There is an assumption by some that because an airplane is a light-sport aircraft (LSA) that it is a compromise and can't fulfill the functions expected of a "real"
airplane. It's assumed it will be lighter, smaller, and
slower. Of course that isn't necessarily true, and in the
case of some aircraft, specifically Bob Barrows' new
Bearhawk LSA, it isn't even close. Barrows' new design is so normal looking, maybe even old school, that
if you didn't know it was LSA-compliant, you wouldn't
know it was an LSA.
First, a bit about Bob Barrows and his airplane. Working from his shop on his personal grass runway outside
of Fincastle, Virginia, Barrows' approach to design may
seem to be of amateur quality. When you meet him, his
general laid-back, nothing-fancy countenance supports
that assumption. However, don't kid yourself. Bob is a
clear case where you can't judge a book by its cover;
he's a longtime (40-year) professional engineer, and
his LSA is the latest in a long line of homebuilt designs
going back to the 1970s. Curtis Pitts once told me that