Expanding its product line, Bearhawk Aircraft will start delivering Companion kits in October. The Companion fits in between the tandem-seat, two-place Patrol and the four-place Bearhawk. Powered by four-cylinder Lycoming engines from the 150-HP O-320 to the 210-HP IO-390, the Companion will keep its utility roots while being “sportier than the SUV/pickup four-place Bearhawk,” according to the company.
Designed by Bob Barrows, the Bearhawk aircraft share key features, including aluminum wings, a steel-tube fuselage cage and fabric-covered fuselages for low weight. The aluminum wings are flush riveted with conventional driven rivets.
Mark Goldberg, owner of Bearhawk Aircraft, in describing the new Companion, said, “We have for some time now heard from many buyers that desire a side-by-side, two-place aircraft with all the great features of the Bearhawk designs.” As such, the Companion uses the Patrol wing set with a unique fuselage that provides room for two in side-by-side seating and a generous baggage area behind.
While some manufacturers develop new models and hope they’ll sell, Bearhawk already has a sale on the Companion. “Greg C. of Massachusetts” has placed a deposit on the yet-to-fly design, saying, “I wanted the proven strength and wide performance envelope of a Bearhawk but, like many others, was torn between the four-place and Patrol. Since most of my flying is local or medium distance cross-country with a single passenger, the new Companion option is a perfect fit.”
It’s reasonable to expect the Companion to not quite match the narrower Patrol’s 150-MPH cruise speed, but it should retain most or all of the Patrol’s STOL characteristics, including a claimed 35-MPH landing speed. At 2200 pounds max-gross weight, the Companion will max out 200 pounds heftier than the Patrol.
Bearhawk Aircraft says the full quickbuild kit is $44,000, with competed prices that should range from $70,000 to $90,000.