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Thread: Bearhawk Companion Flies

  1. #1
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Bearhawk Companion Flies

    I'll post here the latest project for your viewing enjoyment. This is the first Bearhawk Companion, a 2 place side by side new model that Bob Barrows designed after getting many requests for a 2 place side by side. This is serving as the prototype since it's the first one built from a kit and Bob didn't build a proof of concept as he normally does. Although it's a new model, it's an amalgam of known former designs - A modified 4 place fuselage and Patrol wings. The fuselage is modified with no rear baggage door and the rear bulkhead moved one station forward. This allows a 6 inch shorter engine mount for the O360.
    The kit was delivered to me in July and after about 1000 hrs build the first flight was on April 20th. As of now I have 32 hours on it and working through phase one testing.
    Some details -
    Empty weight - 1130
    Gross weight - 2200
    CG range from 11.9 to 19.8 inches and 18 to 30 percent of the 65.5" cord. Design limits the rear baggage to 225 lbs for now but seems to be some left.
    I've done stability testing to 20.1 CG and there seems to be plenty of margin left.
    Speed flat out at 2600 RPM is 126 KIAS at 3000 ft., Clean stalls at 41 KTS, Full flap stalls at 38 KTS. O360 and Catto 76/62.
    Normal take offs and landings about 600 feet. Attachment 55910Attachment 55911Attachment 5591252 Gallons total fuel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    The attachment links aren't working for me, but the pictures look great! It's hard for me to fathom only 1000 hours for any Bearhawk build. You are THE MAN! (I had over 1000 hours into mine when I sold the kit, and the quick-build fuselage was only about 90% complete... But I did quite a few things "the hard way" as a first-time builder...)
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES
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  3. #3
    Dirt911's Avatar
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    Congratulations, nice looking build, and the weights are nice. Are you going to bring it to the Keene fly in?

  4. #4
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I'd like building that panel. Lots of realestate to work with.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  5. #5
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    I’ll be there Dirt.
    The panel choices are not my preference but yes plenty of real estate.

  6. #6
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Well, I don’t think there’s any question that you deserve the title “Bearhawk Builder”. Yow! One thousand hours?

    Nice looking machine.

    MTV

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    Very very impressive! Your plane is a beauty!

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    225 pounds of cargo, 300 pounds of fuel, and your left with 545 pound for its two front seats. That design has uncommon Utility without looking at how fast it is.

    Can we see a photo of the rear baggage area?
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  9. #9
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcone1381 View Post
    225 pounds of cargo, 300 pounds of fuel, and your left with 545 pound for its two front seats. That design has uncommon Utility without looking at how fast it is.

    Can we see a photo of the rear baggage area?
    And designed in the utility category at +4.5 G, -3G.


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers...
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  10. #10
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	55936Thanks all, here is a picture of the cargo area, the front seat back is folded forward.

  11. #11
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    That is a beast of a plane, and the side by side is awesome

    Shame about the panel, but I know it was not Bearhawk Builders choice

  12. #12
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I guess I don't get it. What is shameful about the inst. panel? Thats a beautiful airplane as is.
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  13. #13
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    I guess I don't get it. What is shameful about the inst. panel? Thats a beautiful airplane as is.
    I agree. I like the simplicity.

    I'd probably want some kind of attitude indicator, though. There is plenty of room. Maybe the tablet looking device already has that? I can't make out what it is.

  14. #14
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Looks like an iFly GPS for those that don’t have a tablet device.

    https://www.iflygps.com/iFly-GPS/740b-Aviation-Portable


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
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  15. #15

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    Out of curiosity, what is the cabin width at the shoulders?
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

  16. #16
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Bearhawk Companion Flies

    Charlie, 42” not including any window space.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Charlie, 42” not including any window space.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    Cool, only a few inches less than what I am building and should be acceptably comfortable for most.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

  18. #18
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Yup. I’m looking forward to the Patrol at 32”. American sized.


