Bearhawk Improvements

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

kent Ashton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
727
Location
Concord, NC
Don't own one, not working on one, but I like them a lot and would like to build a Patrol. They just announced improvements. From propwashhtml@aero-news.net

Additional changes incorporated into the Bearhawk Bravo are:
  • Use of aluminum fuselage formers, window sills, and door sills in place of steel formers and sills offering weight savings and corrosion resistance.
  • Use of airfoil shaped ribs on the horizontal and vertical stabilizers as opposed to flat ribs giving enhanced stability, more control authority, and a speed increase of three MPH due to the change from four to three degrees of down deflection of the horizontal stabilizers.
  • Use of shock struts made from heavy wall round tubing in place of streamlined tubing providing more resistance to side load failure while on the runway. The round tube is faired with streamlined PVC to neutralize drag.
  • Use of a round tail spring fabricated from 6150 heat treated alloy steel bar in place of the leaf-type spring set providing a small weight savings and better flex/spring effect in any direction. The round profile also has the potential to save the rear fuselage from damage at unpaved strips.
  • Use of the aforementioned Riblett airfoil wings with one-foot longer wingspan and an additional five square feet of wing area.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
Don't own one, not working on one, but I like them a lot and would like to build a Patrol. They just announced improvements. From propwashhtml@aero-news.net


[/LIST]


After building 4 bearhawks in my hanger. ----- The aluminum fuselage formers, door sills in place of the steel formers.------ We drilled lighting holes in the steel formers and sills and saved 8 Lbs and easier to install. Just as light as the aluminum and stronger when loading baggage and getting in the cabin. Aluminum rear window frames, Yes.
Local man makes Bearhawk Carbon Fiber front and baggage doors that save a lot of weight over the steel tube doors.

All others are a plus. Would also add. Use another rod end on the LG lower shock strut, same as used on the top, to take a bind out of the gear as it travels up and down due to the one inch taper of the lower longerons at the LG gear attach location.
 
Last edited:

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
While we're discussing useful upgrades to the Bearhawk, there is an available third party upgrade that allows the pilot to finally overcome the built-in difficulty of using the stock design flap control....

Forum rules on commercial advertising preclude me from discussing this in more detail.

Several builders weld on a flap handle extension so the pilot can reach the handle easier with the flap hand is down and the flaps at 0 degs. We put it on the Bearhawks we built.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,785
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
The simple extensions that I've seen welded onto the BH flap control do not allow the flaps to be retracted fully, because there is no mechanism provided for operating the lock button. The extension I developed for the BH has the capability to lock and unlock the mechanism. So in addition to deploying the flaps from the zero position, the pilot can also retract the flaps all the way to zero while remaining upright and seeing out of the aircraft. Although definitely not the only solution, I am confident that it provides more options and more capability than any other solution.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,274
Location
Memphis, TN
VB's gadget is pretty smart. One interesting thing seeing the Bearhawk and the Patrol together is how close in practical size they both are. I would like a speed wing for the Bearhawk. If I could get in and out of 1500 ft runways but go 130kts cruse lop would be a really good combo.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
The simple extensions that I've seen welded onto the BH flap control do not allow the flaps to be retracted fully, because there is no mechanism provided for operating the lock button. The extension I developed for the BH has the capability to lock and unlock the mechanism. So in addition to deploying the flaps from the zero position, the pilot can also retract the flaps all the way to zero while remaining upright and seeing out of the aircraft. Although definitely not the only solution, I am confident that it provides more options and more capability than any other solution.
You just taper the slot on the upper side where the rod pin engages for Zero flaps. That way you do not have to push the button for the first 2 notches when to start to lower the flaps. Very simple.

Weld a U shape handle on top of the flap handle and make these mods. http://mybearhawk.com/changejan04.html
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
VB's gadget is pretty smart. One interesting thing seeing the Bearhawk and the Patrol together is how close in practical size they both are. I would like a speed wing for the Bearhawk. If I could get in and out of 1500 ft runways but go 130kts cruse lop would be a really good combo.
To get that with a Lyc-360, build light and clean and use a Sen 76"X 60" fix pitch.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
How do you RETRACT (remove) the flaps back to zero using this method Pops?
Yep, have to lean over a little for that one. I have long arms where my knuckles drag on the ground so no problem for me :) . That is the reason most Bearhawk builders install shoulder harness reels.

Having owned 3 straight tail C-172's , it was never any problem working the flaps for me and I am 6' tall. I sure dislike electric flaps.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,785
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Well... this is the HBA forum and not the TCA forum, so this discussion thread is not 100% relevant to the straight tail 172 that Pops mentioned. To keep me within the scope and intent of HBA, let's set that lovely old 172 aside for a moment. Since there is no sales, and no offers, solicitations, or advertising being attempted, this should hopefully not ruffle any feathers. If feathers are ruffled, moderators accept my apology and I will gladly delete this post on request. This post is simply to defend the validity of several years of my personal and professional research, and the theoretical thought process behind that research, to guarantee that there is no mis-information or inaccurate rumor that could be accidentally spread to other segments of aviation.

