In 2009 a friend of design engineer Bob Barrows approached requesting Bob design a bigger version of his four place Bearhawk. This friend is a big fellow, and wanted more elbow room. So Bob drew him a preliminary set of plans for the Bearhawk Model 5.
Instead of a C170 windshield like used on the four place, the two inch wider fuselage would require the C182 windshield. The over all length of the Model 5 exceeds the four place by twenty four inches.
Bob’s friend started work on the Model 5. He completely finished the tail surfaces and had a lot of the fuselage tubing tacked welded. The wings were provided from the Bearhawk kit factory as Quick Build wings. The wings used the same Riblett airfoil as on the Patrol instead of the 4412 airfoil of the four place.
After a strong start, the project stalled due to health problems of the builder. Every year or two Bob would ask us what could we do to get the prototype Model 5 built. One day, experienced Bearhawk builder Collin Campbell mentioned that he was getting bored and needed a project. Collin had previously built a four place Bearhawk from plans alone, a Patrol from plans, and then a Bearhawk LSA built from the Quick Build kit. So Collin was uniquely qualified to take on a project like this. His experience with all of Bob’s previous designs made him the perfect person to work with Bob and get the Model 5 built.
Like all of Bob Barrows designs, the Model 5 features a 4130 tube fuselage which is fabric covered with tail feathers also of steel tube and ribs fabric covered. Some fuselage parts are common to the four place Bearhawk like the rudder pedals and stick assembly. Like Bob’s other designs, oil dampened spring shock struts are used which absorb the impact of landing instead of bouncing you back in the air. The already big aft cargo doors of the four place BH are even larger on the Model 5.
The wings used are the same as used on the Model B four place BH. Featuring a Riblett airfoil with very gentle slow speed manners, the all aluminum wings designed for 3000 lb gross weight with flush riveted skins provide low drag and good cruise speeds. Flaps and ailerons are fabric covered. To watch an interview with Bob Barrows where he describes his approach to airplane design – Click Here
We feel that our Model B four place and the new Model 5 can be compared with the C180 & C185. Both models of the Cessna use the same wing as does the Model B four place and the Model 5. The C185 is slightly larger and designed to use a bigger engine compared to the C180. Same as the Model 5 compared to the Model B. Since the Cessnas have not been built new since the early 1980’s, our planes offer a great alternative for personal use airplanes (not for commercial use) as compared to the Cessnas. So many of the Cessna 180 & C185’s have been wrecked and repaired many times. Expensive certified parts are becoming harder and harder to obtain. With a brand new Bearhawk, you also have a robust steel tube structure all around you which protects you in the event you have a bad day. Since these planes are often used for back country flying into short, ugly strips, or off airport operations, having the protection of a steel tube cage around your can be a life saver.
The smallest engine that can be used on the Model 5 is the six cylinder Lycoming 540 with parallel valve cylinders making 250 – 260 HP. The next step up in engine power options is the angle valve IO540 making 300 HP. The prototype Model 5 sports a Lycoming IO580 making 315 HP. We used this engine because our friends at Lycoming made us a great deal on this engine for our prototype Model 5.