Australasian Harrier


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for New Zealand

<Plans #849>
Are you a Kiwi Bearhawker?

 Welcome to a beginning.  After two years research I have settled on the Bearhawk as our homebuilt aircraft and after some further thought I decided to call the aircraft Kahu in honour of the Australasian Harrier.  I see Kahu every day hanging in the air swooping and gliding about low and slow.  Kahu can explode from the ground carrying their sometimes heavy loads as well as being almost everywhere, mountain top to valley floor, city edge to wide open tussock land.  The Bearhawk exhibits very similar flight charactistics and is why we are calling our plane Kahu.

Thus begins an exciting journey.  I hope this experience will be rewarding and provide my entire family with a shared interest that becomes a useful asset to our future.  Of course it may fill our garage with neat tools and introduce us to some truly remarkable people too!  Join to the Bearhawk Yahoo group to see what I mean.
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Will Graffs Beauty
Will Graffs stunning example of the Bearhawk

Explore Bearhawk features, specification and performance

A few things about my history 

I  was born in 1965.  Just in time to see Apollo take man to the moon.  As I grew up aviation was part of our everyday lives.  Air Force Harvard trainers droned on by through the hills resplendent in their yellow jackets.  Helicopters in many variations were ever present.  Hiller 12E's initially then Hughes 300's through to the Hughes 500C's & D's were involved in hunting Red deer for their meat and then doing live recovery.  Look on the links page to get further information on the deer business.  Later Bell Jet Rangers were used for aerial spraying and fertiliser spreading.   
Of course growing up on a farm we were constantly under "attack" from topdressing aircraft.  My earliest memories were of the Snow, Piper Pawnee, the Thrush Commander soon followed and then the Fletcher FU24 took over completely.  I have the most wonderful memories of those big radials throbbing away at idle waiting to be loaded, the prop wash so strong I could hardly stand up.  An ear splitting snarl gunned the aircraft down the strip and off the end seemingly to his demise as he disappeared from view only to reappear clawing his way up into the air before starting his "bombing" run.  I can still smell the mix of Avgas and Superphosphate.  It was truly wonderful but strangely something I never had a desire to do.  I watched and enjoyed other people flying but my urges were not for flying.  Maybe it seemed out of reach.  Those memories are very strong and precious all the same.

And now

Older wiser and poorer than I have ever been with three children under six but I have a dream.  I want to build and fly my own aircraft.  Blame for this obsession lies with my father in-law and a couple of local guys whose little tour of the Southern Alps in a Piper Cub and Cessna 150 STOL rekindled something in me.  Freedom to fly and be able to land where I want and when I want.  So began a small obsession.  Find an aircraft that can do all these things yet is affordable. 
Look here for my report on other aircraft I considered.  Also check out the Warbirds page.  These magnificent machines that dictated the course of World War II deserve a closer look.  Not only are they wonderful aircraft but the technology they contain is largely what we use to this day.  Maybe one day I will fly one of these beauties too.

There have been visitors since 5 June 2005.