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  • STOL competitions

    Yesterday was the Texas STOL contest in Gainesville TX above Ft Worth. These events are becoming more popular here in the USA. When it was only the Valdez contest - we all watched videos. Now these contests are all around the country with more and more participants and interest.

    I am hoping that some of you flying will take an interest and compete. Jonathan in New Zealand wins easily with his 4 place Bearhawk with only easy modifications. VG's & Hoerner style wingtips. Not to ignore or belittle Jonathan's admirable flying skills. Bob's designs can compete with these "special purpose" planes while having cruise speeds 30 -50 MPH greater. For example - the best performing Carbon Cubs had take off rolls of 85 - 100 ft. I have been told by a few Patrol pilots that they have achieved 90 ft take offs with 100 - 110 ft being common. And these are Patrols not so "customized" as the Carbon Cubs trying to win the contests.

    The pilots competing are really into it. They practice like crazy and want to win. Not for me. But I hope some of you out there flying your planes will take an interest, get good in your planes, and make the Bearhawk community proud. Mark

  • #2
    Yes where are all the Bearhawks at STOL competitions.

    If you have never Competed you should, I suspect there will be many more small stall competitions coming up over the Years.

    While a little practice may just be a good thing for most pilots any event that brings the Aviation community together is priceless.

    A Big shout out to Dan Reynolds that got 2 place with his Chinook . That Boy is one of my fellow Yukon Aviators he flies Cubs and a 185 for work and builds airplanes for fun.

    He is a real Pilar of the Yukon Home build scene.

    Comment


    • zkelley2
      zkelley2 commented
      Editing a comment
      I think most people built their bearhawk to haul the mail. Not win a stol comp.
      I can carry a super cub's empty weight in my airplane. Plus me. If we look at a cub mission say 300nm with a pilot and gear to mgtow, with the same payload and fuel range my airplane still acts like its empty. And I'm off the ground far quicker.

    • Mark Goldberg
      Mark Goldberg commented
      Editing a comment
      Zach - there is no question that most of us in the BH community do not build our planes to compete. But it would be helpful spreading the word about how capable the planes are if a few would compete and do well in the contests as is possible with our planes. Not for everyone for sure. Some people like to compete. Not me. But I hope a few will enjoy competing. MG

    • zkelley2
      zkelley2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Mark I guess I'm just saying it really evens the odds and quickly makes the bearhawk look a lot better if they make the competitors put some weight in the airplanes.

  • #3
    Hey Mark,

    I plan to be part of the New Mexico team. You may have met them. I`m starting to see the completion light at the end of the long, long tunnel. STOL is a bit of a passion here. These guys have taught me a lot.

    Hope to show you a completed Bearhawk soon.
    Thanks too much,
    John Bickham

    Los Lunas, NM Mid Valley Airpark E98
    BH Plans #1117
    Avipro wings/Scratch
    http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....er&project=882

    Comment


    • Mark Goldberg
      Mark Goldberg commented
      Editing a comment
      I met one of your neighbors with a Carbon Cub at the contest. MG

  • #4
    Kinda funny, I remember about a year ago someone made a post about potential modifications to a patrol for this purpose, and was shot down bad on this forum and removed the post . I hope this can spur a discussion. Thanks

    Comment


    • #5
      The long builds and focus on that often take away from what Airplanes are all about flying - going places and meeting other aviators.

      My Biggest Recommendation is cut the cost and weight in the panel - no Autopilot -Light interior, keep it basic lightened cheap save the money

      for Gasoline - fly more and sooner and hone your flying skills. There are builder and Flyers one should not exclude the other.

      I would Love to take a Patrol to Valdez its only a (Fantastic) 3 hour flight from my place anyone coming through to go to the Valdez stol give me a shout I

      have a hangar for you here in Whitehorse Yukon.

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by Gerd Mannsperger View Post
        The long builds and focus on that often take away from what Airplanes are all about flying - going places and meeting other aviators.

        My Biggest Recommendation is cut the cost and weight in the panel - no Autopilot -Light interior, keep it basic lightened cheap save the money

        for Gasoline - fly more and sooner and hone your flying skills. There are builder and Flyers one should not exclude the other.

        I would Love to take a Patrol to Valdez its only a (Fantastic) 3 hour flight from my place anyone coming through to go to the Valdez stol give me a shout I

        have a hangar for you here in Whitehorse Yukon.
        I'm thinking about running up to Dawson for solstice this year.

        Comment


        • zkelley2
          zkelley2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Theres a new one in Bettles in July.

        • zkelley2
          zkelley2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Are you in a hangar at yxy?

