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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Sun, Jul 29, 2012

Heavy Pilots Are A Bear Of A Problem

One Solution Is The Debut Of A BearHawk

By Dave Juwel

As you know, I’m always trying to find flight solutions for larger pilots. This year at AirVenture, I found another great candidate. It was the debut of the BearHawk LSA. I watched a 280 lb, 6’4” man climb into the front seat and settle in. Awesome! It is a tandem seat aircraft with a 31” wide, and 97” long cabin.

In talking with R. Barrows, the designer of the BearHawk LSA, he advised me that he had just flown off the 40 hrs (with 41 hrs), and then he immediately flew cross country from his airport in Virginia to Oshkosh; a flight of approximately 700 miles one way.

As a business man, I asked him why anyone should buy his airplane versus all the other different airplanes available to them. I always ask this question to see if the developer has a clear understanding of the purpose for his design, and where it might fit in the overall scheme of things. If he doesn't, I may want to wait awhile before I invest thousands of dollars in building or buying his particular aircraft. However, Mr. Barrows, very quickly and quietly responded by saying that if you wanted to get in and out of short strips, carry a couple of 200 lb people, fly relatively fast for this type of airplane, and land at 30 mph within 200-400 feet…then this is the plane you’ll want. He knew exactly how to best utilize his airplane and where it fit in the scheme of aviation.I also overheard a customer interact with him regarding a problem he was having. Mr Barrow didn't hesitate, or say "I'll get back with you," and he didn't tell the customer to "take and aspirin and call me tomorrow." The solution was promptly presented.I felt comfortable dealing with this company.

The prototype has a Continental A65/75 engine, and cruises between 100-125 mph, burning 4-6 gph. This is a plans built aircraft that takes approximately 1500 hrs to build. Components are available from the usual supply houses like Aircraft Spruce. The plans are available for $275.00.

FMI: www.BearHawkAircraft.com

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