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|Role||STOL light aircraft|
|National origin||United States of America|
Design and development
The 260SE traces its history to a STOL aircraft called Skyshark built by Jim Robertson in the late 1950s. The Skyshark incorporated a number of novel features, most notably a canard fitted with elevators in the slipstream behind the propeller. It was a technological success but too expensive to produce. However, Robertson incorporated many features of the Skyshark into the Wren Aircraft Company's Wren 460. The Wren 460 was a conversion of the Cessna 182 airframe that had full-span double-slotted flaps, movable spoilers to assist the ailerons with roll control and a movable high-lift canard. Later models offered a reversible pitch propeller for steeper approaches, and shorter landing runs. The aircraft was marketed as the only safe STOL aircraft. This was because it did not achieve its STOL characteristics through dangerous high angles of attack and by depending on a powerful engine to pull the aircraft upward (operating "behind the envelope"). At full gross weight, the Wren's take-off and landing distances were 300 ft. At idle power the aircraft could loiter at slow speed with outstanding stall resistance and over-the-nose visibility. It could also make steep turns immediately after take-off. Because of the low approach speed, the Wren was approved for landings under Category II conditions (1/4 mile visibility and 100 foot ceilings on Instrument Landing System approaches). The company was seeking approval for landings under conditions of zero visibility shortly before the company went into bankruptcy in the late 1960s. However, there are reports that several "Wrens" did service with "Air America".
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. On the 260SE the wing modifications are absent. The aircraft depends on the high-lift canard and a more-powerful fuel-injected 260 HP Continental engine to achieve STOL capabilities. The additional power and speed modifications permit a cruise speed in excess of 150 knots. A canard-only conversion, the 230SE, is also available for about 1/3 the price of the canard/engine combination. The 230SE has inferior take-off performance compared to the 260SE but both aircraft have a stall speed of 35 knots.
Specifications (Wren 460)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89 
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 3 passengers
- Length: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)
- Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
- Wing area: 175.4 sq ft (16.30 m2)
- Empty weight: 3,741 lb (1,697 kg)
- Gross weight: 2,800 lb (1,270 kg) normal
- Max takeoff weight: 3,650 lb (1,656 kg) restricted category
- Fuel capacity: 80 US Gallon (303 L)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-470-R air cooled flat-six, 260 hp (190 kW)
- Maximum speed: 160 mph (257 km/h; 139 kn) max cruise
- Cruise speed: 140 mph (122 kn; 225 km/h) econ cruise
- Stall speed: 29 mph (25 kn; 47 km/h) flaps down, power off
- Range: 980 mi (852 nmi; 1,577 km)
- Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,852 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,080 ft/min (5.5 m/s)
- Take-off to and landing from 50 ft (15 m): 560 ft (171 m)
- Taylor 1988, p. 497.
- Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Defence Data, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
- Manufacturer's website
- Photo galleries Peterson 230/260SEs and Wren 460s
- Wren 460 picture Spoilers, full-wing double-slotted flaps and canard clearly visible.
- Wren 460