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EZFlap Review

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  • EZFlap Review

    An EZFlap arrived at the house yesterday so of course it had to in the BH right away. These are pictures after the install. I haven't flown with it yet, just sat in the seat and enjoyed not having to bend down to raise or lower the flaps. My seats are padded with 3-inches of temper foam so that puts the pilot higher off the floor than most seats. It took about an hour to read the directions and install. It's not like me to actually read the directions, but with this it looked like a good idea, and it was. I'll report back after I get some stick time with it.




  • #2
    Interesting to see how it actually attaches there.

    Let us know how it works with full flap, the geometry looks tight. How thick are your seat cushions?

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    • #3
      Yes, my seat cushions are thicker than most. They include 3-layers of 1-inch memory foam (green, blue, pink) plus whatever foam the upholsterer used, so about 3.5-inches in total thickness. Yes, I'll update on the system after I get to fly with for a month or two. This one was sent to me for product development input on Bearhawks so we are fine tuning it. As many of you know, there are 3-Bearhawks in Elko. We put it in mine initially, but will try it out on at least one of the others, too. It takes time to coordinate schedules, etc. so this will take awhile but after we have used it over time by several pilots, I'll report back.

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      • #4
        Awhile back, Bill Berle, designer of the EZFlap sent me a model designed for Pacer’s to try on the Bearhawk. I was pretty happy to give it a try since reaching the flap handle in my Bearhawk means bending over enough that the sight picture is lost. Also, getting the flaps into the fourth position requires a fair amount of effort to pull the handle to that position when in flight. I had been searching for a solution to this for some time, since I do a lot of short-field and maximum performance flying.
        The EZFlap installation was straight forward. My Bearhawk flap handle had a very stiff spring in it, so after reading the directions, I decided to also change that out with a lighter compression spring. That meant removing portions of my floor board and unbolting the flap handle quadrant. My total time to do that, and complete the initial installation was about 2 hours. The instructions are easy to follow. To just install the EZFlap (without changing the spring) would have only taken 30 to 45 minutes. Before (Photo 1) and after (Photo 2) photos are shown for reference.

        Since this this version of the EZFlap was made for Pacers, I quickly found it needed some fine tuning to better fit the Bearhawk. Just to be sure, Kevin Cox also flew with the Pacer EZFlap in his Bearhawk and reached the same conclusion as I did. We also eyeballed it in the Boyd’s Bearhawk, and we unanimously concluded the geometry of the EZFlap would work better if the main riser was 2-inches shorter. This prevents the pilot’s elbow from hitting the seatback during flap deployment. A quick email to Bill had a new prototype version on the way in record time.
        While discussing the geometry change, it was also recognized by the Elko Bearhawk pilots that the OEM flap handle would benefit from having additional leverage. I ran our ideas by Bill for his input and together we came up with an extension of the flap handle, which would provide additional leverage when positioning the flap handle into the 4th notch. Of course, we had thought of something similar before, but knew we couldn’t reach the thumb release from the floor if the handle was extended. The EZFlap now allowed us to do that. So with the extension and the customized EZFlap, we now had the perfect combination.
        We have flown this system in all 3 Elko Bearhawks and note several significant improvements:
        • The flap handle can be raised from and lowered to the floor position without losing visibility over the glare shield,
        • The third and fourth notch positions are much easier to obtain with the added leverage.

        Photo 3 shows the shorter prototype final version with the flap handle extension.

        With this configuration, the EZFlap makes obtaining the first 2 notches of flap much easier and allows the pilot to maintain forward visibility. From the 2nd notch position, the third and fourth notch positions are more easily obtained using the extended handle, but can also be realized using the EZFlap handle, too.

        Some might ask if they can just use the Bearhawk EZFlap without the extension tube, or vice-versa. My observations are that this works best as a system, and removing one component reduces the effectiveness of the other. We have tested this system on 3 planes and found it to be a great enhancement to the OEM handle.

        We also modified the flap handle quadrant (Photo 4) to make pulling-on and releasing the flaps easier. The OEM quadrant comes with the first two positions tapered so that the thumb release does not have to be depressed to pull the flaps into the first two positions. We modified ours so that all positions are now tapered, including the 4th. This makes releasing, especially from the 4th position much easier.

        As a result of the successful testing of this system in the three Elko Bearhawks, I understand Bill will be offering a new EZFlap version for the Bearhawks that includes the additional extension to the stock flap handle.

        In closing, I must say that it is great to have found a way that enhances and improves the stock Bearhawk flap system, making it even better and easier to use through the full range of flap settings. Also, I would like to thank Bill for working with us to come up with this system and for offering ideas and making a prototype for us to test. In the end, this turned out to be a great example of a successful team effort and a win-win situation. I think a lot of other Bearhawk pilots may find the EZFlap a welcome addition to their planes, as we have.




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        • #5
          I've tried the EZ Flap website and it seems to be offline. The only supplier of the product appears to be Spruce. Do you know how to get in touch with the designer for the BH optimized version?
          Bearhawk 4 Place
          IO-540
          MGL Odyssey Gen 2 EFIS
          ABW 29" Tires
          Appareo ESG ADSB-Out
          Garmin GTR-200 COMM

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          • #6
            Bill Berle is his name. He is active on backcountrypilot.org, but I'm not seeing contact info. I just PM'd him there asking for contact info to pass back to you.

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            • #7
              I managed to find his email address on Barnstromers. Thanks! He said that he will have Bearhawk EZ Flap units available in the next few weeks.
              Bearhawk 4 Place
              IO-540
              MGL Odyssey Gen 2 EFIS
              ABW 29" Tires
              Appareo ESG ADSB-Out
              Garmin GTR-200 COMM

              Comment


              • marcusofcotton
                marcusofcotton commented
                Editing a comment
                Your welcome, enjoy the new bird!

            • #8
              I barely had the arm strength to get the last flap setting no matter how slow I got.

              I got to comparison fly another a Bearhawk (509) and noticed immediately that I could easily get that last notch. After measuring flap handles, my stock one was 13" and this other is 17".

              Scott and Kevin fixed me up by modifying my handle. I added 5" for 18" total, have plenty of room to spare and can easily reach for the handle and pull the first two notches without having to disappear below the panel due to the little notch cutout on the flap guide, negating the button push to release for those positions.
              Attached Files

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