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Overall, the Bearhawk appears to exhibit gentle and predictable stall characteristics.

Stall Speed

My Bearhawk has a stall speed of 38 KIAS (37 KTAS) at 2200lbs, 14" CG, F3 and F4, power on, with Vortex Generators installed. It is normal to see a low stall speed with power on compared to power off, partly because of the "blown flap" effect. Power off, it stalls 3 knots higher.

Forward CG

With a forward CG and power off, there is much less airflow over the elevators and hence elevator authority is reduced at low airspeed. It can then be difficult to raise the nose high enough to get a full stall.

Because of this, when performing stalls at a mid to forward CG with power off it may appear that the Bearhawk has a very docile stall, but what is actually happening is that the elevator is losing authority prior to the stall (as the airspeed reduces), and this causes the nose attitude to reduce slowly while giving the impression of a very docile stall. This effect (elevator stalling first) can be desirable on a STOL approach so long as there is an awareness of the resulting high descent rate due to the pitch attitude lowering.

Aft CG

With a CG aft of approximately 14" the elevator will usually retain authority at low speeds and a normal stall can be induced. With power off, it may be difficult to experience a wing-drop. However with power-on a wing-drop can normally be experienced.


Deploying flap lowers the power OFF stall speed by several knots. With power ON there was little difference noticed as the stall speed is already reduced by the additional airflow. There was no difference in stall speed noted between F3 and F4.

Reflexed Flaps

This wasn't tested on my aircraft. However it should be noted that reflexing the flaps (sometimes done to try and increase cruise speed) may alter the stall characteristics particularly if the ailerons haven't been reflexed.

Vortex Generators

The addition of vortex generators on my aircraft reduces the power off - full flap stall speed by 4 kts, but they had no effect on the power on full flap stall speed. They do however improve the low speed handling.

Aileron Reflex

Many Bearhawks have both ailerons rigged with their trailing edges reflexed above the trailing edges of the flaps and wingtips. This greatly lightens the roll response, reduces adverse yaw, and adds washout. Reflexing the ailerons also reduces or delays the tendency for a wing-drop to occur.

Due to this effect, my Bearhawk (with reflexed ailerons) can be flown in a relatively controlled manner into a stall, with a high sink rate. It is demonstrated with full flap, power on, the inboard wing area stalled and the outboard wing area flying. Power is kept on to ensure enough elevator authority to maintain a high AOA as the center or pressure moves aft on the inboard wing.

If a Bearhawk has been rigged with no reflex in the ailerons, then the stall characteristics may differ from those Bearhawks with aileron reflex.

Position Error at the stall speed

IAS position error can be quite high at the stall AOA. This manifests as the airspeed indicator displaying a very low speed at the stall, and is usually because the relative airflow is not in line with the pitot tube and only a reduced amount of the airflow is able to be sampled (causing IAS to under-read).

With flaps extended there can also be an area of low air pressure behind the flaps around the static ports (which causes IAS to over-read). Due to the variation in installation on an amateur built aircraft, the position error also tends to vary. There is is separate aricle on Position Error and how to measure it HERE.

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