Best for Back County

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,695
Location
USA.
How does the Maul compare, that is a 4 place bush plane right? sucks that it's not a kit or scratch build, but I sure like the looks of it,
The prototype 180 HP Bearhawk had an EW of 1200 lbs with a GW of 2500lbs. The prototype 235 HP Bearhawk had an EW of 1245 lbs with a GW of 2500 lbs. ( Both have a GW of 2700 lbs on floats).

A Maule MX-7-180C ( 180 HP) has a useful load of 1013 lbs. The Maule MX-7-235 (235 HP) has a useful load of 835 lbs.

All with constant speed props.

Friend of mine built a 180 HP, constant speed prop Bearhawk, with an EW of 1245 lbs. He said the extra weight was a heavy interior.

Bearhawk has a quicker take-off and a better ROC and and the cruise is about the same as the Maule.
 

BobbyZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
228
Location
Cape May NJ USA and Varna Bulgaria
TJay-I feel the Bearhawk pulled a lot of its design from the Maule. The specs are that close although from what I hear the BearHawk is a little easier to handle.But I've yet to see or fly in one in person so I can't say for sure.

Pops,my dads M-7 has 890lbs useful load,they all vary a few lbs as things do.

Also just a fyi is Maule is trying to get approval for a STC to up the gross weight on the later M-7/MX-7's to 2800lbs.Most of the newer ones actually have the reinforcements already installed on the airframe that they used on the newer M-9's.So hopefully it'll go through because they can easily handle the weight and it should add some value to the series.

I'm a big fan of Maules and still have one but I honestly can see myself building a Bearhawk in the near future.They have so many options from a complete scratch build on up to a semi finished and fully finished frame welded in the factory jig.Then there's all the support for the design and multiple places making parts for the plane.It truly is a great plane from many aspects and I've been on the fence for some time as what to do.I really wish it wasnt such a headache dealing with certified aircraft.If I could get rid of my M-4 with a 220 franklin for a decent price I'd probably start a Bearhawk,but since the old Franklin needs a overhaul I dont see it happening anytime soon.

The Bearhawk is turning into the Vans RV of the back country/utility category in a way and rightfully so.

If you want a relatively unbiased informative article on Maules and the different models take a look here http://www.canaero.ca/subpages/Article content/marvelousmaules.html

One last thing,I do have to disagree with Pops on the Bearhawk being able to get off the ground shorter then a Maule.It might do better than a 160 HP MX7 or a short wing MX7 180.But I find it hard to believe it would leave a higher HP Maule in the dust,especially one with a few tweaks although I could be wrong.The real limitation is the pilots skill IMHO.
 
Last edited:

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,695
Location
USA.
TJay-I feel the Bearhawk pulled a lot of its design from the Maule. The specs are that close although from what I hear the BearHawk is a little easier to handle.But I've yet to see or fly in one in person so I can't say for sure.

Pops,my dads M-7 has 890lbs useful load,they all vary a few lbs as things do.

Also just a fyi is Maule is trying to get approval for a STC to up the gross weight on the later M-7/MX-7's to 2800lbs.Most of the newer ones actually have the reinforcements already installed on the airframe that they used on the newer M-9's.So hopefully it'll go through because they can easily handle the weight and it should add some value to the series.

I'm a big fan of Maules and still have one but I honestly can see myself building a Bearhawk in the near future.They have so many options from a complete scratch build on up to a semi finished and fully finished frame welded in the factory jig.Then there's all the support for the design and multiple places making parts for the plane.It truly is a great plane from many aspects and I've been on the fence for some time as what to do.I really wish it wasnt such a headache dealing with certified aircraft.If I could get rid of my M-4 with a 220 franklin for a decent price I'd probably start a Bearhawk,but since the old Franklin needs a overhaul I dont see it happening anytime soon.

The Bearhawk is turning into the Vans RV of the back country/utility category in a way and rightfully so.

If you want a relatively unbiased informative article on Maules and the different models take a look here http://www.canaero.ca/subpages/Article content/marvelousmaules.html
Fly down to VA and I'm sure Bob Barrows will give you a ride in his Bearhawk and let you fly it. It will make a believer out of you. He also has a cookout the 3th Saturday in Oct each year and give rides to anyone that wants. You will not be the first person to sell his Maule and get a Bearhawk. I keep telling Bob that the Bearhawk LSA will be as popular as the 4 seat Bearhawk.
 

