Bearhawk Aircraft Details a Pair of Company Firsts

Company announces a first flight in Brazil and a STOL contest win.

Bearhawk Aircraft
This Bearhawk won the STOL contest in New Zealand in February.Bearhawk Aircraft

Austin, Texas-based Bearhawk Aircraft, a company known for creating STOL kit airplanes, earlier this week announced two company milestones. In one, a Bearhawk Patrol became the first of the company’s airplanes completed in Brazil to take flight, launching from Lontras, Santa Catarina, Brazil. In another, a New Zealand man for the second time took top honors in an annual STOL contest flying a Bearhawk.

In a news release, Bearhawk said the first Brazilian airplane was a “quick-build kit purchased during EAA AirVenture 2014 by Fernando Frahm who, along with his son Andre and co-owner/builder Roberto Lindner, completed the airplane in January 2020. Roberto said the ‘Patrol exhibited takeoff and climb performance he’d never before experienced in any aircraft of its class.’”

As a rancher in southern Brazil, Fernando said he knew immediately following a demo flight at AirVenture that the Bearhawk was the aircraft for him. In addition to the airplane’s STOL capabilities, Fernando said the Patrol delivered greater travel flexibility at better cruise speeds than similar STOL/utility aircraft he had been considering. The basic Bearhawk Patrol configuration includes a Superior IO-360 180-horsepower engine with a Dual Plasma II Ignition system from Light Speed and a constant speed propeller from MT-Propeller of Germany. A company produced video captured some of the Patrol’s performance capabilities.

At Omaka Airfield, Blenheim, New Zealand, Jonathan Battson took top honors in his Bearhawk for the second year in a row winning the Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Championships held on February 1, 2020. Battson won with a total combined takeoff and landing distance of 233 feet compared to 354 feet and 430 feet for second and third place. Battson said a number of people who normally attend the famous Valdez STOL contest came to New Zealand and found “the flying was as good [at Omaka] as they see in Valdez… except here the action is faster and the crowd is much closer to the action.”