Bearhawk Reference CD

The long awaited, somewhat hyped, and definitely must-have Bearhawk Reference CD is now available for the ridiculously low price of $30. That's only 0.3% of the projected cost of your airframe!

Skip to Ordering Information I'm already convinced--skip the drivel and tell me how to get one!

Version 5 Released 12 November 2007

See what's new on Version 5

See what's new on Version 4

See what's new on Version 3

See what's new on Version 2

What Is It?

The CD is a "web-site" on a disc. Written in HTML, you access it using your favorite browser, just like a web site. However, all of the data is read off of the CD at high speed instead of being downloaded at a snail's pace throught the World Wide Wait. A good thing when you consider there is over 626 megabytes of stuff in pictures and text. Considering the CD will hold a maximum of 700 megabytes, that's 89% full, so you're certainly not wasting a lot of money on blank media.

Will It Run On My Computer?

More than likely. Satisfied users include Windows (Win 95 and later), Mac, and Linux, and possibly others I haven't heard about since I stopped asking for the operating system. The CD is burned on a CD-R in ISO 9660 format (the oldest and most compatible format). If you have a CD drive on your computer and it will read a CD-R (true for all except the oldest drives--if your CD drive was born after about 1999 it should work--if not, new CD drives are ridiculously cheap), then it will read the Bearhawk CD.

Everything on the CD is in either HTML or PDF format. If you can view web sites, you can view this CD.

If it doesn't work, tell me and I'll send your money back.

Closest Thing To An Info Pack

Bob Barrows will happily sell you plans, but he doesn't sell any fancy brochures or video info packs. AviPro will sell you a kit if you choose to go that way, and you can peruse their website, but they don't have any info packs either. It's easier for them to just send you here. For the same price that Van's will sell you a four-color pamphlet and an entertaining DVD, you get a CD full of enough information to scratch-build pretty much the entire airplane (once you buy the plans). This will give you more than enough information to know what you're getting into to make your decision. Whether you build from scratch or buy the Quickbuild kit, you'll find more than enough useful stuff on this CD to justify the pittance you spent on it.

What's On It?

Everything applicable to the Bearhawk that I could dig up and legally include. To wit:

So Whatsa Bearhawk?

You probably know this stuff already, but I included it anyway. Also includes the text of Budd Davisson's original article in Sport Aviation that started me on this "little" project and several other articles.

Bearhawk Plans/Kit Information

Clues on where to get the stuff you'll need, including the plans, kits, builder's manuals, and vendors for Bearhawk specific items.

Prototype Photos

Includes over 300 photos of the prototype Bearhawk. Most of these were taken by me at Sun N' Fun 99, with the others taken by Pat Fagan. With all of these photos are my comments about what you are seeing. Some photos include annotations to highlight a point. Also includes photos of Proto II sent by Mike Meador. NOTE: These photos are mostly of the aircraft completed. This CD does not replace, but rather complements the Wing and Fuselage Photo Logs that Mike Meador sells, which show Proto II under construction. You'll want those too if you don't already have them.

Construction Photos

Includes over 3500 construction photos, mostly of my Bearhawk. Others are from Pat Fagan and Del Rawlins. See how I did stuff. Each photo includes comments on the contents. Now covers wing construction, fuselage construction, and firewall forward through cowling.

Bearhawk Sightings

Pictures of completed Bearhawks out doing their thing


Photos of many of our fold, so you can put a face with the names you've seen on the Bearhawk e-mail list.

Tool Reference

Extensive notes on about every sheet metal tool you should need. Article on several big tools for steel working. EAA Chapter 1000 Standardized Work Tables. Modifications to small sheet metal brake. Safely transporting welding gases when you don't own a pickup truck. 4130 Tubing Bender. Press Dies for bending steel. Wing/Flap/Aileron Jig. Tool Suppliers. Bunch of other stuff.

Bear-Tracks and Hawk Talk Archive

The complete text and graphics of non-perishable articles from every Bear-Tracks from Winter 1995 to June 2002. AviPro Hawk Talk newsletters. Reprinted by permission.

Technical Guidance

A hyperlinked index to every issue of Bear-Tracks (much easier to find that page on fuel tank design than flipping through all of the Bear-Tracks issues). A hyperlinked index to the FULL archives (up to September 2002 (someday I'll get to adding the rest), messages with perishable or non-applicable information deleted) of the Bearhawk e-mail list, including the old list (including the "missing" year), the egroups list, and the Yahoo! groups list. Again, easier to find stuff than paging through all of the messages. Also includes discussions of design modifications and why you probably don't want to do a lot of them.

Bearhawk Web Sites

Links thereunto.

Bearhawk Humor

We take no responsibility for this silliness, even if we did write part of it.

Reference Material

Includes the complete FAA Advisory Circular AC 43.13-1B, Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices -- Aircraft Inspection and Repair, 8 September 1998, FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-89A, Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, 24 May 1995, and FAA Advisory Circular AC 20-27E, Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft, 26 September 2001. List of Tony Bingelis articles in Sport Aviation that never made it into his books. Where to get other must-have references.

