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Thread: Bearhawk Model 5

  1. #1

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    Bearhawk Model 5

    I think there is interest for a Utility STOL aircraft that allows a pilot to take off in 800' with full fuel and 1000 pounds of freight into the bush at 160 MPH, or economy cruise at +6 hours at 7 gph.

    Beginning in the 1990's, Bob Barrows designed and built a line of 4 experimental Utility STOL aircraft with exemplary performance numbers. All of them have a 4130 steel tube and fabric fuselage, Aluminum wing with solid rivets, a single wing strut like a Cessna, go fast (STOL - fast) carry cargo, pax and gas.

    His first model in about 1997 was a four place outperforms a Maul (and C-180 in many categories), the Patrol designed in 2002 outperforms the XCub, the LSA with an O-200 get rave reviews, a O-360 powered two place model side by side was introduced and is called the Companion.

    Within the past few weeks Bob and the kit factory owner revealed the new Bearhawk Model 5. Its wider & longer than the classic four place with more power and higher MGTOW. Its in flight test right now, and I thought I'd share a video.

    I'm not connected in any way with the factory outside of being a happy customer and am building a Patrol. Being a fan of the design, designer, and the factory and, I think the product line is undervalued, and folks hear might be interested in the capabilities the Model 5 brings to the STOL Utility backcountry experimental aircraft market place.

    The video is produced by a Bearhawk builder/Professional Pilot who's doing test flights. It humbly shows off the airplane in a hanger, with the person who completed the prototype kit. Its not a sales hype video, no fancy music, no hot rod flying. Rather its basic low hype R&D that is producing a product with tremendous capability.

    If your a builder its worth watching just to see a light weight experimental build.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k29_...ature=youtu.be

  2. #2
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Any feedback from anyone on this plane? Seems interesting

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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Well I have about 75 hrs in that particular one, if you have any more specific questions.
    It does perform as advertised. If I had a need for more room or seats itís pretty awesome.


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    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Do you have 185 time? How does it compare?

    Is it a 185 substitute? I guess it wouldnt be a ifr platform? Probably more effected by turbulence due to weight? But better performance?

    Ps- i inly have a few years of aviation under my belt

  5. #5
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    Bearhawk Modle 5

    I do not have any left seat 185 time. I have a few hours of 180 pic time.

    It is the closest thing in the experimental world to the operational aspects of a 180/185.

    Tough by design, if the builder installs an IFR panel and finishes it off the interior the same, it is a very similar package. The control harmony is excellent, the roll rate is subjective but I think itís better than the patrol I fly, which is better than the cubs Iíve owned. Not FX3 aileron feel but good.

    I would jump in it for IFR without an autopilot but of course you can install a GFC500 easily. The one pictured above was the prototype with an IO-580 (beast) and super stable. Iíve flown it over an hour trimmed at altitude and never a touched the stick.

    I donít know the number of kits that have been delivered but first kit to be completed just flew to its new home in CA last week, and I have two friends building it, one IFR capable if needed and one as a ranch tool. Each to their own mission.

    There are a few videos of it on 500AGL and other YouTube channels.

    Images of the first kit completed model 5 enroute to CA. This one has an IO-540.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of videos of the California delivery
    https://youtu.be/Hc8POCqZN1M
    https://youtu.be/YAQ6x8_rbMc

    Here is the originals Model 5
    https://youtu.be/ajRYcqgjvaE
    https://youtu.be/SWvGJ-puMy8
    https://youtu.be/iIqalIOxwOk

    There are several other videos, easy to find
    Bearhawk Companion QB Builder
    Revo Sunglasses Ambassador
    https://www.instagram.com/jay_townsend_utah/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ0...tBJLdV8HB_jSIA
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  7. #7
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Looks pretty sweet.

    @jay - you have a bearhawk?

  8. #8
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Looks pretty sweet.

    @jay - you have a bearhawk?
    I am in the late stages building my BH Companion which is a 2 seat side by side

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I do not have any left seat 185 time. I have a few hours of 180 pic time.

    It is the closest thing in the experimental world to the operational aspects of a 180/185.

