Bearhawk Aircraft, best known for its two- and four-place utility homebuilts, will offer a new, larger model called the Bearhawk 5. According to the company, the 5, penned by noted designer and engineer Bob Barrows, “made its first flight on May 3rd. The prototype has flown more than 5 hours in testing and is exhibiting excellent flight characteristics, according to test pilot Rollie van Dorn. Further flight testing is expected to confirm the airplane’s projected 3,000-LB gross weight.” Where the other Bearhawk models use smaller, four-cylinder engines, the Bearhawk 5 has a “spec-built” six-cylinder, 315-HP Lycoming IO-580 on the nose. The first Bearhawk Model 5 “was built in collaboration with avid Bearhawk builder Collin Campbell of Bolivar, Missouri. Collin has scratch built a fleet of different Bearhawk models and has a reputation for outstanding workmanship.”
In terms of size, the Bearhawk 5 is 2 inches wider than the four-place model, as well as having a cabin 14 inches longer; it’s 2 feet longer overall than the four-place, which allows for a potential fifth and sixth seats in the rear of the cabin or a massive amount of baggage capacity. Bearhawk Aircraft points out that the Model 5 has a larger interior than the venerated Cessna 185.
According to Mark Goldberg, president of Avipro / Bearhawk Aircraft, which manufactures Quick Build kits of the Bearhawk models, “A brief history of how this design came about … a friend of design engineer Bob Barrows requested he create a larger version of the Bearhawk 4-Place as this friend is a big guy. Bob did the drawings for his friend who began construction on it. However, health issues forced him to quit working on the project and it sat for about a year. One day I was talking to Collin Campbell who told me he was getting bored now that his Bearhawk LSA was finished and flying.” That “hatched the plan” for Collin to complete the project. “Truly, there is no one in the world, except Bob himself, more qualified to have built this prototype than Collin,” Goldberg says.
While still in the early phases of flight test, Bearhawk Aircraft expects the Model 5 to cruise around 160 MPH with the most powerful Lycoming variant and an 82-inch Hartzell constant-speed prop. Other six-cylinder versions of the Lycoming will work on the 5, all the way down to the 250-HP O-540. The company is looking to validate the planned 3000-pound max-gross weight. If it does and the 1512-pound empty weight holds, the Bearhawk 5 will be able to almost carry its own weight in useful load.
“The company is looking to validate the planned 3000-pound max-gross weight. If it does and the 1512-pound empty weight holds, the Bearhawk 5 will be able to carry more than its own weight in payload.”
I don’t follow the arithmetic. That’s 1488 useful load. Payload would be less still with enough fuel to go anywhere plus reserve.
“Almost” seems to be the new operative word in the corrected version.
The “venerated” Cessna 185s which I flew in an earlier lifetime actually could carry their own empty weight in useful load. In that setting, for which they were made, we routinely loaded and hauled two full 55 gallon steel barrels standing up. Looking at the Bearhawk it seems like a person would be hard pressed to fit a 55 gallon barrel through that door.
Yes, ‘almost’ was added. But take a look at the video where the cargo doors are open – notably at the 4:00 minute mark, where a person adds some scale. It looks to me as if a 55 gallon drum could either be angled in or be loaded sideways (and then set upright).