Additional Web Links -- courtesy of the EAA Chapter 1000 Web Site.

New On Version 2

First of all, what's not new: Version 2 contains everything that was on Version 1. You don't need to have Version 1 to enjoy Version 2. This is a complete replacement, not an addition.

Version 1 was about 70 MB of stuff. Version 2 weighs in at 120 MB. All for the same low price.

We've added Budd Davisson's second report on the Bearhawk, this time of the 260 HP Proto II, courtesy of

More prototype pictures of Proto II. Includes the Utility Door System (UDS), differences in door hinges, and Bob's homebuilt tailwheel.

Construction Photos: More from my project, including the assembly of the first wing up through the point where it was moved out of the workshop. Also all of Bill Johnson's excellent photos of his fuselage and tail construction.

Tool Reference: More neat stuff, including bender for the fuel bay hat sections, bench top rivet cutter, and installing Rivnuts.

Bear-Tracks: Now includes January 2000, April 2000, July 2000, and October 2000.

Also included are the archives of the e-mail traffic on the Bearhawk e-mail list. We've been a verbose group this year. In 2000 alone we've communicated about as much as we did from 1996-1999, so this section has approximately doubled in size.

Versions 2.01 through 2.03 made small additions of stuff also available on this site or the Bearhawk group site on Yahoo. Version 2.04 fixes the OS specific problem in AC43-13 and adds the January 2001 Bear-Tracks.

New On Version 3

Two years in the making, it's finally here! Once again, Version 3 contains everything that was on Version 2. You don't need to have Version 2 to enjoy Version 3. This is a complete replacement, not an addition.

Version 1 was about 70 MB of stuff. Version 2 weighed in at 120 MB. Now Version 3 is just over 200 MB. All for the same low price.

Construction Photos: Previously my construction photos stopped when the first wing was complete. Now they cover tail construction, fuselage construction through and past finish welding, and front seat installation. You'll want the cool tips on how to bend all of those weird angles in the fuselage, cuz as budd davisson sez "tain't nuttin' straight in a Bearhawk!" Also Erbman's worm drive trim system and some preliminary stuff on fabric covering.

Bearhawk Color Schemes: So far it only contains details on my color scheme, but there's room for others as they come in.

Bear-Tracks: Now includes up through June 2002.

Bearhawkers! I've been collecting pictures of y'all and putting them here. Find out that, just like radio DJs, Bearhawkers look totally different than you pictured them based on their e-mails.

And of course, there are the updated archives of the e-mail traffic on the Bearhawk e-mail list. It's complete up through about mid-September 2002.

New On Version 4

Three years in the making, it's finally here! I had to take a break on my project to let the funding catch up, so I took the time to do this update. Once again, Version 4 contains everything that was on Version 3. You don't need to have Version 3 to enjoy Version 4. This is a complete replacement, not an addition.

Version 4 is now 430 MB of stuff. Yes, I raised the price slightly because you're getting so much more stuff now and because so many satisfied buyers kept telling me that I was selling them way too cheap.

So what's new?

More magazine articles about the Bearhawk. Also a short video of the Bearhawk flying at AirVenture 2005.

Bearhawk Plans and Kit Information: Where to buy plans. All about AviPro and how to buy a kit (if desired). Bearhawk pieces parts vendors. How to get Builder's Manuals if you're not used to reading blueprints.

Greatly expanded Construction Photos: Since Version 3, I've fitted out the fuselage, put it on the landing gear, attached the wings, hung the engine, and built the cowling, complete with the first Bearhawk cowl flap. All of this has been added.

Bearhawk Sightings: Photos of Bearhawks at Fincastle and fly-ins around the world. Also check out the Bearhawk Pot Rack.

More Bearhawkers! Photos of more of your best friends you've never met.

Tool Reference: Now contains making your own extension drill bit and how to install BNC connectors.

Hawk Talk added to the Bear-Tracks archives.

Reference Material: Now includes Lycoming Engine Designation tables, Hartzell Aluminum Hub Propeller Model Identification, and info on Camlocs.

What Version 4 does not include: The archives of the Bearhawk e-mail list are unchanged from Version 3. Adding three very active years worth of stuff would have added several months to the release date. Chances are you've seen that stuff already, and it is available from other sources. Someday we'll catch up on that.

New On Version 5

As Bearhawk #164 "Three Sigma" nears completion, the costs really start adding up. Here's your chance to help finance a small part of its completion. This version adds the last two years of progress for your education, and what a two years they have been. Moreso that any other version, this update covers stuff that kit builders will have to do.

Once again, Version 5 contains everything that was on Version 4. You don't need to have Version 4 to enjoy Version 5. This is a complete replacement, not an addition.

So what's been added? Great question! To wit:

Covering and painting the fuselage and tail - not a trivial task

All the little details of installing all those accessories in the engine compartment, including installing a dual Lightspeed Engineering ignition system, custom exhaust with mufflers, and engine instrumentation. Loading up the firewall with accessories and thermal and acoustical insulation.

