In May 2020, Bearhawk Aircraft launched the latest addition to its line of backcountry-ready kit aircraft with the Model 5, a six-seat rear-wheel aircraft “designed to fly fast and land slowly,” according to a company press release on March 1. This news revealed that the first four kits of the Model 5 have been distributed to customers, with construction having already started in some cases. The Model B also saw two other first flights, with owners filling out kits and taking them off in Idaho and California.
Customer Brent Huddleston built the Idaho-based Bearhawk Model B in part because he wanted more performance than he experienced in his Cessna 182Q, powered by a Continental O-470 engine. “The Bearhawk was the fastest, had the best specs, big doors and, in comparison, the 182 was too small for even my dog,” said Huddleston. Its Model B features an IO-540 “mounted and polished to 9.5: 1 compression” engine. So far, this translates to better climbing performance than the 182 and a true 155 mph reported speed.
In California, Bearhawk builder Tim Newsome first flew his Model B in February, and it replaces the original four-seater Bearhawk he owned, which was built by Bob Barrows. According to Newsome: “Improvements to the B-Model include a longer, faster and more stable Riblett 30-413.5 aerofoil, as well as aluminum fuselage channels, aluminum window sills and door sills to. the place of steel. Wing-shaped tail surfaces improve stability, controlling authority and speed. The company notes that the four-seater Bearhawk has long been “known as best-in-class for its speed, STOL capability and high payload capacity.”
All four Model 5 kits have arrived in Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska and New Hampshire. The new Bearhawk has a gross weight of 3,000 lbs. and a cruising speed of 160 mph. With this addition, the company now offers 2-, 4- and 6-seat models of the tail wheel design, with quick build kits speeding up the build process to get pilots to fly to remote airstrips. and away. places they like.