Pops, if you were to build an amateur built experimental homebuilt non-certified aircraft called the Cyclone from up in Quebec, which is essentially an experimental copy of a very well loved and highly prized all-metal bush plane from out Wichita way, which happens to have the identical fuselage/cabin/control system as the world's most popular and mass-produced light aircraft... I would have cheerfully offered you the following bet:

Sit in your homebuilt Cyclone and adjust the seat for your 6 foot height. (Since you mentioned that you have long knuckle-dragging arms, you also have proportionately long, knee-knocking legs. As such, your seat will always be adjusted further aft than it would be for other people with shorter arms and legs, giving you exactly the same "reach" for the controls as everyone else has. This is why airplanes have adjustable seats by the way, so that different size pilots will automatically have exactly the same reach, comfort, and access to the flight controls. So by definition, a control which is easy or difficult to reach for a short pilot whose seat is properly adjusted will be exactly as easy or difficult for a tall pilot to reach when his/her seat is adjusted properly)

With your seat adjusted, place your thumb on the un-lock button at the end of the Cyclone experimental flap control lever. Do not move the control lever, simply place your thumb in the position that would be necessary if you had wished to operate the control. While in this position, make an assessment of your outward visibility, situational awareness, and ability to achieve "full, free and clear" movement of the controls. Medical note: you may have to remove certain internal organs in order to perform the control yoke movement portion of this test. While in this position, also make an assessment of the relative pilot workload you would face while operating the aircraft in this position. Please be sure to replace any internal organs that were temporarily removed in order to perform this test.

Now sit back up straight in the experimental, amateur built, hand fabricated, un-certified Cyclone pilot seat, and place your trigger finger on an imaginary flap control un-lock button that would have been located two inches below the throttle knob at "flight idle" position. While holding your hand in this position, make the same assessment of outward visibility, situational awareness, freedom of control movement, and pilot workload. Medical note: Although you may optionally choose to remove certain internal organs during this portion of the test, to provide an equivalent pilot condition, it is in fact usually not necessary to remove internal organs for this second phase.

If you can honestly say that the difference in safety, visibility, workload, and situational awareness between these two piloting positions (to operate the flap control) is anything less than tremendous, or if you cannot say that the second (imaginary) flap control position represents a very significant improvement over the first position, then I will buy you a steak dinner at the best steakhouse in town.

The same imaginary bet has been offered to owners of certain experimental homebuilt bushplanes that are quite similar in construction and appearance to another very well-loved bushplane, which is famous for flying right out of a hangar in scenic Moultrie, Georgia.
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
796
Location
Alaska
It is certainly easy for each side to overstate their case.
Since this is the homebuiltairplanes forum, wouldn't the ideal situation be designing your controls to be ergonomic and practical from the start and not needing modifications or extensions after you are finished?

It seems to me that VBs solution is ideal for certified aircraft or finished experimental owned by non builders who wish a more convenient handle, while a spin off of Pops solution should be considered by those in the process of planning or building.
Of course for VB the ideal would be that even experimentals are designed like the production models and then incorporate his solution, but that doesn't seem like an especially practical approach to me. (and I think he would agree)

One thing I hate when getting in and out of aircraft is all the 'stuff' I have to be careful of hitting with my knees, feet, limbs, etc.... I esp hate getting in and out of cub types, bonanza pilot seats, 206 copilot seats, etc.... any approach with a manual flap handle infringes on that issue, so has to be considered as well.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,785
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Yes, the solution that I offer to certified aircraft owners is a "Repair" or "work-around" to a problem that was built in at the factory. The proper solution would have been to locate all the controls in the best possible place, agreed 100%.

I offered this advice to the forum admin on another forum, who happens to be building a Bearhawk. The best place for the flap handle is above, not below. The Taylorcraft Auster, which first offered flaps in 1943 I believe, put the flap control above the pilot's left arm. This worked beautifully, I owned a 1947 Auster.

Finally, 70 years later, some of the modern Super Cub derivatives from Cub Crafters and others are using this location.

NARFI is correct, IMHO anyone building an experimental Bearhawk (or EXP Pacer, EXP Maule, EXP Cub etc) should seriously consider building in an overhead flap control. Solves several problems, improves safety, even a little better performance because you can fly better. The side by side airplanes should have it mounted in the middle, the tandem Cub types should have it on the pilot's left side opposite the door. As he said, there is no reason to scratch build an airplane with a control access problem built right in, and then have to install a secondary device to be able to fly safely. Even if it takes money out of my pocket.