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  19. #19
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Farmboy is correct with the numbers. The panel is okay, the engine gauges are VDO automotive type which work better than I expected, actually they are fine. It has a small MGL Vega TC4 to monitor CHT and EGT and that works well too. The Ifly GPS is okay too, not my favorite GPS as the functions are clunky to me but when you get used to it it works fine. Trig units are great, I'm using the internal intercom with a switch on the panel to shut the intercom function off/on. I'm not happy with this yet, I'm getting constant squelch with a passenger at anything above 1500 rpm due to the noise. There are internal settings to adjust so I'm working that out. I'm using Trig's ADSB / Transponder bundle with Stratux for IN, that's all working well.
    Using the blade style fuses with forward facing mount and lighted fuses was requested and I think that turned out pretty well using a modified fuse block from Blue Sea Systems. The seats are from Daniel at Sport Aircraft Seats, very well done and comfortable. It's a good, simple VFR day only plane that performs real well, side by side and plenty of baggage and useful load. The numbers show it can almost carry it's own weight.
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  20. #20
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Correction, the fuse block is a Bussman. Couple more shots of the interior.Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #21
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Last I knew VDO gauges are made in Germany. Lots better than that other country that makes junk. The downside I guess is they don't look aircraft but I haven't seen their entire line, they may have some that do look at home in an aircraft.

  22. #22
    skukum12's Avatar
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    Is there provision for extended baggage?
    "Always looking up"

  23. #23
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    There's plenty of room, the Companion uses a modified 4 place fuselage with that station moved forward so I guess you could extend the baggage as long as the CG is respected. Bob's design number for rear CG is set at 19.8, I brought this one back to 20.1 and the stability was still acceptable so there may be some room left for more baggage area.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Last I knew VDO gauges are made in Germany. Lots better than that other country that makes junk. The downside I guess is they don't look aircraft but I haven't seen their entire line, they may have some that do look at home in an aircraft.
    For more than 50 years VDO gauges are made in Mexico. Most of the coils for the internals had been made in Plainville Conn, in the mid '80s I helped move that production to Bloomfield Conn.
    A bit over a decade ago My friend that owned the company sold it and retired to the shore of Carolina. I have not paid attention if the coils are still made in country or moved offshore.
    Last edited by CharlieN; 05-30-2021 at 11:16 AM.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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  25. #25
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Thank you professor. Might go straighten them out on the Wikipedia page and let them know.
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    For more than 50 years VDO gauges are made in Mexico. Most of the coils for the internals had been made in Plainville Conn, in the mid '80s I helped move that production to Bloomfield Conn.
    A bit over a decade ago My friend that owned the company sold it and retired to the shore of Carolina. I have not paid attention if the coils are still made in country or moved offshore.

  26. #26

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    I am not sure VDO wants it known where there factories are for pride and marketing reasons. I am not even sure if there products are even marked where they are made, I do not use them since I prefer mechanical gauges.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

  27. #27
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Charlie, 42” not including any window space.
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Yup. I’m looking forward to the Patrol at 32”. American sized.
    The Bearhawk series of airplanes appear to cover all the bases of a majority of "off roading" aviators.
    For comparison purposes my widebody -18 clone is 28". I am not a widebody person, the Patrol's 32" is attractive.

    Now, let's see what we can do about reducing the ground run and increasing the climb performance. Hmm? I have some ideas.
    N1PA

  28. #28
    courierguy's Avatar
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    IF the Bearhawk LSA had flaps I'd have one by now.
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  29. #29
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    IF the Bearhawk LSA had flaps I'd have one by now.
    What is to prevent you from installing flaps on your Bearhawk LSA? You are a clever mechanically inclined guy.......just do it. There is ample guidance on building a flap system just here on SC.org, if nowhere else.
    N1PA

  30. #30
    Dirt911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearhawk Builder View Post
    The numbers show it can almost carry it's own weight.
    What accounts for the difference in gross weight between this (2200#), and the patrol (2000#)?

    Fuselage structural differences ?

  31. #31
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    The Bearhawk series of airplanes appear to cover all the bases of a majority of "off roading" aviators.
    For comparison purposes my widebody -18 clone is 28". I am not a widebody person, the Patrol's 32" is attractive.

    Now, let's see what we can do about reducing the ground run and increasing the climb performance. Hmm? I have some ideas.
    Climb performance is pretty good at about 1500/min empty and 700/min at gross. (https://youtu.be/odoGYOmg1Pc?t=256) Ground runs coming and going blend down to speed - if you can slow the stall speed down more then the ground run will be there.

    Short of watching that video he posted the results he got. Weights / Wind / Takeoff & landing distances / Climb out / stall and fuel burn full rich.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Farmboy; 05-30-2021 at 04:14 PM.
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  32. #32
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Companion wing fit on LSA?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  33. #33
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt911 View Post
    What accounts for the difference in gross weight between this (2200#), and the patrol (2000#)?

    Fuselage structural differences ?
    Yes, tubing layout and wall thickness differences. The Companion uses essentially a modified 4 place fuselage which is 2500 gross, some tubing changes were made for the Companion. The gear though remained the same as the 4 place so it's pretty rugged.

