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Aerobatics in the 4-place?

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  • Aerobatics in the 4-place?

    I've heard that the Bearhawk is aerobatic capable, is this true? My wife's favorite part of flying is light aerobatics. It has been years since I received aerobatic training and performed aerobatics so I'd need to go back in for a refresher but if the BH is capable I want to be sure to check the appropriate box when filling out the FAA paperwork.
    Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

  • #2
    Yes, if you are under a certain weight but I don't recall what that is. I think gentlemen aerobatics was aptly used by someone to describe the capabilities. Loops, rolls, spins, etc. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get of the plane if you had to in the air though since there is no single emergency door release.

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    • #3
      Thanks Mike. I'll make a note to ask Bob about it the next time I talk to him. I figure the BH would be just as safe to do "gentlemen" aerobatics as the Luscombe was.
      Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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      • #4
        Whee, please post back here after you talk to Bob....I am curious too.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Will do but it might be a while. I try to only call when I have several questions so I'm not constantly calling him.
          Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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          • #6
            I heard that Bob had rolled the plane once, and that's it.

            I was of the opposite opinion based on my discussions some 4-5 years ago when I was looking to choose an aircraft (has it been that long?!) - I recall that the Bearhawk is not suitable for true "aerobatics", if I recall correctly.

            I am sure the most basic aerobatic manoeuvres are approved, when the plane is lightly loaded - steep turns, chandells, and lazy eights.

            I am sure you could roll it, based on the flying I have done I would say it's certainly possible. I can see why Bob decided to try it.
            Pulling out of dives, hmmmm.... it accellerates fast and has a relatively low Vne. I am not sure I would not happy about looping it. Overspeed or very high g-force could be the result.

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            • #7
              I can confirm rolls. It rolls about like a J-3... very, very, slowly.

              I don't think that over-speed would be a problem with loops, so long as you manage the speed to be low at the top of the loop. My RV-4 is much lower drag than the Bearhawk and its speed on exit from a loop done to be gentle instead of round is not terribly high.

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              • #8
                ...I've done loops in the RV-4 that didn't exceed 2 G's.

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                • Battson
                  Battson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  At a guess, the Vne in an RV4 would be over 180 KIAS? A lot more drag at those speeds.
                  Much lower risk of flutter in the RV4 at loop exit speeds, I would have assumed.
                  Anyway - I wouldn't feel comfortable taking the risk with my plane / life. YMMV
                  Last edited by Battson; 02-22-2016, 08:00 PM.

                • kestrel
                  kestrel commented
                  Editing a comment
                  RV-4 loop exit is more like 140 kts if done right and can be considerably less. Your contrast of RV-4 vs. Bearhawk makes the Bearhawk (quite reasonably) look like a J-3. J-3's have no counter balance on control surfaces and a Vne of 122(+/-?) mph. They loop nicely and that is the airplane I first learned loops, rolls and spins in. ...however, I'm not encouraging anyone to do anything they are not comfortable with. I've had to wrest the controls from some very talented and very experience pilots (no, really, these guys are very good pilots) who were not used to being upside down and did it wrong.

              • #9
                The Luscombe has a Vne of 145mph and it was easy to do loops and split-s's without exceeding Vne. The split-s and hammerhead are among my favorites and would likely be as daring as I'd get. I did rolls in the Luscombe and didn't find them all that exciting. From what I remember the BH roll rate is about the same at the Luscombe.

                Thanks for the replies. Maybe I'll just buy a Stearman.
                Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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                • kestrel
                  kestrel commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A half reverse cuban has some advantages over a split-S. By having the 45 up line, you can bleed speed before (or as) pulling at the top. When doing a split-S in an airplane you want to treat gently, one must be very careful to slow before starting the maneuver.

              • #10
                I have done some of these in the 4 place .guys,just be careful with the heavy ones.its the botched maneuvers the will get cha.

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