Bearhawk Aircraft News – Summer 2019

Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high quality quick-build aircraft kits for the Bearhawk 4-Place, and the Bearhawk Patrol and LSA two-place tandem models. These aircraft have in common excellent utility and superb flying characteristics. Bearhawks are known for their short field capability, higher than expected cruise speeds, and very gentle slow speed manners.

Bearhawk Aircraft and the many builders and owners are excited to be once again participating in AirVenture Oshkosh—the world’s greatest aviation experience. For a glimpse of what you can expect to see, here’s what’s new at Bearhawk Aircraft:

Bearhawk 4-Place Skylight Option

We are changing the design of the ceiling of the 4-Place so it can either have a skylight or fabric with no modification. Should be well received. -Mark Goldberg, president of Bearhawk Aircraft

If one was to browse the Bearhawk builders forum they would quickly learn that installing a skylight in the well-loved Bearhawk 4-Place aircraft has been a prevalent “mod” among builders for quite some time. Numerous discussions exist regarding the methods, materials, and modification of the original design. A variety of builders have offered solutions:

  • Under the topic ‘Reshaping top stringer profile for skylight,’ Zane compares a Bearhawk skylight to that of a Piper PA-20 Pacer. A skylight mod via STC from Steve’s Aircraft offers a suitable starting point. John notes that on a Husky’s skylight, the forward edge of the plexiglass is straight while the aft is curved. Mark shares his Bearhawk mod using the Pacer concept.
  • In ‘Solicitation for Skylight details and pics,’ John builds his fuselage from scratch while coordinating his idea for a skylight mod with the airplane’s designer, Bob Barrows. Battson offers his “humpless” look, and Jon bases his mod also on the Pacer. George comments, “The skylight gives wonderful visibility in an aircraft, and along with a greater degree of safety. However, it can get a bit hot on your head, it might be worth considering tinted polycarbonate.”
  • In ‘Front Skylight mounting,’ Schu discusses materials and techniques, while in ‘Windows/Skylight Thickness,’ Archer discusses skylight material, thickness, and tint. In ‘Skylight. Bearhawk hump and all,’ Wes offers his weldless mod adding formers, clips, and fairings.
  • Under the topic titled simply ‘Skylight,’ Lamar inquires about an alternate weldless design. Bear shares his sheet metal framed plexiglass sandwich method. To see more discussions, visit

After what could be summarized as a builder’s dozen customer skylight designs, Bob entered the game. A new airframe design now incorporates a standard setup whereby two skylight panels flank a fabric-covered center section. If the builder decides to forgo installing the translucent panels, the entire overhead cabin area can still be covered with fabric. If a third skylight is desired in the center section, the installation of an optional set of channels can be easily installed. The new design offers what is thought to be the simplest, lightest and most elegant solution to adding a skylight to the Bearhawk 4-Place aircraft.

The Bearhawk 4-Place has been around since 1995. It is the original utility model capable of carrying four people, full fuel and 250 pounds of payload. The 4-Place has large doors, great for loading bulky items. It’s been flying for over 24 years. More than 1,400 set of plans have been sold and over 140 aircraft have been built.

In 2016, the 4-Place Model B was introduced, offering the following changes:

  1. Use of a Riblett 30-413.5 airfoil, as was incorporated into the 2-place Bearhawk Patrol
  2. Use of aluminum fuselage formers, window sills, and door sills in place of steel offering weight savings and corrosion resistance
  3. Use of airfoil shaped ribs on the horizontal and vertical stabilizers
  4. Use of strengthened shock struts and a round tail spring
  5. Quick-Build wings and wing struts are fully drilled to their fuselage simplifying hanging of the wings
  6. Quick-Build wings come with their fuel tanks in place and strapped down
  7. Lead counterweights in the elevator are now installed at the factory (applies to both 4-Place and Patrol)
  8. Installation of a standardized fuel selector valve with gascolator
  9. The skylight change will become part of the Model B package.

In 2018, changes were made to the Patrol and LSA models making available a specially designed throttle quadrant that fits into the fuselage side without intruding into the cabin space.

Bearhawk Sales and Support in Brazil

A new Brazilian distributor is taking possession of the first Bearhawk LSA kit to arrive in Brazil. -Mark Goldberg

Effective immediately, Alexandre Henrique de Barros of Americana, São Paulo, Brazil, will represent Bearhawk Aircraft in Brazil. Alex dijo, “My introduction to the Bearhawk happened while researching about a four-place tailwheel to serve as family airplane and an upgrade from our 160-HP PA-18 Super Cub. However, that personal plan soon had to be placed on hold and I quickly reverted to bringing an old project to life; and so our taildragger flying club was born.

“Fuel consumption, payload, and airfield performance were set as basic requirements for a second aircraft, and it was clear that we needed an airplane that could deliver more per horsepower than the PA-18, but would still capture that Cub spirit. In addition, the use of proven materials for ease of maintenance and repair, and a kit delivered at a later stage of completion were very important, so the choice for the LSA became pretty obvious.

Bearhawk Aircraft Brazil“The idea of the flying club is to increase accessibility to this type of aircraft for pilots with limited space, time, or resources to build their own. The founders are José Haas de Azevedo Jr. (AJ) from AJ Aircraft, and myself. AJ is a pilot and mechanic with more than 40 years of experience building and restoring classic airplanes. With his experience, paired with time I served as a customer support pilot and gave tailwheel instruction for a local manufacturer, it occurred to us that we had the tools to provide support for Brazilians interested in building their own Bearhawk. We explained our intentions to Mark Goldberg, who agreed to grant us the distributorship, which we are very honored to have.