  34. #34
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Companion wing fit on LSA?

    Glenn
    I'm not sure about this, I don't think so. But a Patrol can be built at 900 lbs if your careful.

  35. #35
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    What is to prevent you from installing flaps on your Bearhawk LSA? You are a clever mechanically inclined guy.......just do it. There is ample guidance on building a flap system just here on SC.org, if nowhere else.
    I'm an experienced and apparently adequate kitplane builder, (5 times) meaning I am OK with putting parts together, but doing a good flap mod, with the required strengthening of the rear spar, is out of my comfort level. Besides, I'm too busy flying my completed and paid for S-7S, 2.9 Hrs just today, 1.9 yesterday, more tomorrow). I am using the excuse of it not having flaps, standard, as it is the first kitplane in a while, LSA type, that has caught my eye, and it's lack of flap is a good reason to hold off.. I'd also have to put cub style gear on it, but I know a good gear guy, I'd be on my own on the flap mod. I've also never built a plane, while having a flying plane, I've always sold the flying one to pay for the next one, and used that to supercharge my building effort. Meaning, quick. Now, for the first time in my life, I can afford the next kit plane upfront, but I want to go flying what I have too much.
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  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I'm an experienced and apparently adequate kitplane builder, (5 times) meaning I am OK with putting parts together, but doing a good flap mod, with the required strengthening of the rear spar, is out of my comfort level. Besides, I'm too busy flying my completed and paid for S-7S, 2.9 Hrs just today, 1.9 yesterday, more tomorrow). I am using the excuse of it not having flaps, standard, as it is the first kitplane in a while, LSA type, that has caught my eye, and it's lack of flap is a good reason to hold off.. I'd also have to put cub style gear on it, but I know a good gear guy, I'd be on my own on the flap mod. I've also never built a plane, while having a flying plane, I've always sold the flying one to pay for the next one, and used that to supercharge my building effort. Meaning, quick. Now, for the first time in my life, I can afford the next kit plane upfront, but I want to go flying what I have too much.
    I live without flaps now and pay that penalty at touchdown as compared to most Cubs. Gurney flaps do help about 50% of that gap, but your S7 is both way faster and relatively slower than my 11. The Bearhawk LSA would be another order of magnitude faster and slower than my pig but knowing your terrain and your S7, I am sorta curious what aspect of the Bearhawk caught your eye? Load? Longer wing? Just something new?

    Just knowing the stuff we both like to fly, I think you would really miss your flaps...

    Edit: You need to convince Randy to design us a long-wing slatted S7. (better soaring, ailerons further out, more flap area, etc)
    Last edited by Colorado-Cub; 05-31-2021 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Added idea

  37. #37
    courierguy's Avatar
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    The wing, lot more squares, and faster. I'd settle for an extended span 21 wing for my 7, something that Randy has kicked around but it's way on the back burner. New also.
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  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    IF the Bearhawk LSA had flaps I'd have one by now.
    It's common to see folks ask for Flaps on the LSA. But no one whom I've ever known with time in one asks for flaps....ever....quite the opposite actually. It's Riblett airfoil is thicker and proven to be an excellent choice for its mission.

    For the record, I'm a Patrol builder, and been following the lineup closely for about 7 years. For those of you wondering, Bob Barrows says to build the LSA if you lean towards a J-3, and the Patrol if you desire a PA-18.
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  39. #39
    courierguy's Avatar
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    I don't know of any BH LSA builders landing mountain sides/tops, short gravel bars, and other foolish places like I do all the time in the flap equipped RANS. I'm not saying that's because they don't have flaps, or it couldn't be done, just that the grass airstrip/pavement crowd I'm sure find just slipping more than adequate. I slip almost every landing, plus use various flap settings. I also don't know of any LSA's with 29" tires, or at least any that have really worked them off airport. I greatly respect Bob's expertise in design, I just wish he wasn't such a hard ass about not at least offering the option of flaps. By hard ass, I mean purist, I do like his passion for lightness and simplicity. It may be a off airport gem, with the wing loading it has, plus it's clean wing. I consider myself more of a tweaked and hot rodded J-3 type, with 29's!
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  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I consider myself more of a tweaked and hot rodded J-3 type, with 29's!
    You summed it up perfectly Tom. This is exactly what I fly now and the next wings going on my bird will absolutely have flaps. (or I will only build another airplane that does)

    Nothing against Bearhawks and don't mean to derail this specific thread. The Patrol is the bees knees, and the Patrol wings on the LSA is just about the sweet spot for a few of us.
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