February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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Page 11 of 44

A n O l d - S c h o o l L i g h t- S p or t A ir c r a f t Wearing a signature Bob Barrows' maroon-and-cream paint job, the Bearhawk LSA clearly shows its family resemblance to Barrow's earlier four-place Bearhawk and two-place Patrol. Te Bearhawk LSA originally few with a Continental A-65 and showed outstanding climb and cruise. "Bob Barrows is a real redneck engineer, like me. He gets the job done as light and as simply as possible." High praise, indeed. The best-known Barrows design is the four-place Bearhawk, with something more than 100 examples flying. It's one of the few designs that can be built from a kit, from plans, or from a little of both. He followed that up with the Bearhawk Patrol, which is a wider, roomier, new-millennium approach to match the Super Cub but combining traditional rag-and-tube construction (all-aluminum wings) with up-to-theminute aerodynamics, featuring a Riblett airfoil, airfoiled tail surfaces, and the signature Barrows gigantic flaps. Both aircraft are kitted by AviPro Aircraft (www.BearhawkAircraft.com), and pilots of both aircraft rave about them. Bob's passion in life is designing airplanes. And while he had no idea whether there was actually a market for an LSA version of the Patrol, he really didn't care. He explained, "I was getting bored because I wasn't designing anything. I honestly didn't think there was enough market support for such a design, but I just wanted to design and build it. That's what I do for fun. 12 Vol.2 No.2 / February 2 013 "Rather than design an LSA from scratch, I was constantly being asked whether the Patrol could be made into an LSA with an engine much smaller than the standard 180 Lycoming and by eliminating a bunch of stuff. So, that's where I started. The Patrol can be built with a Lyc O-320/O-340 at about the same weight as the Carbon Cub, so it was a good start on the LSA. "When I was designing the Patrol, I looked at the Super Cub and the shortcomings it has in the modern world and decided to design a Super Cub as we would do it today, knowing what we know today. Plus, in the Patrol, I wanted an airplane that was fast enough to be a good cross-country airplane but could do really good short-field work without a lot of piloting skills. And I wanted it to handle like a modern airplane: fairly good roll rate and easy to fly at all speeds. On top of all of this, I wanted to try a Riblett airfoil, which is quite a modern family of airfoils, to see if it gave any real advantage at those speeds. I also wanted to try airfoiled, rather than flat, tail surfaces to see if the increased efficiency was noticeable." The calculations and textbooks all said that his aerodynamic improvements should actually provide better

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