        • Gerd Mannsperger
          Gerd Mannsperger commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes right at CYXY

      • #7
        The winner took off in 25 feet and landed in 27... and that is the class the Bearhawks would be in. Not sure anyone's gonna get a Patrol off that quick. I do think we could compete with basic Cub clones and the like, but the top guys play in Experimental class and that would include most Cub clones and the Patrol. 4 place MIGHT get to go to light touring and have a good shot at competing there.

        Regardless, I fully plan to compete when mine is done, though I'm several years away from that day. I'm just not trying to convince myself that I have a chance to win if Steve Henry, Hal Stockman, and others are there.
        Patrol plans #398

        Comment


        • #8
          There are two competitions close by, I would love to give it a try. My #1 goal is to get everything right and 100% before I attempt anything like that. Will see how things go this spring

          Comment


          • #9
            The 4 place or Patrol would compete well in there weight Class.

            I suspect a light Patrol with a few STOL oriented Mods would do well against the Huskies Mod cubs and the works.

            There is way more Pilot than Aircraft involved here, it should be more about the camaraderie and fun than about beating Steve and Dan or Hal.

            Hall is awesome, he did the most with the Least mods -- got love the tail skid -- that is the spirit.

            How about the guy with the Legend LSA without flaps or that Kid in the Kitfox or the 701 ? If I can see there accomplishment others should too.

            That is the spirit of STOL

            Comment


            • #10
              For me, the key word in Gerd's post in #9 is camaraderie. A line is marked across the lush grass strip with chalk or flour. Four aircraft are parked along the edge, three are in the pattern and we all stand near the target line watching, learning, socializing, asking questions, testing techniques, documenting personal performance and charting improvement. I think Hal and Steve probably started here.

              I wager to guess that most of us can improve in STOL achievement. The Soaring Society of America has achievement Badges. A Silver Badge requires a Cross Country of 50 KM, a +5 hour flight and altitude gain of +5000'. Those achievements are very tough to accomplish. STOL achievement badges would be neat way to bring attainable achievement, camaraderie, and STOL together for the masses. Maybe one can earn a certain status in the "group" for demonstrating a certain goal like "400 Foot X 200 lb." for example. Can you takeoff and land in a 400' box with that load 5 times in a row? Thats what I'm talking about. I saw this social environment among the STOL competitors at OSH.

              Today I'm an aircraft builder. Tomorrow I'll be be flying. I'll be drawing a line on a grass strip somewhere and developing my STOL skills. But I'll never be as good or have as much fun practicing alone compared with doing it together with some like minded souls. Where Iron sharpens Iron, so does one man sharpen another.
              Brooks Cone
              Southeast Michigan
              Patrol #303, Kit build

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by Gerd Mannsperger View Post
                The 4 place or Patrol would compete well in there weight Class.

                I suspect a light Patrol with a few STOL oriented Mods would do well against the Huskies Mod cubs and the works.

                There is way more Pilot than Aircraft involved here, it should be more about the camaraderie and fun than about beating Steve and Dan or Hal.

                Hall is awesome, he did the most with the Least mods -- got love the tail skid -- that is the spirit.

                How about the guy with the Legend LSA without flaps or that Kid in the Kitfox or the 701 ? If I can see there accomplishment others should too.

                That is the spirit of STOL
                Hal has quite a few mods on his S-7. Most of all is it's extreme light weight, under 600 pounds. To put that in perspective, most S-7S's are mid 700's, my own is 760. He cleanly beat Henry on the one takeoff, but the last heat had Henry totally nailing his landing, besides the short takeoff which I would expect with his power to weight ratio. As a very long time S-7 pilot I was of course rooting for Hal! Slats are next on his list of mods. It's getting so that to be a real competitor, you end up with a compromised plane for general flying. I don't lust for a 300 hp engine in my 7, just to shorten the takeoff, mine already climbs 1,000+ fpm and beats any Super Cub, or Carbon Cub, off the ground, and I really like my well below 4 GPH fuel consumption! Spot landings on the other hand, clearly showcase nothing but the pilot's skill. SPOT, not SHORT, much of that is how good of brakes you have! And how willing you are to move the gear forward, (despite the drawbacks to doing so for normal ops) so you can stomp on those brakes. Henry told me once he often lands with his brakes already fully locked up. His plane doesn't fly that slow, but it lands short, the last time I flew with him I suggested a slow flight contest, there was no contest I beat him by several MPH. To his credit, that was quite a while ago, before he added many mods (the latest being the slats,and weight...), I want to do it again first chance I get. I watched the contest, on a real stormy day, live streaming, and hugely enjoyed it. I talked to Hal Saturday, and his plane was still in Texas and he was getting a ride back to fly it home! Bad WX.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Taking an airplane setup for cross country and competing against purpose built STOL machines is a loosing prospect. If you were competing against cessnas and maules, then that would work, but a bearhawk in valdez would compete in the Alternate Bush/Experimental class. Good luck competing with Frank Knapp in a bearhawk.

