The King Katmai and Kenai had their beginnings in the 1950's with Jim Robertson’s proof-of-concept airplane, the Skyshark. The Skyshark featured many STOL devices not seen before. While the airplane was a technical success it was too expensive to produce.
After two years of working with the FAA the new 260SE/STOL received its certification in 1986. The 260SE/STOL used the Wren’s unique, high-lift canard along with a more powerful fuel-injected 260 HP engine and an aerodynamic clean-up of the airframe. The plane had excellent cross country performance with a higher cruise speed, ROC, useful load and service ceiling while retaining superb short field performance. The 260SE/STOL was a commercial success with hundreds being built and delivered to customers around the world. During this same period the canard and IO-470 engine were offered as individual upgrades to the Cessna 182.
The latest addition to our family of airplanes is the Kenai. The Kenai continues the evolutionary design of the 260SE/STOL by utilizing the King Katmai’s IO-550 engine and canard with the shorter stock Cessna wing and landing gear. The Kenai is designed for fast, comfortable and efficient cross-country flight while retaining the slow flight stability and short field performance shared by all Peterson aircraft.
In the early 1960s some of the best features of the Skyshark were applied to the proven Cessna 182 airframe to produce the Wren 460. The Wren achieved a worldwide reputation for being the only safe STOL airplane ever built. The Wren 460 featured full span double slotted flaps, spoilers called Wren’s teeth to assist in roll control and a very innovative idea for its day, a moveable nose mounted canard. The Wren was produced through the 1960s in Ft. Worth, TX. Later Todd and Jo Peterson continued production of the Wren in the early 1980s.
In 2006 the decision was made to build an airplane designed specifically for the backcountry. In addition to the canard and the IO-0470 engine, the new Katmai featured enhanced off-airport capabilities thanks to its extended wing, heavy duty landing gear, redesigned cargo area, etc. This new breed of aircraft provided excellent backcountry performance, safety and utility while still retaining excellent cross country performance. Within two years the Petersons were designing a super Katmai with a 300HP engine for improved performance at higher elevations. The IO-550 powered King Katmai was an immediate success and continues to be a highly sought after airplane.