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  • New member in New Zealand

    Good day from Down Under,

    I ran across the Bearhawk nearly 20 years ago, but ended up partially building a RagWing Vagabond instead. Flash forward many years and a move from Canada to New Zealand and I'm looking to build a plane that I can treat as a project for me and my young sons.
    I have looked at the Zenith CH750 but I have 3 sons...so I need a design to carry all of us to remote camping locations around NZ. Becuase I have lmited funds, and I'm not desperate to fly in the next few years, the Bearhawk as a plans built exercise fits the bill.

    I am concerned that the Bearhawk is a set of plans rather than a how-to guide (as is the case with the CH), and I admit that a lot of aspiring plans builders never finish...but I don't lack drive.

    Can anyone comment on what resources have been compiled over the years to augment/supplement the plans to make it easier fo guys like me to make progress? I am not a sheet metal worker but I have worked with metal. I'm not a welder but I have welded a lot in the past (built a Locost 7 race car). I have an 18m x 10m workshop on my farm, and I'm planning to build an airstrip onsite.

    Please feel free to offer warnings or encuragement as you see fit.

    If anyone in NZ has a Bearhawk, can you please sing out?

    John


  • #2
    Hi John,

    Welcome aboard.

    There are two flying 4-place here in NZ, as well as about a dozen kits / scratchbuilts in various states of completion. I am one in Rangiora, and there is another in Tairei.
    There will probably be another two flying in the next year. There is also a Patrol in Stratford and an LSA in Napier, in case you are interested.

    I welcome all comers who want to see the plane, or go for a demonstration flight. Let me know if you're interested in coming to the Rangiora area.

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

    P.S. Why Island_Moose?

    Comment


    • #3
      John;
      I am buidling a QB kit. My lifelong hobby has been building things, starting with model airplane about 50 years ago when I was 7. Most of what I have built has been self designed. Some was built off plans. Very little kit building.
      I think I could have easily built BH wings from scratch. I would have created lots of scrap, but I would have figured it out. I don't think I could have scratch built a fuselage that was useable off just the plans.

      My welding has gotten to the point that I could weld a fuselage. But I still don't think the plans are sufficient, at least for me. I think someone with lots of experience with tube and fabric aircraft would have no problem. I have lots of experience, but not with tube and fabric aircraft. AviPro sells a tubing kit with precut and notched tubing. I think with that and the plans I could build a fuselage. I have notched and welded tubing before, but not on aircraft.

      There is lots of good info and help here.

      Welcome aboard.

      John

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Battson View Post
        Hi John,

        Welcome aboard.

        There are two flying 4-place here in NZ, as well as about a dozen kits / scratchbuilts in various states of completion. I am one in Rangiora, and there is another in Tairei.
        There will probably be another two flying in the next year. There is also a Patrol in Stratford and an LSA in Napier, in case you are interested.

        I welcome all comers who want to see the plane, or go for a demonstration flight. Let me know if you're interested in coming to the Rangiora area.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

        P.S. Why Island_Moose?
        Island Moose because I'm a big lug from Vancouver Island.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi John,
          Welcome! I have a Bearhawk kit on the way to Christchurch currently and will be moving there within the next month. You’re welcome to drop by.
          BTW whereabouts on Vancouver Island ?
          Regards,
          Nev.
          Nev Bailey
          Christchurch, NZ
          Bearhawk Bravo, 4 place Quick-build #25B.

          Comment


          • Island_Moose
            Island_Moose commented
            Editing a comment
            Hamilton, near the Te Kowhai aerodrome

        • #6
          I think your concern is a valid one. Most plans (scratch) builders who start do not finish. Those who do and keep going are highly exalted in my mind. I mean they are really incredible people. I started out scratch building. I am building from the kit now. Post #30 on this thread written in 2016 articulates the building from plans viewpoint that I identified with.

          https://bearhawkforums.com/forum/bea...bearhawk/page2

          My sense is that a professional fabricator is the perfect person to successfully scratch build a Bearhawk from plans. One person built an LSA from plans in two years. When I started out I hoped for a five year Patrol plans build, figured it would be 10, then realized I couldn't do in less than 20. The scrape I was tossing out was exceeding the acceptable parts I kept. Thats education but it also is a very large cost of money and time. I am so glad I started out building from plans. It showed me I really liked building and it was not unreasonable to believe I could finish a kit.


