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 10 of 44

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 EAA Experimenter 11

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