“In early July 2019, I had the opportunity to visit Mark and fly both the 4-Place and the LSA. Both airplanes exceed my expectations with the highest notes on performance, control response, cabin space, and ruggedness. Truly impressive was to see the short takeoff roll of that 100-HP LSA and how fast it transitioned from liftoff to climb speed and then to 115 mph, something unthinkable even for a 160-HP Super Cub. Definitively a live demonstration of how Bob Borrows’ design and Riblett airfoils are paying off.”

Bearhawk aircraft currently in Brazil include one 4-Place on amphibious floats in the Amazon region performing missionary work and one Patrol nearing completion in Santa Catarina province. For information, contact Bearhawk Aircraft Brazil at:

Alexandre Henrique de Barros
Aeroporto Augusto de Oliveira Salvação
Via de Acesso Comandante César de Albuquerque, Hangar 05
Bairro da Lagoa, Americana SP
CEP 13479-302 Brazil
+55 19 9 9906 0995

Brazil has been a growth market for aviation for several years. In an article titled ‘Aerospace: An Emerging Mexican Industry,’ author Guy Taylor stated, “Mexico boasts three advantages… choice geographic proximity to both the more established aerospace markets and the buying power of the U.S., Canada and, increasingly, Brazil,” Americas Quarterly, Winter 2013 issue. The magazine focuses on politics, business and culture in the Americas while borrowing elements from The Economist, Foreign Affairs and National Geographic, but with a focus on Latin America.

Bearhawk LSA Meets Canada’s Advanced Ultralight Category

In Canada they have a category of planes called Advanced Ultra-Light Aeroplane. Our LSA can live within that category. -Mark Goldberg

Canadian distributor Mike Silvernagle remarked, “Bearhawk Aircraft Canada is excited to bring its new Bearhawk TREK 1232 kit to the Canadian market. With its 1,232 lb gross weight, the TREK will fill a void here which kit builders have been experiencing: Those who fly with a Canadian ultra-light pilot permit want a real bush plane. The TREK is able to deliver this. Derived from the U.S. LSA standard, the Bearhawk TREK 1232 is already bringing smiles to the Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada (UPAC).”

A Canadian ultra-light pilot permit, or higher pilot license, is the basic requirement for Bearhawk TREK 1232 operators. Under the Canadian Advanced Ultra-Light Aeroplane category, aircraft can be kit-built by owner or ready-to-fly from a manufacturer, a perfect fit for the Bearhawk TREK 1232. In addition to backcountry flying, the 2-place bush plane can be used for flight training and any number of on or off-airport flying activities.

Silvernagle, based in Saskatchewan, has been building and flying Bearhawk aircraft since early 2018. His demo fleet includes a Bearhawk 4-Place and a Bearhawk Patrol. Now turning his focus to the Bearhawk TREK 1232 brings him back to where his background in aviation started, in the Canadian Advanced Ultra-Light Aeroplanes category. Bearhawk Aircraft Canada can be reached at:
+1 306-740-8803


Bearhawk Completed in 6½ Months

A Patrol flew in Virginia after only 6½ months of building time. Record time. -Mark Goldberg

Joe Perdue of Matthews, Virginia, (on the Chesapeake Bay inlet) shared some photos of his newly completed Bearhawk Patrol, powered by a 180+ HP Titan 360 engine.

Asked about the comparatively short build time, Joe commented, “I’m driven, when I start I can’t let up,” adding that he worked on it any available weekend, and all day when possible.

Joe is an experienced home and boat builder, but he stressed, “Having built a couple of planes now, l can say that sport fishing boats are much more difficult than aircraft.” Joe’s first complete airplane build was a Rans S-20. He exclaimed, “I have also re-done antique airplanes. The Bearhawk seemed like a good new project, so the Rans was put up for sale. I expected to have some time to buy and build another aircraft, but sold it in two days and I had nothing to fly.”

“Slow flight is great in the Bearhawk,” according to Joe. Noting that he flies just for fun. “It’s a solid airplane to fly. But it does fly different than the Rans.”

Asked about the kit he received from Bearhawk Aircraft, Joe said, “The welding that was done and the way all the parts were made is top notch. Excellent craftsmanship. The fit of the doors, for example, was perfect.” Joe expects to keep his Patrol for a while, adding, “But I do get antsy. I’ll probably fly it at least couple 100 hours.” With conviction, he concluded, “Bearhawk outdid my expectations.”

Bob Barrows Recovery

A couple months ago, Bearhawk design engineer Bob Barrows was injured when his plane hit a new, unmarked electric cable on the approach to an airport he had landed at previously in North Carolina. Bob, and everyone at Bearhawk Aircraft, would like to thank the hundreds of friends who have emailed or called asking about Bob and wishing him well. We are also pleased to inform you that Bob’s recovery is progressing. About two weeks ago he was given the okay to put weight on his leg that was badly broken and is now held together by screws and plates. Bob is walking more each day and he hopes to be back flying in the next month or two. If you have not met Bob, you can learn about him and his approach to airplane design on the YouTube video: Bob Barrows’ Approach to Airplane Design.

– Bearhawk Aircraft –

If you’re looking for STRENGTH, PERFORMANCE and SAFETY in an airplane, the 4-Place and 2-Place Bearhawks deliver the best. See the Bearhawk at AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 in the North Aircraft Display booth #608–609. For utility and recreational use, customers around the world fly Bearhawk Aircraft.

Let’s talk soon,

Bearhawk Aircraft
P.O. Box 9018, Austin, TX 78766
1-877-528-4776 | | Click here to unsubscribe.

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