Kevin N

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
819
Location
Your Moms basement
I love Maules but certified airplanes are a much bigger liability. Unless you want to operate commercially then who needs one? Yes, lots of people compare the BH to the Maule. Lay a Maule wing with top skin removed next to a BH wing in the same state and tell me which one you think is stronger. BH's are built to play rough. I love the Maule with the 220 Franklin but don't envy Bobbyz on overhauling one. They turn into Franklinstein. I'm helping get a heavy case 165 done for a Stinson. The parts cost will give you a heart murmur.
 

Mark Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
580
Location
Granbury, Texas USA 0TX0
I think my buddy has settled on a 180 to put in the stable with his 210. Tough eh? I really like the Bearhawk and plan on spending some time at their display this year at Oshkosh. I really like the idea of sleeping in it. Does Bob build one with slide outs? :roll:
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,262
Location
Fresno, California
Tell him to keep an open mind because there are some planes that most don't consider as bush planes, but people can use them for the bush. Every year, a friend of mine loads his camping gear into his kayak, straps his kayak between the landing gear of his Avid Flyer, and takes off for the back country.
 

Kevin N

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
819
Location
Your Moms basement
Old straight tail 182's make good utility airplanes. Especially the '56 with the tall gear. My dad had one and we beat up on that airplane all the time. They are almost as scarce as early good C180's. Since the big tire craze many airplanes have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. There is a Cub Crafters Super Cub on my airport with bushwheels that have only been off pavement once in 5 years. Boy does it look cool though.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,695
Location
USA.
I think my buddy has settled on a 180 to put in the stable with his 210. Tough eh? I really like the Bearhawk and plan on spending some time at their display this year at Oshkosh. I really like the idea of sleeping in it. Does Bob build one with slide outs? :roll:

I built my Bearhawk with seats that fold down to make a bed for 2 people. I saw another Bearhawk built the same way for his wife and 2 small children and he had a hammock tied above them from the windshield tubes to one corner of the baggage compartment. You could also have a tent modified to attach to the fuselage at the side cargo doors where the Bearhawk cabin would be the sleeping quarters.
 

Mark Z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
580
Location
Granbury, Texas USA 0TX0
All that's now lacking is a place to plug in a curling iron and hair dryer, oh yeah, and room service. Likely won't happen but it fun to give some serious thought. A good friend just bought a place in Angel Fire so I'm hoping to beat the Texas heat up there after Oshkosh. I do plan to check out those guys mapping out private strips in the Ozarks also.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,777
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Although it is not a homebuilt airplane, I operate an antique Cessna 172 (1956 "straight tail"). The capability of this airplane when kept light amazes me. I have NOT been camping in Idaho on 300 foot clearings with it in the summer. So I cannot vouch for that. But I do know that the airplane will operate safely out of short strips so long as the limitations of the small 145HP engine are accepted. Flying solo on a 80-90 degree day at 1000 feet MSL (my typical home airport summer flight), with half fuel, I am off the ground in 600 feet. Same for landing. This is with a 225 pound pilot, 18 gallons of fuel, and a CRUISE propeller. Re-twisting the prop for takeoff would knock 25% off the takeoff in all probability. The only thing "fancy" about this is that I am able to use a somewhat advanced technique for flap deployment on takeoff that minimizes the drag loss on the takeoff roll. And I removed the rear seat which saves 30+ pounds of (almost useless) weight.

If I were to make one or two "back country" upgrades to this airplane it would further increase the STOL performance. The Sportsman STOL leading edge cuff is known to make a big improvement in STOL safety and performance. Many of the 145HP engines have been replaced with 180HP engines, which makes another big jump in capability.

