The Bearhawk Model 5 is a bigger version of the four place Bearhawk. (Photo: Bearhawk)
Bearhawk Aircraft announced the company is ramping up production at its manufacturing facility to meet increased demand for Bearhawk quick-build kits. The company offers a high quality kit of parts and assemblies used for the construction of Bearhawk two, four, and six-place amateur built aircraft. At present, five models are available, in both plan and kit form, including the original Bearhawk 4-Place, two-seat Patrol, Companion and LSA, and the newest Model 5 with seating for up to six. Kit production takes place at a company-owned facility in Atlixco, Mexico.
Bearhawk Aircraft participated in this year's EAA AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Exhibiting in the experimental aircraft area were Mark Goldberg, manufacturer of Bearhawk kits, and numerous members of the Bearhawk community, plus aircraft on display including the Model 5, its largest that can accommodate engines up to 315 horsepower.
According to Goldberg, "Oshkosh 2021 was very busy for us. The crowd was undoubtedly attracted to the Model 5 sitting on 31-inch Alaskan Bushwheels at the front of our booth. We had ton of interest in all our models, and the most sales ever at the show this year."
Bearhawk Model 5
The Bearhawk Model 5, fifth in the series, retains the classic styling of previous Bearhawks. It is a familiar high-wing design, a product of the ages and time-tested. As a conventional gear aircraft, it performs safely and predictably, especially on unimproved strips. The most notable change from the original 4-Place is that the Model 5 is bigger, seating up to six. The two Bearhawks might be compared to the Cessna 180, a 4-place aircraft, and the larger Cessna 185. However, the Bearhawk is lighter and stronger, and can haul more with easy access through its large cargo door.
As previously noted, Goldberg started his first Bearhawk with the idea that he would manufacture quick-build kits so others could save time in completing their aircraft. He understood a few key points before launching his project. First, good tooling makes parts repetitive and interchangeable. With regards to welding, a stable fixture ensures an accurately manufactured airframe—the component on which all other parts rely. Each Bearhawk frame is MIG-weld tacked, then inspected for gaps per specification. Final welds are done using oxygen acetylene (gas), a method preferred by Bob as historical, still flying aircraft were done this way. Thinner material, such as on tail surfaces, is TIG welded.
Other things gleaned from the presentations and videos about the Bearhawk, and contributing to its popularity, include airfoil shaped tail surfaces adding 20-percent performance increases with their greater surface area on horizontal and vertical stabilisers. The larger 4-Place and Model 5 Bearhawks approach at between 55–70 mph with their large 9'-2" long flaps. Touchdown is 40 mph in ground effect, equating to 43–44 mph stall in air. The 2,000-lb gross Patrol is so stable that reaching aft CG (center of gravity) condition is nearly impossible, facilitating its load carrying abilities. Empty, it weights 1,100–1,230 lb. The Patrol touches down is at 35 mph, cruises at 150–155 mph with a constant speed propeller, and at 140–145 mph with fixed pitch. Compared to a 90-mph Super Cub, however, the Patrol will get in and out of all the same places. Finally, viewers can check out how loading and hauling is accomplished with a Bearhawk.
All Bearhawk models appeal to backcountry and cross-country flyers alike, and can perform a variety of flying activities. The 4-Place Bearhawk fills a utility and transport role extremely well with its large cabin. The Bearhawk Patrol is a tandem two-place version that excels at accessing remote airstrips. The Bearhawk Companion is a side-by-side 2-place model with superior strength and payload capability. The Bearhawk LSA is a lightweight design that meets U.S. Sport Pilot requirements. The new Model 5 seats six and is powered by up-to 315-hp engines. Each aircraft excels at stable slow flight and attains higher than expected cruise speeds. Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high quality quick-build kits for all models.
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