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New Bearhawk Model 5 - first flights

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  • New Bearhawk Model 5 - first flights

    On Sunday, our new Bearhawk Model 5 took to the skies. Built by Collin Campbell and test flown by Rollie van Dorn.

    Some basic specs on this new model. The fuselage is 2" wider than the Bearhawk 4 and uses a C182 windshield (instead of C170). The fuselage is also 9" longer than the Bearhawk 4. The wing is the standard Model B wing with no changes. Bob believes this wing to be a 3,000 lb gross wing.

    Engine is a 315 HP Lycoming IO580. Prop is the 3 blade Trailblazer I have used on my 4 place. Projected gross weight of 3,000 lbs. I say "projected" because the flight testing is not finished. Both the final gross weight and fore and aft CG limits are still not 100% determined. We have some idea where these specs will end up but it needs to be confirmed by flight testing.

    The plane has close to 4 hours on it after a few days of testing flying, Performance - Rollie was flying final at 60 mph with a little power. He said the plane handled really well with quite light control forces. He said it flies like my 4 place which has very light controls. Rollie had no trouble getting it down and stopped before the mid point (big mud pond after rains) of Collin's 1350 ft runway. Rollie saw a 156 mph TAS at 3,500 ft running 24/2400 - about 72% power I think. For sure higher cruise speeds will happen up at 6,500 -7,000 ft where the sweet spot is for best cruise numbers. 18 GPH on that thirsty engine.

    Empty weight was very surprising for everyone. With a heavy angle valve cylinder injected engine and around 15 lbs more tubing weight for the bigger fuselage - I was hoping for a weight less than 1600 lbs. But I thought 1625 or more was likely. Bob was hoping for under 1600 lbs. It came out at 1512 lbs. We were all very happy.

    This Model 5 can not use the 4 cylinder engines. The smallest engine that can be used is the Lycoming 540 with parallel valve cylinders. But it was really designed for the 300 HP IO540 with angle valve cylinders. Lycoming made me a great deal on this IO580 which is why it is on the plane instead of a Bob Barrows IO540 of 300 HP. Bob designed an innovative alternate air system which has not really been tested yet.

    The brakes will not hold it above 1700 RPM when it starts skipping across the ground. With that big engine and the take off thrust of the Hartzell Trailblazer - it gets with the program quickly on take off and climb out. 0410201250a reduced.jpgModel 5 side view reduced.jpgRollie with Model 5 reduced.jpg

    They are beginning work on the tooling for the kit for this one at the kit factory. This is just a heads up about the plane first here on this forum for the "Bearhawk Community".. More details will follow as more test flying is done. Thanks to Collin for building a beautiful plane, and thanks to Rollie for volunteering to do the test flying. They are both outstanding members of the BH community that contribute a lot. Mark

  • #2
    One more thing - the way I look at this new model is the comparison between the C180 and C185. Both of them use exactly the same wing. But on the C185 the fuselage is longer and wider, and it uses a bigger engine. That is the same kind of thing Bob did here for the Model 5 and the Model B four place. Mark


    • #3
      Clearly someone needs to put a 720 on one :)

      Or! a C250!
      Last edited by zkelley2; 05-05-2020, 09:09 PM.


      • #4
        Beautiful plane


        • #5
          Congratulations! Being the lucky owner of Collin’s Patrol, I’m positive that this BH 5 is yet another example of craftsmanship extraordinaire. I’m happy for Collin, Bob and Mark for putting this beast in the air. Well done. Personally, I’m tempted to pull the trigger on one of these kits, I feel the building itch again........


          • #6
            That is awesome Mark. You can even keep a secret. Any other details on the empty weight? Electrical system, I can see the skylight, avionics weight?

            1500 lb useful load is awesome.


            • #7
              Put 100 gallons of gas in it, and I think I want one.


              • #8
                This is just awesome. I want to see someone put a M14P on it. Some boot cowl modifications and maybe extend the gear a couple inches should be all it would take.


                • Gerd Mannsperger
                  Gerd Mannsperger commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Please don't the little I had to do with them turned me right off -- talk about a Dinosaur makes Lycoming look state of the art.

                • triumphantduke
                  triumphantduke commented
                  Editing a comment
                  @Gerd, could you elaborate a little? I’ve seen what looks like some offerings, like FI and electric, that modernize it a bit and give some weight savings. Just comparing the model 5 to the Murphy moose - it seems like considering the m14 at least for a few minutes is worth some thought/comparisons

              • #9
                The Russian radial is even heavier than an angle valve 540/580. Might be too heavy. Mark


                • #10
                  Awesome, looks great


                  • #11
                    1512 lbs empty, that's outstanding. Someone was paying attention!


                    • #12
                      I had the pleasure of flying the Bearhawk Five and staying a few days with Collin and Sara. The whole experience was a lot of fun. I didn't get to do as much testing as I would have liked to due to weather. In total we put 4.4 hours on it and I was impressed. Collin did a beautiful job building it and it flew well right off the bat. After a few tweaks it now flies hands off and is light on the controls and is just a joy to fly. Plus the performance is nothing short of amazing.

                      I haven't put all my notes together, I'll do that later today and send it to Mark for him to do with as he desires, it is his plane after all. Just a few quick details though. My main focus was verify that it is a viable airplane and to verify the cg range so what we did was start with it loaded a bit forward of the center of the cg range and kept adding weight in the baggage compartment before each flight. Most flights I would just go to 3500-4000 MSL, trim it up at 130 mph pull back on the stick until it slowed to 110 and let go and watch as it accelerated, then decelerated through a few cycles and stabilized back at 130. In the process I talked to Bob and Mark a lot and I learned quite a bit. I also checked the cruise speed at 24 squared several times and it was always 150-153 mph indicated. I did a 4 direction run comparing ground speed in all directions which seemed to verify the indicated airspeed. You can keep that IAS at least to 6000 MSL, so this thing really moves. Takeoff and climb are what you might expect from this big engine, my 200 + hp Patrol felt like a dog when I left to go home. Oh yeah, it has the newer gear struts that are round and not faired yet and no fairings on the bottom of the fuselage where those struts fasten to the frame. So maybe those things will make it even faster.

                      There is still a lot to be seen about the performance, it's too bad that two of the three days I was there the weather only allowed me two quick flights each morning. I would have loved to put another 4-5 hours on it.

                      Oh, if Collin ever decides to sell his LSA or if he builds another plane to sell, you would be hard pressed to find a better built plane.
                      Rollie VanDorn
                      Findlay, OH
                      Patrol Quick Build


                      • #13
                        Congratulations on the successful flight of this new offering from Bearhawk Aircraft, Mark and Collin. I think the workmanship and attention to detail must be congratulated and is clearly outstanding.

                        This is certainly another major milestone for the company, and a big step forward from the crowded home-built marketplace. Not many are offering an aircraft of this scale and utility, certainly a market waiting to be developed.

                        I am interested to see so many comments about how people would customise and enhance the plane for themselves! Perhaps you will need to buy a kit and show us how it's done :)


                        • #14
                          I know it is pretty early in testing. The tail moments are longer. Does Bob think this will expand the CG envelope over the regular 4 place?

                          40 year old 180/185's finally got a viable competitor.


                          • #15
                            We are still exploring the CG envelope. Bob did correct one spec I gave in my original post. The cockpit is 14" longer than the Bearhawk 4 place. Over all - the plane is 24" longer than the BH4. After this initial test phase with a stock plane, we plan to add VG's and perhaps some Hoerner style wingtips. One thing at a time so the benefits can be measured and quantified. Mark