    Tough by design, if the builder installs an IFR panel and finishes it off the interior the same, it is a very similar package. The control harmony is excellent, the roll rate is subjective but I think itís better than the patrol I fly, which is better than the cubs Iíve owned. Not FX3 aileron feel but good.

    I would jump in it for IFR without an autopilot but of course you can install a GFC500 easily. The one pictured above was the prototype with an IO-580 (beast) and super stable. Iíve flown it over an hour trimmed at altitude and never a touched the stick.

    I donít know the number of kits that have been delivered but first kit to be completed just flew to its new home in CA last week, and I have two friends building it, one IFR capable if needed and one as a ranch tool. Each to their own mission.

    There are a few videos of it on 500AGL and other YouTube channels.

    Images of the first kit completed model 5 enroute to CA. This one has an IO-540.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingersÖ
    Is that screen showing 23.7 inches of manifold and 74 percent power at 10,500 ft?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1
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  10. #10
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    Is that screen showing 23.7 inches of manifold and 74 percent power at 10,500 ft?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Yes, ram air induction provides healthy MP.


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingersÖ

  11. #11
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    Mooney ram air gave 1" at best. Are you getting 3" of ram? If so Collin's induction system would be the thing to copy.

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  12. #12
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    I doubt it's 3" from ram, but I wasn't flying so I can only offer reports from Ryan Barker and Rollie VanDorn that flew that one. My time is all in the prototype (per se) with the IO-580, and I'd have to look at photos to see what that produced the few times I was any significant altitude. Since both Ryan and Rollie commented on it's climb performance from 8-10k I have to believe the number is accurate.

    While there is always some black magic around airflow, I don't know that it was anything more than a "that size and location should work well" type of design. That said, Bob Barrows was very interested to know exactly what number I was getting static and in cruise on the prototype though, and felt that the diameter should be slightly bigger on production models.

    pb

  13. #13
    DJ's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter. I am curious how they were getting that kind of power at 10K and curious how the 300 hp 540 version stacked up against the 580 in climb.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalms 19:1

  14. #14
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    I'll reach out to Ryan and see if he can chime in. Power is hard to not like, and the 580 is awesome. (Not comparing, just saying as a 180hp driver)

  15. #15
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Checked out a buddies 4a he built. Going flying in it soon. Has a 540. Looks pretty sweet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Checked out a buddies 4a he built. Going flying in it soon. Has a 540. Looks pretty sweet.

    I cant look at a Bearhawk and not think Maule.. not that there is anything wrong with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sub3 View Post
    I cant look at a Bearhawk and not think Maule.. not that there is anything wrong with that.
    The Bearhawk has always interested this long time Cub builder. The Patrol with the 0-360 should be a great performer. ButÖ..does anyone know any of the particulars of the Bearhawk that shed a wing about six months ago in NW Montana? All Iíve heard was that the pilot was not current which is meaningless when it comes to airframe integrity unless he was going downhill in excess of Vne. Anyone??

    Sarpy Sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpy View Post
    The Bearhawk has always interested this long time Cub builder. The Patrol with the 0-360 should be a great performer. But…..does anyone know any of the particulars of the Bearhawk that shed a wing about six months ago in NW Montana? All I’ve heard was that the pilot was not current which is meaningless when it comes to airframe integrity unless he was going downhill in excess of Vne. Anyone??

    Sarpy Sam
    Sarpy Sam,
    That was an unusual incident that I hope the NTSB really does a good report on. While that one was a stick built LSA, there was no evidence of weld failure or such as one might lean towards. The info I know is that a strut failed in compression, which would mean somewhere north of a -3g load. You can see in the accident photo, where the strut finally kinked after bending past it's structural limit, but the info is from NTSB. There is a tire imprint on the underside of the wing where it swung down and contacted the tire prior to tearing off.

    One thought we have discussed is an panic pushover to avoid a birdstrike, or something totally unexpected while in a level cruise flight? I expect if you suddenly pushed it right to the stop fast you could throw yourself into a negative G load that would exceed the limits. Normally one would think the pilot (and girl friend) was showing off with a loop and fell out of it, or similar, but there is no evidence of that, nor is there any reason to expect that from a morning flight to breakfast.

