Bearhawk Hat Trick: Three Fly the Same Day
Russ Erb's Bearhawk
John Sample's Bearhawk
Eric Newton's Bearhawk
June 12, 2008 — June 7, 2008, will forever be etched in the minds of three totally unrelated Bearhawk builders as the date they saw daylight under their wheels for the first time. Widely separated, both in distance and concept, fortune smiled on the three as they coincidentally made their first flights on the same day.
In the desert north of Los Angeles, Russ Erb of Rosemead took his scratchbuilt Bearhawk, powered by a 250 hp Lycoming 0-540, off signaling the end of a 12-year project. He dubbed his airplane, “Three Sigma,” meaning it’s three standard deviations out past the usual build time. An aerodynamics instructor at the USAF flight test center at Edwards, Erb is widely known for the information-rich CD he publishes about scratchbuilding the Bearhawk.
In another desert location, in Aquilla, AZ, John Sample flew his 250 hp Bearhawk and reported no problems and amazing performance. His airplane is an AviPro quick-build kit that, because he spends a large portion of each year at his place in Alaska, took him four years of part-time building. His airplane will soon be headed for Alaska.
Another scratch-built Bearhawk emerged from Eric Newton’s hangar in Mississippi proudly wearing its name “Mississippi Mudbug” on the cowl of its 180 Lycoming. Eric publishes a series of manuals for the Bearhawk scratchbuilder and had a lot of cleaning up to do after Hurricane Katrina came to visit, but it slowed him down only temporarily.
Congratulations to the three dedicated builders. They show what perseverance and imagination can accomplish.
The Bearhawk is a 150 mph, four-place utility and touring aircraft that can be built either strictly from plans or from quick-build kits or components supplied by AviPro Aircraft, Ltd. Over 100 kits have been delivered and approximately 30 are currently flying. For more information, contact AviPro Aircraft, Ltd, www.bearhawkaircraft.com or call 602-971-3768.