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Bearhawk in the backcountry

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  • A short clip of the Bearhawk cruising over Cook Strait, between New Zealand's two main islands.

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    • We recently took a friend's Maule on a hunting trip down into South Westland. It's winter over here, which means clear skies and smooth sailing one side of the country, and low cloud / rain on the other side.

      We managed to find a small red deer and spend a very cold night in the Arawhata valley.
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      Regrettably, on the way home we got stopped by weather. We weren't able to get back into the low lying plains on the far side of the country due to low cloud and rain.

      We had to leave the plane at a high country station at Flockhill, and travel the rest of the way home by road.

      Later in the week, we flew back in the Bearhawk to retrieve the parked Maule, ahead of a heavy snow forecast for the high country. Conditions were still not ideal, but there was enough of a clearance before the snow to get get the job done quickly.

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      We left a thank you message for the local runholder, whom gave permission to leave the plane on their property.

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      Attached Files
      Last edited by Battson; 06-07-2018, 02:17 AM.

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      • Jonathon
        The hoerner wing tips look good
        have they made any difference to
        I) rate of climb
        ii) lift off distance
        iii) top end cruise speed ?
        Regards peter

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        • Originally posted by Peter Bishton View Post
          Jonathon
          The hoerner wing tips look good
          have they made any difference to
          I) rate of climb
          ii) lift off distance
          iii) top end cruise speed ?
          Regards peter
          Hi Peter,

          Thanks for the compliment - I really like the look too, I couldn't be happier with them overall.

          Rate of climb and take-off distance have definitely improved markedly. I haven't been able to get a solid measurement yet, but the change is clear to see, I estimate it could be as much as 10% improvement. We have installed a larger prop at the same time as the Hoerner wingtips. I can't be sure how much performance change to attribute to the prop and how much to the wingtips.

          Cruise speed has not changed measurably with the latest addition. Same with all the other additions.... However, from a new slick airplane to the bush machine you see today, we are about 5 knots slower. This is a combination of VGs, big tires, big tailwheel, longer wingtips, new wide-bladed and longer prop. I have since moved to the South Island of New Zealand, the equivalent of moving to Idaho.... so I am not cruising 500 NM to and from the Southern Alps any more, and I am quite happy with a slightly slower plane.

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          • More updates:

            Recent hunting trip into the Landsborough Valley:

            On approach during the evening, making use of the whole day's light to get there in time.
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            Tied down at the newly built hut for the night. This hut replaces a very old hut called the Fraser Hut, which was built by the previous generation of bush pilots.
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            Departure for home the next day.
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            Flying through the MacKenzie Country, after a quick stop at Pukaki Airfield for fuel.
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            The old course of the Tekapo River.
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            Great trip, three grown men on board with full winter gear and lots of firewood and coal for the hut (left behind for the next cold hiker who arrives). Glad to have the 4-place Bearhawk at every turn.

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            • Here's some photos from a couple of weekend flights we've done, exploring some new parts of the local country:

              On route:
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              Gravel bar landing at a large local riverbed. This was a tight spot right beside some trees, we needed to backtrack and use full length to get off before the rougher rocks.
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              Met up with a couple of friends unexpectedly, and they followed us to a new airstrip:
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              Beautiful weather that afternoon, yet another spot. This airstrip is a one-way landing.
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              Great day, here's the sunset back at the hangar.
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              • I spent a month on a motorcycle going around NZ about 20 years ago. Since then I spent a couple of summers in AK. The whole time I was there, I just remember asking myself how you can ever leave places like that.
                Nice pics.........

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                • Awesome pics! Adventure all over. Is that last one at Fernside by chance?

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                  • Awesome photos, thanks for sharing

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                    • Originally posted by Nev View Post
                      Awesome pics! Adventure all over. Is that last one at Fernside by chance?
                      Excellent guess! How did you know?

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                      • I looked at a couple of sections there a few years ago, really nice place. Unfortunately back then the timing wasnt right for us. I still think it’s one of the best spots around. You’d probably know Paul Stewart - perhaps one of your neighbors.

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                        • Originally posted by Nev View Post
                          I looked at a couple of sections there a few years ago, really nice place. Unfortunately back then the timing wasnt right for us. I still think it’s one of the best spots around. You’d probably know Paul Stewart - perhaps one of your neighbors.
                          Yes, we are next to Paul. There is still one section left for sale now, unlisted though.

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                          • Sent you a PM.

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                            • A couple of photos from a recent overnight mission into a local spot. Good times. This was another successful hunting trip.
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                              • Man, I love your pictures... So jealous of the beautiful country you get to fly in... I love Texas, but it's pretty flat and boring around my part...
                                Jim Parker
                                Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
                                Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312

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