          Brooks Cone
          Southeast Michigan
          Patrol #303, Kit build

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Island_Moose View Post

            Island Moose because I'm a big lug from Vancouver Island.
            We're jealous of your move! My wife and I live outside of Ottawa but spent all of March 2019 in New Zealand and absolutely loved it. What a spectacular country. Almost got to meet the famous Jono Battson, too, but our schedules didn't match up when we were in Christchurch.

            -------------------
            Mark

            Maule M5-235C C-GJFK
            4 Seat Bearhawk #1078 (Scratch building)
            RV-8 C-GURV (Sold)

            Comment


            • Island_Moose
              Island_Moose commented
              Editing a comment
              Been here for 13 years, just love it.

          • #8
            Welcome John! If you haven't found it already, Eric Newton documented his scratch build at http://mybearhawk.com. It's a great resource to get an idea of what is involved. Eric also wrote a "how to" manual which I use extensively during my scratch-ish build. I had never welded or worked with sheet metal prior to my build, and while the airplane I'm building will never win a beauty contest, she is sound. If I could start over though, I would have saved my pennies and bought a kit. My project turns 9 years old this month...

            -Nic
            #1217

            Comment


            • #9
              Follow up question:

              You know how "they" always say "build the aircraft you will need 90% of the time"? Well, I have 3 sons, so the Bearhawk 4 seems logical. But by the time I build the thing they will be teens...how many times/year am I going to pile them all into the plane for backcountry adventure? Meanwhile I'm flying a 4 place on my own.

              So then I look at the Patrol...some advantages it seems, better visibility.

              It's a bit tough...I'd imagine many of you have wondered at some point what model to covet.

              Comment


              • #10
                Island_Moose, I think you'll find that we have the term "Down Under" copy-writed.

                But we'll let you guys keep Russell Crowe.

                The Bob Barrows Bearhawk: "It's big like a Boeing... but better built."

                Comment


                • #11
                  Hi John, sorry for the late reply.

                  I am three years into a quick build Bravo four place. I am in Rotorua. Stop by anytime.

                  simon

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Where you from on Vancouver island, Mr Moose? I ask because I was once a flight instructor in a Campbell River and flew a little corporate gig out of Port McNeil. It would be a shame not to make the connection if we have ever met.

                    The guys who scratch build amaze me. Really! For mortals, the kits are really nice, in my opinion. At least get the ribs, spars, and the unpainted fuselage if it’s not to expensive to ship. One advantage is that you can easily add tabs like the scratch builders, without messing up the nice (expensive) paint job. Good luck!

                    Pat Bruce

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Hi guys

                      Instead of starting a new thread I thought I’d just jump on this one to say hi. Sorry Moose.
                      I just signed up because I’m looking to start a scratch/kit build. I’ve been dreaming about the bearhawk patrol for a few years now but am leaning towards building the LSA. I figure it will probably be cheaper to run and maintain in the long run.
                      I live in Christchurch and would be building out of a single car garage with a small attached workshop. Is it possible to build in such a small space?

                      I am a recently qualified fitter turner but my welding skills are probably not up to scratch to start the fuselage yet. Any recommendations of good teachers in the Canterbury area?

                      Ben


                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Pbruce View Post
                        Where you from on Vancouver island, Mr Moose? I ask because I was once a flight instructor in a Campbell River and flew a little corporate gig out of Port McNeil. It would be a shame not to make the connection if we have ever met.

                        The guys who scratch build amaze me. Really! For mortals, the kits are really nice, in my opinion. At least get the ribs, spars, and the unpainted fuselage if it’s not to expensive to ship. One advantage is that you can easily add tabs like the scratch builders, without messing up the nice (expensive) paint job. Good luck!

                        Pat Bruce
                        I'm from a village just north of Victoria called Cobble Hill.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Pbruce View Post
                          Where you from on Vancouver island, Mr Moose? I ask because I was once a flight instructor in a Campbell River and flew a little corporate gig out of Port McNeil. It would be a shame not to make the connection if we have ever met.

                          The guys who scratch build amaze me. Really! For mortals, the kits are really nice, in my opinion. At least get the ribs, spars, and the unpainted fuselage if it’s not to expensive to ship. One advantage is that you can easily add tabs like the scratch builders, without messing up the nice (expensive) paint job. Good luck!

                          Pat Bruce
                          Small world, in 1979 I spent a year as a boy in a tiny community called Airdrie AB. I was in grade 4 at Muriel Clayton Elementary school. Long way from there now.

                          Comment

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