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TK1 Suspension?

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  • TK1 Suspension?

    Just noticed Tony at TK1 has gear for the bearhawk 4 place. Has anyone installed it?

  • #2
    Spoiler alert -- The gear for the Kit fox is more expensive than a fully certified extended gear for a Maule M7 and almost double the cost of a Certified heavy duty gear set up for a Super cub. I do not even want to know what they charge for a BH set up.
    This is not an innovative gear, just a simple copy of the 90 year old cub Gear, and it it will cost you 20MPH on cruise speed on top of the cost.
    If I was to pay that kind of money I would expect a bit more innovation.


    • #3
      5200 dollars


      • #4
        I might consider something like this if I were transitioning from an aluminum main gear spring suspension... But why would I go from an oil filled oleo strut suspension, to this?
        Rob Caldwell
        Davidson, North Carolina
        EAA Chapter 309
        BH Model B Quick Build Kit Serial # 11B-24B / 25B
        Build Log:
        YouTube Channel:


        • #5
          The ABI extended gear for a Maule is $4321 and reuses the internals for the oleo. Cost is on par and the tk1 comes with superior shock absorbtion/damping than a simple oleo. For guys that want to seriously use their airplane off airport seems like a good setup. All the Backcountry guys seem to really like the tk1 suspension.


          • #6
            This is the thing I like about experimental aviation. You want Baja race truck suspension on your plane then do it and enjoy it. I saw a pic of a BH in AK getting cabane gear of some kind getting put on it but know nothing about it. Somebody knows something...maybe call TK.

            I chose the BH in part because it has good cruise speed. Cabane gear kills speed. Since I don’t have a plane to drive around on the ground I don’t care much about the suspension. Seems like if the real bush flyers in AK can, and have for decades, take their planes rowdy places with bungee gear and maybe a set a bush wheels then we ought to be fine on regular oleo gear.

            Then again, don’t have Fuel wheels and Nitto Grappler tires on my pickup so I better stick to pavement...😉

            Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.


            • #7
              I had it on a previous airplane. It's sort of cool to be able to crash into the ground at 700fpm and it's as soft as a normal landing. If your goal is ultimate STOL it does reduce the landing roll a good bit putting that much of your energy into the vertical rather than the horizontal. Doesn't do anything for takeoff though. A bearhawk empty with slats and slotted flaps and tk1s would probably be a 20ft machine like all the toys on youtube.

              I lost almost 10kts to it with that plane to. I would be upset if I lost 10kts on the bearhawk.

              The stock beahawk suspension is a lot more forgiving than a stock cub or cessna spring steel suspension.
              Last edited by zkelley2; 06-01-2020, 02:17 PM.


              • #8
                Yes, there is at least one Bearhawk 4-place with cabane gear, not sure if it's TK1, in the lower 48. Sounds like there are more further afield.

                The particular pilot goes everywhere at low speed, extreme LOP, so doesn't notice much difference.

                It does look to perform as well as normal Bearhawk gear in the videos I have seen. I didn't say "better than".

                It does have superior performance under extreme side loads, even compared to the latest version of the Bearhawk gear, which is the main benefit.

                Personally, I find the original streamlined gear more than adequate.


                • zkelley2
                  zkelley2 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Are you still running the original struts? Did anyone do the math to figure out the weight/force the streamlined struts would fail in compression?

                  I've avoided a few beaches so far due to the angle the are at and fear of a sideload on the streamlined struts.

                • Chewie
                  Chewie commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Dallas Shell might be able to answer that

                • kestrel
                  kestrel commented
                  Editing a comment
                  While landing on a side slope with wet grass, my wife ended up sliding sideways and put a wingtip to the ground with no damage to streamlined struts. This was with 31" Bushwheels. ...or to put it another way, the streamlined struts held up just fine to enough force to put a wingtip to the ground.

              • #9
                Gears failing under compression is usually due to entering a ground loop. The Maule Gear has a bad rep as well -- I can attest to its ruggedness it is tough as long as you go straight.

                My Luscombe had flying wires with virtually no compression strength that was my first taildragger and it did survive all my beginner mistakes just fine.

                Cub Gear has the cabana colapse on severe side loads from ground loops. It used to be the rear of the gear leg but now with everyone running heavy duty gear the Cabana is next.

                Pilots will tell you they ground looped because the gear collapsed , if only the gear could tell its side of the story.