The Bearhawk is a home-built aircraft in the Maule airplane tradition, being four-seat STOL with a wide variety of engine choices. Its fuselage is steel tube construction with semi-monocoque aluminum wings. Engines from 150 to 260 horsepower can be chosen, and engine power will dictate STOL performance, just as it does in the Maule series of aircraft. A quick-build kit is offered for the Bearhawk, or the Bearhawk can be plans built only. The builder would have to be very patient and skilled to build a Bearhawk from plans only and 2,000-3,000 hours of building time would likely be a minimum. The quick-build kit would lower this figure considerably, bringing build times in line with other home-built designs.
The Bearhawk has not gained as strong a following as other aircraft, but it is a worthy bush plane in its own right. Quick build kit price is $40,500 with several different kit option kits available for various prices from AviPro. Plane specifications are found on the Bearhawk Aircraft Specifications page. Here are a few short video demonstrations of the Bearhawk's STOL capabilities.
There is also a building reference CD avaiable for $30 from a retired air force guy named Russ Erb who built his own Bearhawk. The CD looks like a great bargain with construction photos, reference materials, links, some humor and other items a builder could use. I don't know Russ Erb but he can probably be found through the Bearhawk discussion group at Yahoo which looks like a good place to have a virtual meeting with other Bearhawkers.
We received an email from Budd Davisson of the United States who has been flying for 51 years. He claims his dream plane is the M-14P powered Bearkawk and he asked us to feature the airplane on our website, which we eventually did do, despite Budd's shameless self-promotion, since he is the manufacturer of the Bearhawk. On the other hand, we always admire a person who gets to realize the dream of manufacturing their own aircraft and are proud to have their contribution to our website.
Plus that, Budd is a colorful character and had this to add about the best bush plane, "I've flown all but a few of the airplanes on your list and there is no such thing as the "best" bush plane any more than a redhead is better than a brunette (I'm married to a redhead, so don't forward this). It depends on the mission and the territory being covered." Budd went on to add that he thinks the best bush plane is the Sherpa and complained that we didn't feature the plane on our site, which, again, we eventually did cover the plane at the urging of Budd and the other readers.
Now, having said all of that, at least some of you recognize that Budd Davisson is the "airbud" who writes all of the cool pilot reports that make the most artful use of the term "kick-butt". Others may recognize him as a muscian, novelist, photographer, magazine editor, webmaster, flight instructor, manufacturer or webmaster. He is the kind of guy who truly is the jack of all trades and a true-heart likeable hippie. Quite frankly, we admire him a great deal and have included his Bearhawk pilot report for your enjoyment.
We also heard from Ric, a US pilot, who had this to say, "I would like to split ownership of a Bearhawk or Cessna 180 or 185 with somebody: I work 14/14 rotational offshore (workover supervisor) so half the time the aircraft would be available;. I live in south Louisiana; I have access to a private airstrip w/hanger."
Ric, you might want to contact Budd. Budd, I have Ric's cell phone number if you want it.
Now that might seem a little strange to some of you but believe it or not we get boatloads of messages asking us if we know of someone buying or selling a certain type of airplane. So, with that in mind we are going to start a listing service of the planes we know are available or the people who want to buy a certain item. Watch for it soon. Robert Lewko, a Canadian pilot, wrote in to let us know his dream plane was the Bearhawk 200hp, although he thinks the best bush plane is the Beaver. He also said, "want to build a zenith 801 when i clear up the mortgage. I would settle for a zenith 750 powered by a corvair though."
We also heard from Nicholas, a US aircraft mechanic who is in the process of building a Bearhawk. He said his dream plane was, "Pilatus Porter minus 40 gph fuel consumption. I am pretty stoked about the Bearhawk and I have a few design changes Ive made that will signifigantly change the appearance, so its kind of a mystery plane." Nicholas thinks the best bush plane is a helicopter.
Terry Montambo, a 35 year US pilot who started flying at age 18 with his dad in a 1947 Cessna 140 and has owned 4 airplanes says the "Bearhawk is the best kit plane, hands down".
Thanks everyone, for your input. Nicholas, we would love to see your photos and follow your build progress.
Do you have a great story, an opinion, a tip or a review about this plane? Share it!