Bob Barrows on Airplane Design
The Bearhawk 4 place, the Patrol, and the Bearhawk LSA were designed by Robert Barrows of Fincastle, Virginia. Bob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Flying since 1967, Bob has over 4,000 hours of flight time almost exclusively in tailwheel aircraft.
Bobs aviation achievements include building his first plane a scratch built Midget Mustang. Next Bob designed and built a single place, high wing, open cockpit STOL plane he named the Grasshopper which was powered by a 65 HP Continental. Next Bob designed, built, and then flew an open cockpit two seat acrobatic biplane for aerobatic competition. It was powered by a 260 HP IO-540 Lycoming. Next Bob restored and flew for a long time a C170. Then Bob finished and flew an RV3 project which he took over from the original builder.
Bob used his C170 to deliver aircraft engines which he overhauls for customers. Finding the C170 marginal for that task, in the early 1990s Bob began work designing and building his four place Bearhawk. Prototype I was powered by an Lycoming O360.
In the late 1990s Bob decided to build another Bearhawk but with the O-540 Lycoming of 260 HP for power. It was called Proto II. As Bob says: “You dont really need the Lycoming 540 to have a good flying Bearhawk, but that much power sure is exhilarating. “
Bob designed and flew the Patrol in 2002. His prototype Patrol now has over 700 hours on it. While very similar in appearance and construction to the four place Bearhawk, the Patrol incorporates some new design elements like the airfoil shaped tail ribs and a special Riblett wing airfoil.
Bob Barrows non-aviation career:
1968-1975 Bob was employed by Chicago Pneumatic designing air tools
1975-1987 Employed by Ingersoll Rand as Manager of Engineering Works for the IR plant in Roanoke, VA
1975-1985 Bob was also Chief Engineer for a company that built electricity generating windmills of 200 KW to 800 KW. Bob designed all the mechanical systems, & the windmill blades