Loading up the instrument panel with enough stuff to make Bob Barrows pass out. Clues as to how to make a very complex avionics installation go easily and smoothly (other than paying someone else to do it).

Increasing your empty weight by running miles of wiring here, there, and everywhere in an organized and serviceable fashion.

Autopilot servo installation.

Moving the Fuselage to the airport, with a little visit from California's finest...

Erbman's sample Pilot Operating Handbook (about as complete as it can be without flight testing).

Tips on building a Paint Booth and Painting by someone who hates to do it but seems to be getting excellent results.

How to build a rotisserie for your fuselage, wings, and miscellaneous parts.

Fabricating hoses and firesleeves.

Georg Himmeröder's Bearhawk Video from Oshkosh 2005. Not exactly a feature film, but it shows you some exciting takeoffs and landings complete with impressive sounds. Just right for those hooked on YouTube, without the long download times.

More Bearhawk Sightings and Bearhawkers.

No, we still haven't added to the archives from the e-mail list. That's a project for after "Three Sigma" is flying.

Here's what the contents page looks like. (Note: None of the links on the contents page shown here will work--it's just a demo)

So How Do I Get One???

Can't stand it now? Just gotta have one? Do you have $30 you can part with? Then make a simple choice. You can order it online with your credit card or you can order it by snail mail using a check or money order.

Ordering Online

Online ordering is handled through PayPal, which requires you to have a PayPal account. If you don't have a PayPal account, you will be prompted to create one (at no charge) during the transaction.

To order a Bearhawk CD online, simply click the button below.

Ordering By Snail Mail

Simply send to me by snail mail the following items:

1) A check or money order for $30 US made out to "Russ Erb". (Bearhawkers outside the U.S. please see below)
2) The mailing address you want me to send it to.
3) Your e-mail address (optional, but makes it easier to contact you if necessary)

Send these items by snail mail to:

Bearhawk CD
Russ Erb
3435 Desert Cloud Ave
Rosamond CA 93560-7692

(Bearhawkers outside the U.S.: Preferred payment is an "International Money Order" or a check drawn on a U.S. bank. Secondary choices from Canada are Canadian Postal Money Orders or a "US Dollar World Money Order" from the Royal Bank of Canada (I found a place that will cash these, but it isn't as convenient))


Here's what some Bearhawk builders have said about this CD:

Russ has done it again with his CD reference. It is packed with every imaginable thing you could want as far as Bearhawk information, as well as a superb compilation of photos of various components and assemblies, all in a very easy to access format. Even I was able to find my way around. I would highly recommend it to everyone. I don't know how he manages to get any work done on his plane when he puts in this kind of effort on other projects.

Pat Fagan #232 Pearblossom CA

I have just finished reviewing the "beta" version of Russ Erb's Bearhawk Reference CD and offer the following comments:

1) Russ is STARK RAVING CRAZY. Anybody who would put this much effort into a CD for other Bearhawk builders should probably be locked up somewhere. Specifically, in his workshop, to channel his energy into a more appropriate direction.

2) This mental illness has resulted in an outstanding resource for the rest of us. Anybody who calls him or herself a Bearhawk builder should have the CD. There is a HUGE amount of information on it which I do not have time to even attempt to describe here.

3) His timing could hardly have been worse. I am now energized to head into the shop to transform raw metal into Bearhawk parts, and I have to get on a plane to Ketchikan in the morning. What a rotten thing to do to a fellow homebuilder.

Del Rawlins-- #316 Cordova, AK

Just got my copy of Erbman’s Bearhawk CD version 4.0. First thing I did was put it to the test. My latest mental block has been the construction of the Landing Gear Shock Strut. I haven’t been able to satisfy my need for more detail – until now! Russ detailed it to the point that the mental block I have had is now clear. That alone made the purchase of the latest version well worth it!

Although I have not had time yet to explore it completely – I can tell that this is not just a new version with a little more info added. It is clearly a lot more information and added features. I highly recommend it to anyone building or considering building a Bearhawk – even if you have an earlier CD version. This is a "must have" - you won't be disapointed.

Thanks Russ – your assistance is greatly appreciated. I’m looking forward to exploring more of this latest version of the Bearhawk CD.

BH #733

Ok Guys....

I just got the new CD today and Russ is KrAy-ZEE for selling these things for a paltry thirty bucks. If the money scares you, just don't buy that next case of barley-pop, you will have enough for the CD. Or, skip just a half rack and three packs of smokes and you'll have enough. Or, better yet, stop smoking (MUCH better for you) and buy a CD and eventually have enough for a set of plans, etc, etc.

For those that don't smoke and/or drink, look in the couch for change, skip eight lattes, skip your next contribution to the DNC (RNC excluded :)), sell your organs, do WHATEVER is won't regret it!

An utterly shameless plug by:


E-Mail: Russ Erb at

Revised -- 25 August 2008