In the early 1990's, Bob Barrows, designed the popular Bearhawk line of Aircraft (the 4-Place, the Patrol and the LSA). At the time, Bob knew that he needed a tailwheel that could take the kind of punishment that his Bearhawk builders would be putting on his airplanes. You see, Bearhawks are designed to be a utility, land just about anywhere, type of airplane.
Bearhawk pilots are known to land in the desert, in the back-country strips of the Idaho Mountains, in the riverbeds of Alaska and in fact, just about anywhere else they want to. So Bob designed the Bearhawk Tailwheel tough, to take the harsh punishment of off-airport flying. With the concept proven, he started selling the plans for it.
Pretty soon, other experimental aircraft builders saw the Bearhawk Tailwheel and started using them on their airplanes. In fact, you can find the Bearhawk Tailwheel on many of the Super Cub clones, Highlanders, and Glastars to name just a few. These tailwheels are not just for the Bearhawk and Patrol airplanes. Bearhawk Tailwheels can be used on a variety of aircraft up to a gross weight of 2500 lbs.
The original prototype Bearhawk Tailwheel now has well over 3000 hours on it with over 2500 landings in every extreme. Its been up to Alaska, to mountain strips of Idaho and Colorado and everywhere in between. The Bearhawk Tailwheel is a proven design that works great.
These tailwheels are tough enough to handle the harsh environments and rough field operations that many of our customers prefer to fly their airplanes into. The design is quite simple and therefore it's easy to maintain, giving you years of trouble free operations with very little upkeep needed.
Here are the actual weights of the tailwheels including tire, tube and wheel:
8" = 7lbs., 14 oz.
10" = 8 lbs.
Tundra - 8 lbs. 7 oz.
These tailwheels are not just for the Bearhawk and Patrol airplanes. Bearhawk Tailwheels can be used on a variety of aircraft up to a gross weight of 2500 lbs.
All tailwheel parts are professionally CNC machined and then built using 1/4" thick steel jigs. This assures consistently accurate parts from tailwheel to tailwheel. What does that mean to you? In a word, "Interchangeability". For instance you may want to purchase an 8" tailwheel and a few years later, you decide that you want a 10" tailwheel. At that point you can just purchase the fork assembly for a 10" tailwheel and it will bolt right up to your original Bearhawk Tailwheel body. You can then easily switch back and forth between a 10" and an 8" tailwheel anytime you want to, with just a quick removal of one bolt.
All of the wear parts are easy to obtain. You can either purchase them through us or you can source them on the internet.
Positive Steering and Full Swivel Castoring
The Bearhawk Tailwheel features a steel locking-pin device, giving you positive steering by using your rudder pedals. However, once the tailwheel is turned to approximately 30 degrees in either direction (like when turning around at the end of the runway or when pushing it back into your hangar), the steering arm locking device automatically releases, allowing the tailwheel to freely pivot 360-degrees for ease of ground handling. Once you straighten it back up again, the locking device automatically engages, giving you positive steering.
The Bearhawk Tailwheel is available with two different styles of mounting brackets. You can order it for the flat 1 1/2" tailspring (or 1 1/4" with shim) or for the tapered round tailspring, like those on a Cessna 185 or a Bearhawk model B, Patrol or LSA.
You can order your Bearhawk Tailwheel set up to accept an 8" tailwheel tire, a 10" tailwheel tire, or the larger and wider Tundra, which is 12" tall x 5" wide. It's your choice.
Note: We recommend the 8" tailwheel tire for most applications. If your main wheels are larger than 8.50 x 6 or larger, you might want to step up to the 10" tire for better visual balance and improved view over the nose while taxiing. If you are running large Tundra tires on the mains and doing a lot of rough field off-airport landings, we recommend the Tundra Tailwheel. The Tundra tailwheel comes with a friction adjustment to allow you to increase friction on the pivot and reduce the chance of tailwheel shimmy when landing on asphalt.