                  I personally think that the best way to get some bearhawk PR is to simply build a very well setup bearhawk with nice fit and finish and fly it to these events. If in conversation someone suggests competing, just tell them that you aren't done with your nitrous setup yet, and that you would rather have a well rounded airplane.

                  Most people that want to win STOL comps are looking at yamaha setups and wanting to copy Steve Henry (though they don't realize how many engine outs that guy has walked away from), everybody else wants a quality airplane that's safe, reliable, and well rounded. I'd way rather have nice paint and a skylight over a competition plane, and I suspect most people feel the same way.
                  Last edited by schu; 03-24-2020, 12:05 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Russellmn
                    Russellmn commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Kinda what I was getting at about the class a BH would be in. Just different machines for different purposes. The Patrol can get into and out of ridiculously short strips, but sub 30' is un-freaking-likely.

                  • Bcone1381
                    Bcone1381 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It might be a winning prospect if a Patrol entered Valdez with an advertisement plastered on the side of the fuselage that said "Carry 1000 pounds at 150 mph"

                • #13
                  One issue with that Yamaha setup I have yet to see addressed: that prop is clutched, and in a power out it will pinwheel freely, hugely increasing the sink rate. And that's another thing I want to do the next time I fly with Steve, go up to 1,000' (he'll win that) and then kill our motors, and the loser is the guy who lands first. We used to do it that way back in the ultralight days, it really illustrated who was flying on the wing, and who was flying on the motor. I don't expect a Yamaha powered anything to do any dead stick ridge soaring, like I do a few hours every year in my bird. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J9v433C0nM&t=19s The Bearhawk LSA would make an even better soaring machine as it's a fair bit cleaner then my S-7S.

                  We Rotax drivers have finally, mostly, got the legacy engines pilots to not refer to the Rotax 912S as a "snowmachine engine. " It never was of course, it started life as an aircraft engine, but as Rotax also made snowmachine motors the confusion was natural. Then this Apex comes along..... pretty funny. I'll give it time to build thousands of hours of fleet hours, the reduction system is the main thing they need to build some serious time on, the motor itself has a very long history of taking all kinds of abuse while putting out insane amounts of power and is apparently bulletproof. AS LONG as the reduc system, fuel delivery systems, and electrical are done right in these conversions. Henry is the guy to do it right. I am not personally aware of the number, or lack thereof, of engines outs he has, and unless you can quote chapter and verse on how many, and why, throwing that out on a public forum is a bit rude. My own last power out was 20 years ago, in a 0-320 Lyc., FWIW! With all the experimenting and tweaking he is constantly doing, I would expect he has a few, over heating, whatever, but that's how he learns how much he can tweak things! Pulling 120-40 hp out the Apex would be a whole different deal, instead of over 300.

                  Comment


                  • schu
                    schu commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm not suggesting the yamaha is unreliable, I'm suggesting that Steve Henry pushes things and is a test pilot/pioneer. While, my information about engine outs is second hand, he did fly off of a mountain with no engine at all, and when you listen to him talk about gaining trust in an airplane, it's pretty clear he knows how to land one without an engine.

                    I think Steve is great, and I commend him on progressing the experimental aircraft hobby, but I also think there are a lot of people that want to be like Steve, and have no idea what they are getting into.

                • #14
                  The Yamaha is a fine engine and even turbo charged in stock form with a Max takeoff power of 200 hp and a max cruise power setting at 100 HP will make it last a long time.

                  For everyone that feels like they can not compete because of equipment --

                  You are missing the point -- Its about having fun and have a good old go for your personal best and see if you can beat your buddy while you are at it.

                  If you show up thinking to take the big prize right out of the gate you may be in for a reality check.

                  Its about fun and cameradery and the aviation community as a whole.

                  Many of the smaller events may just be a bit more liberal in making up classes maybe more based on weight more like the guys in New Zealand where the BH could compete in the touring class.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    The "competition" should be with ourselves – to improve our own skills and abilities. Being able to land where we want to, at the appropriate angle of attack, and then safely stop the plane as quickly as possible is something we can all work toward in our own airplanes. While we're all "locked down" here in North Texas, I'm going back and re-reading three books on flying technique: Mountain Flying (Sparky Imeson), Bush and Mountain Flying (CC Pocock), and Stick and Rudder (Wolfgang Langewiesche). All three are excellent – great reads – and each brings something different to the cockpit. If I ever get the change, I'd love to take CC's course.
                    Jim Parker
                    Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
                    Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312

                    Comment

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