2,850cc Corvair Bearhawk LSA – now flying.

Builders,

I spoke with Craig Owen the other day, and he said he now has 33 hours on his Corvair/ Bearhawk LSA.  I built the engine for Craig a few years ago ( see New 2850cc / 110hp Corvair in photos. ) and I saw the finished plane in person while traveling around the country. ( see: House Call Bearhawk LSA; range: 6,250 miles. ) He reports that the combination is great, and he really has been enjoying it, in spite of some pretty darn cold weather in Iowa.

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Above, the plane on the ramp at Criag’s airport in Iowa. I saw it in June, he had just finished it, but was working his way through a squawk sheet of details.

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Above, a look at how the cowl quickly opens to reveal the full engine.  The mount: Bearhawk LSA Engine Mount, P/N #4201-E is an item we specifically make for the Bearhawk LSA. The nose bowl is a part that fits many Corvair powered planes. The baffle kit and cowl kit are from the Wesemans.

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Above, a side view showing : Part #3901-A Zenith/Bearhawk Stainless Exhausts, now on shelf. The heat muff shown is craigs design, the ones we provide are more compact and made of thinner material.  Craigs plane utilizes a MA3-SPA carb.

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Above, right side view. The hoses on the oil cooler are industrial units, the ones we offer are braided stainless steel. The intake manifold is our standard model. Craig has a funnel below the engine to drain the oil. The engine has a Weseman rear alternator on it.

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The aircraft isn’t perfect, but it is an outstanding effort for a first time builder. Craig views it as a work in progress, and he fine tunes the construction of parts as he understands how to make improvents on the items he has fabricated.  He is not competing with anyone, he is in this for himself, a life long dream that waited decades for the opportunity to build materialize.  It came, and for 30 months he built, and today he enjoys the fruits of his labor and determination.

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Above, Bob Barrows, the designer of the Bearhawk series, Grace and myself in our tent at Oshkosh 2013. Bob holds the distinction of having flown a homebuilt to every single Oshkosh, all of them since 1970.

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“Formal, but here to party”

Builders,

An acquaintance of mine sent an email saying “I’ll bet you don’t even own a tie.”  Well, below is the photo showing he is incorrect.  Never pays to jump to conclusions about people, they might be a lot more classy than you first suspected….

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Rachel Weseman took this photo of me arriving at their post thanksgiving party last year. Every year Dan and Rachel host a big event that starts with a Skeet shooting contest on the south overrun, morphs into a cookout-pool party, and ends 10 or 12 hours later with a giant bonfire. As a guest, I never like showing up empty handed, that is why I rode over with a box of clays, 200 shells and a 20 gauge.

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While many airports, particularly big public ones, frown on dirt bikes and firearms, our little grass strip is still a place which understands many forms of expressing ones sense of freedom, and how the perfect afternoon can often be made by the judicious (but sequentially intelligent ) blending of these expressions.

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Although I am known for a wardrobe best described as “Clothing discarded by the homeless”, I would still be the first to deride America’s relaxation of formalities of proper guest behavior. Simply put, there is no reason why a civilized person would RSVP a social gathering, and then show up without a Club tie in a Windsor knot on a Brooks Brothers shirt.  In a time of ever coarsening behavior, perhaps we can all agree on better manners.

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-ww.

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Confession: The title of this story owes it’s origin to the sagely advice dispensed by one of the greatest southern sportsmen of our times, Cal Naughton Jr. An immensely influential person, his observations on the human condition bring sense into a world woefully short of it, and offer a philosophical path for many of your countrymen.

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