For owners of existing certified Cessna, Pacer, Maule, Stinson airplanes... your a$$ is mine :) Rest assured the billions of dollars in nasty greedy profit are going to a good cause, which is directly related to the development of new, economical, safe, easily built homebuilt aircraft!
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,700
Location
USA.
Well... this is the HBA forum and not the TCA forum, so this discussion thread is not 100% relevant to the straight tail 172 that Pops mentioned. To keep me within the scope and intent of HBA, let's set that lovely old 172 aside for a moment. Since there is no sales, and no offers, solicitations, or advertising being attempted, this should hopefully not ruffle any feathers. If feathers are ruffled, moderators accept my apology and I will gladly delete this post on request. This post is simply to defend the validity of several years of my personal and professional research, and the theoretical thought process behind that research, to guarantee that there is no mis-information or inaccurate rumor that could be accidentally spread to other segments of aviation.

Pops, if you were to build an amateur built experimental homebuilt non-certified aircraft called the Cyclone from up in Quebec, which is essentially an experimental copy of a very well loved and highly prized all-metal bush plane from out Wichita way, which happens to have the identical fuselage/cabin/control system as the world's most popular and mass-produced light aircraft... I would have cheerfully offered you the following bet:

Sit in your homebuilt Cyclone and adjust the seat for your 6 foot height. (Since you mentioned that you have long knuckle-dragging arms, you also have proportionately long, knee-knocking legs. As such, your seat will always be adjusted further aft than it would be for other people with shorter arms and legs, giving you exactly the same "reach" for the controls as everyone else has. This is why airplanes have adjustable seats by the way, so that different size pilots will automatically have exactly the same reach, comfort, and access to the flight controls. So by definition, a control which is easy or difficult to reach for a short pilot whose seat is properly adjusted will be exactly as easy or difficult for a tall pilot to reach when his/her seat is adjusted properly)

With your seat adjusted, place your thumb on the un-lock button at the end of the Cyclone experimental flap control lever. Do not move the control lever, simply place your thumb in the position that would be necessary if you had wished to operate the control. While in this position, make an assessment of your outward visibility, situational awareness, and ability to achieve "full, free and clear" movement of the controls. Medical note: you may have to remove certain internal organs in order to perform the control yoke movement portion of this test. While in this position, also make an assessment of the relative pilot workload you would face while operating the aircraft in this position. Please be sure to replace any internal organs that were temporarily removed in order to perform this test.

Now sit back up straight in the experimental, amateur built, hand fabricated, un-certified Cyclone pilot seat, and place your trigger finger on an imaginary flap control un-lock button that would have been located two inches below the throttle knob at "flight idle" position. While holding your hand in this position, make the same assessment of outward visibility, situational awareness, freedom of control movement, and pilot workload. Medical note: Although you may optionally choose to remove certain internal organs during this portion of the test, to provide an equivalent pilot condition, it is in fact usually not necessary to remove internal organs for this second phase.

If you can honestly say that the difference in safety, visibility, workload, and situational awareness between these two piloting positions (to operate the flap control) is anything less than tremendous, or if you cannot say that the second (imaginary) flap control position represents a very significant improvement over the first position, then I will buy you a steak dinner at the best steakhouse in town.

The same imaginary bet has been offered to owners of certain experimental homebuilt bushplanes that are quite similar in construction and appearance to another very well-loved bushplane, which is famous for flying right out of a hangar in scenic Moultrie, Georgia.
I don't know a thing about the Cyclone. But I have flown between 85 and 90 different aircraft and I have never had any problems using the flaps of any of the manual flap airplanes. Some a little better than others, yes. On any of the Cessna's, or Bearhawk, no problem, no discomfort . I have to admit, I am more limber than most folks, at 76 years old I still can not only touch my toes without bending my knees, but place my hands flat on the floor in front of my feet. No problem flying while keeping my hands on the flap handle with the button in, normal use when milking the flaps off from a landing go-around at the last second. The factory flap location and usage works for me. But everyone is different and your mileage may vary.
 
Last edited:

SpainCub

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
374
Location
Madrid, Spain
With all do respect, VB, why the constant thread drifts? The OP is about the Bearhawk, thank you.

I'd like to know more about
Use of the aforementioned Riblett airfoil wings with one-foot longer wingspan and an additional five square feet of wing area.
and what if any change this will have on the performance of such a design, if there is rev B. performance numbers to review?
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,785
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Sorry for the thread drift away from the BH, I was responding to another participant's post that had mentioned another type of aircraft with which I am intimately familiar.

I would be delighted to abide by any new or previously existing HBA rules regarding thread drift, so long as they are applied equally.
 

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
Sorry for the thread drift away from the BH, I was responding to another participant's post that had mentioned another type of aircraft with which I am intimately familiar.

I would be delighted to abide by any new or previously existing HBA rules regarding thread drift, so long as they are applied equally.
Actually I thought you did a really good job of answering questions that were asked relevant to why a product (that you just happen to make) would be an improvement if installed in a Bearhawk. You knew the specific reason it would work better than the original one and simply explained it to everyone. Personally I was a little skeptical of any real benefit until I read your commentary. Sounds like a possible Bearhawk improvement to me.
 
Group Builder
Top