We're not sure what it is about Bearhawks, but they seem to arrive in clumps. Back in 2007, five new Bearhawks flew in a 30-day period. Now, says kit seller AviPro, three Bearhawks have made their first flights on the same day.
Says AviPro's Budd Davisson:
In the desert north of Los Angeles, Russ Erb of Rosemead took off in his scratchbuilt Bearhawk, powered by a 250-hp Lycoming 0-540, signaling the end of a 12-year project. He dubbed his airplane "Three Sigma," meaning it’s three standard deviations out past the usual build time. An aerodynamics instructor at the USAF flight test center at Edwards, Erb is widely known for the information-rich CD he publishes about scratch-building the Bearhawk.
In another desert location, in Aquilla, Arizona, John Sample flew his 250-hp Bearhawk, and reported no problems and amazing performance. His airplane is an AviPro quickbuild kit that, because he spends a large portion of each year at his place in Alaska, took him four years of part-time building. His airplane will soon be headed for Alaska.
Another scratch-built Bearhawk emerged from Eric Newton’s hangar in Mississippi, proudly wearing the name "Mississippi Mudbug" on the cowl of its 180 Lycoming. Newton publishes a series of manuals for the Bearhawk scratch-builder and had a lot of cleaning up to do after Hurricane Katrina came to visit, but it slowed him down only temporarily.
The Bearhawk is a 150-mph, four-place utility and touring aircraft that can be built either strictly from plans or from quickbuild kits or components supplied by AviPro Aircraft, Ltd. The company says more than 100 kits have been delivered, and approximately 30 are flying.
For more information, contact AviPro Aircraft, 602/971-3768.