The thing that many people need to understand is that "back country" and "STOL" are not necessarily the same thing. The majority of genuine "back country" airstrips have significantly more than 600 feet available. So the eye-popping 50 foot takeoff and landing distances you see with these Monster Cubs in the Alaska competition videos may have little to do with the average back country trip. The guys doing the "extreme STOL" flying you see on youtube are not doing real-world back country flying, they're doing extreme STOL flying. They're carrying a few minutes of fuel, and no camping gear, and probably not even their 4 ounce weight wristwatch. The competition propellers may redline the engine at 60 or 70 miles an hour. Nobody goes into a remote strip with their wife and kids flying behind an engine with a 11-1 compression ratio and 34 degrees BTDC timing. Most all of the real world FBO's and fuel retailers don't offer Nitrous Oxide or Nitromethane.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,695
Location
USA.
Although it is not a homebuilt airplane, I operate an antique Cessna 172 (1956 "straight tail"). The capability of this airplane when kept light amazes me. I have NOT been camping in Idaho on 300 foot clearings with it in the summer. So I cannot vouch for that. But I do know that the airplane will operate safely out of short strips so long as the limitations of the small 145HP engine are accepted. Flying solo on a 80-90 degree day at 1000 feet MSL (my typical home airport summer flight), with half fuel, I am off the ground in 600 feet. Same for landing. This is with a 225 pound pilot, 18 gallons of fuel, and a CRUISE propeller. Re-twisting the prop for takeoff would knock 25% off the takeoff in all probability. The only thing "fancy" about this is that I am able to use a somewhat advanced technique for flap deployment on takeoff that minimizes the drag loss on the takeoff roll. And I removed the rear seat which saves 30+ pounds of (almost useless) weight.

If I were to make one or two "back country" upgrades to this airplane it would further increase the STOL performance. The Sportsman STOL leading edge cuff is known to make a big improvement in STOL safety and performance. Many of the 145HP engines have been replaced with 180HP engines, which makes another big jump in capability.

The thing that many people need to understand is that "back country" and "STOL" are not necessarily the same thing. The majority of genuine "back country" airstrips have significantly more than 600 feet available. So the eye-popping 50 foot takeoff and landing distances you see with these Monster Cubs in the Alaska competition videos may have little to do with the average back country trip. The guys doing the "extreme STOL" flying you see on youtube are not doing real-world back country flying, they're doing extreme STOL flying. They're carrying a few minutes of fuel, and no camping gear, and probably not even their 4 ounce weight wristwatch. The competition propellers may redline the engine at 60 or 70 miles an hour. Nobody goes into a remote strip with their wife and kids flying behind an engine with a 11-1 compression ratio and 34 degrees BTDC timing. Most all of the real world FBO's and fuel retailers don't offer Nitrous Oxide or Nitromethane.
Correct. My work Cessna 172 was a 1959 straight tail. Lighten with no paint except the N- numbers. Strong new well broken in engine with a Climb prop. Most of the time the only seat was the pilots seat, and flown with the doors off a lot. Always flown in the Restricted Category. Shortest strip was 1100'. Have more time in the 59-172 above 10K ft than under.
With 2 people ( 220 lbs and 180 lbs) and full fuel could get from SL to 10K in less than 18 minutes.

Low level photography, no doors, full rudder side slip to get the wing out of the way, 65 mph with one notch of flaps, into the wind. Enough power to hold altitude. Rock solid.
 
Last edited:

BBerson

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
12,826
Location
Port Townsend WA
My C-175 with the big prop and geared engine would lift off in about 300 feet with full flaps and climb steeply.
I didn't like the fuel consumption, so I sold it.
I wonder what VG's might have done for a C-172/175?
 

Toobuilder

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
4,613
Location
Mojave, Ca
I went with Cessna 170 spring gear on my Pacer clone to give me a flat floor to sleep on. Also planned a "second story" sling/cot deal for my bride or "stuff". Was pondering a lightweight tripod deal to raise the tail yet still be tied down securely. Would provide more comfort and reduce the angle of attack during winds.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,013
Location
Orange County, California
... Was pondering a lightweight tripod deal to raise the tail yet still be tied down securely. Would provide more comfort and reduce the angle of attack during winds.
Do you know of anyone that's done that, and how it worked out for them? I've often considered that for a taildragger used for air-camping. Seems like a no-brainer, but I'd sure love to hear from someone with experience with such an arrangement. Seems like you'd also want to run a tie-down rope on either side of the tail, to keep a cross-wind from making the airplane weather-vane off the tripod.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,262
Location
Fresno, California
Do you know of anyone that's done that, and how it worked out for them? I've often considered that for a taildragger used for air-camping. Seems like a no-brainer, but I'd sure love to hear from someone with experience with such an arrangement.
I thought that was what the nosewheel was for...
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
796
Location
Alaska
Stinson 108 should really be highlighted more in this thread.
Very few ADs for a certified aircraft.
 
2
Group Builder
Top