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First kitbuilt Bearhawk Model 5 flies

The first kitbuilt Bearhawk Aircraft Model 5 flew on November 7, the Austin, Texas, company announced. The Model 5 is a six-place, high-wing, tailwheel design that the company says is comparable to a Cessna 180 and 185 and is meant to be a heavy hauler and backcountry performer.

Peter Brown flew the Bearhawk Patrol in the Northeast STOL Series competition. Photo courtesy of Bearhawk Aircraft.

The Model 5 completed kit was flown with a 300-horsepower Lycoming IO-540 engine with a three-blade Hartzell propeller. The kit can accommodate Lycoming engines with 250 to 315 horsepower.

Bearhawk said the most notable change of the design from its four-place series is the size. The fuselage is two inches wider and “noticeably longer” than the four-place. The fuselage is constructed of welded 4130 tubing with a lower part count and weight. Like the four-place, the Model 5 is fabric covered with aluminum wings and spars.

The Model 5 “performed as expected,” said Rollie Van Dorn, who flew the 25 hours of Phase 1 flight testing required for kitbuilt aircraft flying with certified engines and propellers. At 8,500 feet, the aircraft indicated 142 knots at 24 inches square, he said. Fuel consumption was between 11 gallons and 15.7 gallons per hour. Van Dorn said, “The Model 5 lands nicely and goes really fast.”

An advanced quick build kit for the Model 5 starts at $70,000 and does not include tires, covering or painting materials, or seat upholstery. The basic fuselage with wing attach, wing strut, landing gear attach, wing strut attach, and tail surface attach fittings finish welded and unpainted can be purchased for $23,500, and a wing component kit is available for $14,500. See the website for additional information.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.
Topics: Taildragger, Backcountry

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