Oratex Success Stories

Bearhawk LSA

Independent Weight Comparison

    Bearhawk design engineer Bob Barrows made three test panels, one with Oratex 6000, one with 2.7 ounce Ceconite with very light coatings and one panel with normal coatings. The Oratex panel weighed 12 grams, the panel with light coatings weighed 20 grams and the panel with normal coatings weighed 30 grams. On an LSA weight savings are critical, so they were very pleased with the weight savings.

Mark Goldberg built his first airplane in 1995, a scratch built all wood FlyBaby. He followed that with an RV8 (1998) Bearhawk Four Place (2003) a Bearhawk Patrol (2012) and most recently a Bearhawk LSA in 2014. Yes, that's a lot of Bearhawks, so it's not surprising to learn that Mark is the owner of Bearhawk Aircraft, the kit manufacturing company that makes all of the kits for the Bearhawk line of aircraft, all designed by engineer Bob Barrows of Virginia.

The main reason Mark chose to cover this airplane with Oratex was to save weight. Being an LSA means accepting a 1320 pound gross weight limit, and that makes saving weight very important. Mark's Bearhawk LSA tips the scales at just 818 pounds empty, so even with full 30 gallon tanks, he can still take up 322 pounds of people and baggage before he hits the 1320 gross weight limit of the LSA rules. And since the airplane was actually designed for 1500 pound gross weight (at utility category stress factors) there is a tremendous safety margin when flying even at the LSA gross weight. When asked how he liked the Oratex process, his response was "I thought the Oratex went on well even though it was very different from past PolyFiber covering on my other planes."

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