    I've looked quite intensively to see if there was any correlation between that incident and Ron Synder's recent Patrol crash in PA, and it appears there is not, at least at this time. Although different in weight/tube size/strength/etc between LSA and Patrol, one thought was a elevator trim tab flutter causing a super fast and violent oscillations that wasn't brought back into control. I had heard of a tab flutter on an Aztec actually knocking out the pilot and the copilot landed while the pilot was unconscious. But all conjecture as none can be substantiated.

    pb

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    Regarding Bearhawk airframe integrity: I watched from the seat of my cub as a friend in the Bearhawk he homebuilt, made a ridgetop landing, lost control, and tumbled end-over-end into a canyon. The tire mark where he lost control was at 5,481í and the plane stopped in the bottom of the canyon at 5,248í elevation. In that 233í descent he contacted the canyon wall three times, deduced from the scars left in the hillside. He walked away with a broken sternum and a couple broken fingers.

    The following day, standing in the bottom of that canyon looking at the wreckage, I was more surprised than anything at how well that plane held together and kept the outcome survivable for the pilot.

  20. #20
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    Here are a couple of videos of the California delivery
    https://youtu.be/Hc8POCqZN1M
    https://youtu.be/YAQ6x8_rbMc

    Here is the originals Model 5
    https://youtu.be/ajRYcqgjvaE
    https://youtu.be/SWvGJ-puMy8
    https://youtu.be/iIqalIOxwOk

    There are several other videos, easy to find
    Is the guy who is posting those videos "clran78" the builder? Someone hired him to build it?

  21. #21
    sub3's Avatar
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    look at the horizontal shutter at 0:08 on the second takeoff video..

  22. #22
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Is the guy who is posting those videos "clran78" the builder? Someone hired him to build it?
    I believe he is the ferry pilot, Colin Campbell built the plane

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    Quote Originally Posted by sub3 View Post
    look at the horizontal shutter at 0:08 on the second takeoff video..
    I'm missing what you're saying. Which video are you looking at?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I'm missing what you're saying. Which video are you looking at?
    I think he is talking about the horizontal stabalizer shuddering when full power is applied at takeoff

    https://youtu.be/SWvGJ-puMy8

  25. #25
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Must be my monitor resolution, I can't see any shudder in that video. It's not a different video?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I'll reach out to Ryan and see if he can chime in. Power is hard to not like, and the 580 is awesome. (Not comparing, just saying as a 180hp driver)
    Did you find anything in your photos or these guys notes?

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  27. #27
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Ryan replied that he didn't have additional info to offer and "that's the performance I got" ::shrug::

    I looked at what I still had up for videos of the 5, and none of it's maxed out performance since I was paying the fuel bill. One shows around 6k pulled back to 23.1 and 2250 just loping along, but that's not any sort of comparison.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sub3 View Post
    look at the horizontal shutter at 0:08 on the second takeoff video..
    Compared to a Cub, that is rock solid. Are you trying to find a problem that isn't there?
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sub3 View Post
    look at the horizontal shutter at 0:08 on the second takeoff video..
    If I'm seeing what you are addressing, I think that is a loose camera mount which wiggles too much.
    N1PA

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    I think it could have be up quicker if he used some flaps. The flap handle is still low and requires moving head down pretty low to reach it. The big cargo door has the same issue with flaps as the 206 so a problem if you put a 3rd row in. I think yokes would make the front a lot easier to get in and out of. No brakes on the right side so not much good for training. Making it longer should help with keeping it straight, wider is better especially with big guys or lots of winter gear on and I do love that big door in the back!!! Just like a Maul it is using HP for performance not so much wing, it would be interested to see what it stall speed is. If I had to be hauling a lot of gear in and out I would love it!!
    DENNY

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    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    @DENNY, not sure about the Model 5, but my Companion has a 185 sq. ft wing area. I would think that is a fairly large wing. If anything, I suspect the Model 5 might have a larger wing than my Companion

    I had the tail feathers on my Companion today (only temporary), and compared to my buddies Carbon Cub in the same hanger the tailfeathers on the BH are substantially larger.
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    Bearhawk Companion QB Builder
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  32. #32
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    I talked to Mark Goldberg at Bearhawk today- lead time on a kit is 20 months. Then you still have to build itÖ

  33. #33
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    I talked to Mark Goldberg at Bearhawk today- lead time on a kit is 20 months. Then you still have to build it…
    There is a “guy” who builds Bearhawks up in the NE, he does it in 6 months. In addition to Dave (Bearhawkbuilder on SC.org) Colin Campbell has build a couple of Model 5’s, not sure on Colin’s build time. I do know a Colin built Model 5 was delivered recently.

