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Eric Newton's N57EN

On June 7, 2008, Eric Newton wrote:

Today at 7:15 AM (CDT) Bearhawk #682 (N57EN) otherwise known as the Miss'ippi Mudbug lifted off the runway with builder Eric Newton at the controls. I will send pictures as soon as I get them from the friend who took them.
I had decided to feed in the throttle gradually so I would have time to react and correct any straying from the centerline.  Well she was airborne before I got the throttle all the way in so I just went ahead and pushed the throttle full open and kept the climb speed at about 100 mph.  I can't tell you the climb rate as I was too busy making sure that I had good temps on the engine and staying close to the runway.  (Later climbs at altitude showed over 1200 ft per minute at about 95 mph but that's unofficial).
I leveled off at 2000' and brought the RPM's back to 2400.  Indicated airspeed was about 125mph to 130mph at this point. I just did some nice easy 30 degree bank turns left and right, getting the feel for the airplane.  The engine temps all stayed well within the green.  Oil temp stabilized at about 195F degrees and the highest CHT was 360F degrees. Letting go of the controls, I have a slightly heavy right wing.  In straight and level cruise flight, I took my feet off the rudder pedals and the ball stayed perfectly centered so no rudder trim is needed. 
I climbed up to 3000' and did some slow flight down to about 60 mph with no flaps and then with 2 notches of flaps down to about 55 mph.  I did turns left and right with both configurations and speeds.  The ailerons and rudder had very good feel the whole time and did not feel at all mushy to me.
I then just flew it around, did some 45 degree bank turns. and spent about an hour just enjoying the beautiful morning flying this wonderful airplane.  After about 1 hour, I headed over to my new airport with a turf runway (Shade Tree - MS82) and flew around the pattern a couple of times and then set up on final with 2 notches of flaps and 70 MPH.  I let the speed bleed off to about 65 on short final and lined up the left hinge line on the top cowling with a fixed point at the other end of the runway as I flared, keeping it there with the rudder pedals. As it slowed about 1 foot off the runway, I just held it off, pulling the stick back gradually, holding it off until I was nose high, one very small bounce, stick all the way back, then it just kind of settle down to a nice smooth 3 point landing.   The roll out was straight and true and with very little rudder input needed and no braking at all as it slowed to a taxi speed.
The owner of the airport came across the radio saying "Beautiful landing Eric, Taxi it over here to the barn and meet the fellows"  As I taxied up to the small building with big a front porch I saw about 10 old timers sitting in big oversized rocking chairs.  As I shut it down, about 4 or 5 came walking over to the airplane, shaking my hand in congratulations and looking the Miss'ippi Mudbug over real well, pointing at this and that as they walked all around the airplane checking it out.
What a wonderful feeling. 
One Set of Bob Barrows plans - $285
Parts to build the airplane    -   $30,000
The first flight in an airplane that you built yourself. - PRICELESS
Keep building guys - its really worth it!!!!
Stay tuned for flight tests and real numbers.


Here is a link to Eric's Website and his first flight report.


Eric is the producer of the wonderful Bearhawk builders manual. If you would like to build a Bearhawk just like the one Eric built, go to his website at http://mybearhawk.com/buildermanual.html and order his manuals. They will help guide you through the building process. These manuals have been fully approved by the designer, Bob Barrows and as owners of these manuals, I highly recommend them!!


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