canards (forward wings), and a rather bizarre looking series of stall fences on the upper surface of the main wing.
The current Peterson modifications include installation of a 260 hp engine in place of the stock 230 hp engine and canard. Because of the canard, the modified Cessna can climb at lesser angles of attack than traditional STOL planes and the manufacturer claims this is an added safety feature over traditional STOL planes. Some of these planes feature reversible pitch propellers for shorter landing rolls.
Both Wren and Peterson have claimed some impressive STOL abilities over the stock Cessna 182 and while these claims are not disputed by the author, they are unverified. Take off distances of 300 feet are claimed with cruise speeds of 153 knots. The author has never encountered such a plane (either Wren or Peterson) and does not believe these modifications to be common. The author does agree with the theory of the modifications as yielding a capable STOL aircraft. Once again, however, the author is unable to verify the veracity of the claims.
Apparently there is some confusion buzzing around about the difference between the Peterson and Wren. For clarification, Todd Peterson acquired the Supplemental Type Certificate for the Wren and produced a number of them in the early 1980s under the designation 460P. He evolved the Wren design into the Peterson 260SE. They say a picture paints a thousand words:
This is a Wren modification.
This is a Peterson modification.
Here is a post I found on Pilots of America about the modifications:
Originally Posted by flyersfan31 The 260SE is a heckuva plane. I've only seen that one in action, not the Wren. the Peterson's are always $$$ because they are such awesome performers. High resale value, especially out west. Don't know about the long-term effects of the canard on the front of the airplane, and of course at the end of the day you still have an old 182 airframe gussied up and paid for at new airplane price levels. Still!!
Build a Zenith Ch801 Stol instead....
The post above is incomplete without the amusing response from "Grant Pellwitz": I wouldn't trust ANYTHING I built!
It's good to know one's limits!
Here at bush-planes we received some fan mail from Mark Helseth of the United States. Mark has been flying since around 2001 and although his dream plane is the Beaver he wanted to put his two cents in on the Peterson/Wren page.
He said, "Hopefully you can get a ride in a Peterson 230/260 and see the performance for yourself. On the page, you indicated you doubt the performance. Don't - it is true!!! I had a demo ride in fall 07 at Todd's factory. I'll be happy to share my experience (and stand behind it) by writing a short piece for you. It is an awesome plane. Lots of grins while flying. BTW - I don't work for Todd or have any affiliation. I just like to see accurate reviews. Take Care, Mark".
Thanks Mark, we always appreciate the point of view from the pilot's seat and I'd be happy to have a look at your written account and share it here for others to enjoy.
Mark also gave us a rating system for the best bush plane, kind of like a restaurant with dollar signs to indicate the expense. He put it like this:
$ - Cub or Husky
$$ - 172 or 182
$$$ - 180 / 185 / 206
$$$$ - Beaver
Do you agree with Mark? Please let us know by leaving a comment here.