  34. #34
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Looking good Jay!
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearhawk Builder View Post
    Looking good Jay!
    Thanks Dave, I am making progress

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    @DENNY, not sure about the Model 5, but my Companion has a 185 sq. ft wing area. I would think that is a fairly large wing. If anything, I suspect the Model 5 might have a larger wing than my Companion

    I had the tail feathers on my Companion today (only temporary), and compared to my buddies Carbon Cub in the same hanger the tailfeathers on the BH are substantially larger.
    Jay
    I looked up the Cessna specs and I was wrong. That wing has more sq ft than the stock cessna.
    DENNY
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  37. #37
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    The Bearhawk 5 uses the same wing as the 4 place "Bravo" which has the same dimensions as the 2 place Patrol. The Companion probably uses exactly the same wing as the Patrol. I suspect that the span on the side by side models will be longer due to the wider fuselage. The original 4 place had a slightly shorter wing that was listed as 180 sq-ft. The progression was then to the Patrol and then the "Bravo". I wonder if Bob made the Patrol span the same as the original 4 place. When that wing design (plus beef up for higher gross weight) went onto the Bravo, this resulted in a span increase. The LSA is likely to be a different beast on the dimensions.

    As for longer fuselage on the 5: Its fuselage is 2 ft longer and it also has a larger/taller vertical. The shorter 4 place is a very docile airplane for its size. It can handle substantial cross winds well. I find no reason to "improve" it for the purpose of "keeping it straight". I don't know if the 5 is easier or has too much stability and may be less capable in crosswinds.

    A lot of people look at the gear and decide that it is narrow and too much like a Maule. ...some people believe a Maule can be a challenge. I have only a few landings in one and found no issues. However, my point is on the gear. The airplane is not at all difficult. I would not want wider gear because it would make it that much more difficult to get or hold a wing down in a crosswind. My experience is that my original 4 place is a very capable airplane in winds and I make no claims of being a super amazing pilot. I credit the airplane.

    There was a comment on no brakes on the right side. That is a builder choice. I'm pretty sure most are built with dual brakes. I suspect a Bearhawk with a single set of brakes is the rare exception.

    The flap handle was raised up off the floor a bit on the 5. I've done a short test flight in the original 5 prototype and reaching the handle was a non-issue. My own 4 place has electric flaps, so I can't compare to others.

    I know of one person who modified their 4 place with an overhead flap handle. He ran into two problems and restored the original design. The Bearhawk flaps are large and the overhead ergonomics weren't as good for dealing with the pull force. The other is that he put the handle in the middle. This is a natural place to put it for side-by-side seating with dual controls. He found it to be a hazard to his head in turbulence or a crash. In Cubs and other tandems with an overhead flap handle, your shoulder will encounter the side if the airplane and help prevent you head from hitting the handle. You could put the handle on one side, but then it can't really be flown from both sides.

    Oh... and I prefer a stick. Yup, it would be easier to get in and out with a yoke, but I care more about the flying experience than the getting in and out. ...my preference. The other downside of the stick is that yokes can be fantastic for mounting a portable GPS, tablet or clipping an approach plate. I still prefer a stick and find getting in and out to be about the same as a Cub.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  38. #38
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    There is a “guy” who builds Bearhawks up in the NE, he does it in 6 months
    I've not yet seen him build a 5! I'd love to see what he could do with one if a kit showed up at his shop.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4
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  39. #39
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel View Post
    I've not yet seen him build a 5! I'd love to see what he could do with one if a kit showed up at his shop.
    Working on it, I need another one of me
    And yes the Companion wing is the same as the Patrol wing. All wings except for the LSA are the same dimensionally just up-grossed for the 4 and 5 with thicker materials.
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  40. #40
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    Donít forget the floats when Dave builds yours Tyson. I want to see an Amphib Five sitting next to his creek while he cooks up some steak on the fire pit.


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