Taking a kit aircraft company to full ASTM approval is a very big decision for small companies. Simply assuring you have documents to support a declaration is, by itself, a major task. Then comes a decision about fully building or going the Experimental LSA kit route. A company must first fully build and certify at least one Special LSA, but once done, they can elect to provide a kit only…or to factory build and supply kits. Small shops could fully build 20-30 SLSA and supply additional ELSA kits and parts to make a healthy business. *** We may finally see such entries. Recently I wrote an updated pilot report on the T-Bird I from Indy Aircraft. Boss Bret Kivell said Indy is working on approval. As an ELSA, the single seater could be HKS (four-stroke) powered, which would make it one sweet sport aircraft. Likewise development is underway at Paul Mather’s M-Squared Aircraft where his Sport 1000 could gain SLSA approval later this year.
CGS Hawk Aviation Hawk II ArrowLake Wales, FL 33859
You get two things when you buy a Hawk: the airplane and Chuck. The Hawk will cost you a shade over $9,000 (single place; 447 engine). Chuck comes free with the deal. CGS boss Slusarczyk is a fascinating character and when he starts talking, a crowd often gathers. He’s also a forward-thinking designer. Eleven years ago, CGS Aviation was the first to abandon the silly FAA requirement that ultralights had to be foot launchable. The fully enclosed Hawk set the industry on its ear and never looked back. Today’s Hawk has seen many refinements but the basic idea was so good it continues to sell. That’s because a Hawk does most things right, making its owners some of the most loyal I’ve ever met. The cabin is spacious and refinements to the Hawk Arrow make it more comfortable and usable than before. It flies conventionally with very predictable handling, strong performance, and it takes off and lands like you had an autopilot engaged.
|Empty weight||420 pounds|
|Gross weight||950 pounds|
|Wingspan||31 feet 6 inches|
|Wing area||159 square feet|
|Wing loading||6.0 pounds per square foot|
|Length||22 feet 2 inches|
|Height||4 feet 8 inches|
|Kit type||Assembly kit|
|Build time||100-200 hours|
|Standard engine||Rotax 503 DC 1|
|Power loading||19.0 pounds per hp|
|Cruise speed||55-75 mph|
|Never exceed speed||100 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||700 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||220 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||200 feet|
|Notes:||1 Engine on this test Hawk II Arrow was the 80-hp Hirth F-30; power loading 11.9 pounds per hp.|
|Standard Features||Tandem 2-seater, dual controls, flaps, tri-gear/taildragger (steerable nosewheel/tailwheel), semisymmetrical airfoil, lower rib battens, fiberglass gear legs, 16-inch wheels, curved overhead/windshield, full enclosure, doors, 4-point shoulder harnesses, streamlined struts, 10-gallon tank, 2-blade wood prop.|
|Options||55-hp Hirth 2703, 65-hp Hirth 2706, 80-hp Hirth F-30, 65-hp Rotax 582, 60-hp HKS 700E, electric start, folding wings/tail, mechanical/hydraulic brakes, fiberglass nose cone, dope and fabric covering, trim tabs, 10-gallon wing tanks, wheel pants, ballistic chute, instruments, floats, 2- or 3-blade composite prop; quick-build kit, fully-assembled option.|
|Construction||Aluminum airframe, steel components, fiberglass gear legs, Dacron wing, tail, and control surface coverings. Made in the USA; distributed by a U.S.-owned company.|
Cosmetic appearance, structural integrity, achievement of design goals, effectiveness of aerodynamics, ergonomics.
Pros - Wisely unchanged for 20-plus years, the Hawk remains a great choice among all ultralights. Behaves exceedingly well, applicable for both beginner and veterans. Many satisfied customers. Good safety record with a fleet of 1,500 Hawks. Company owner Chuck Slusarczyk is one of the most memorable characters in ultralight aviation.
Cons - Design is not the latest-and-greatest though Hawk lacks for nothing except perhaps new styling. Tandem seating may be optimal for aerodynamic reasons but you can't see your passenger. All-aluminum structure carries somewhat more build complexity than welded steel fuselages.
Subsystems available to pilot such as: Flaps; Fuel sources; Electric start; In-air restart; Brakes; Engine controls; Navigations; Radio; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Reasonably effective brakes operated by lever on joystick. Electric starting eases effort with this 80-horse Hirth engine. Flaps are standard, work very well, and are easily operated. Flap position easily identified. Panel could accommodate more instruments, GPS, and/or radio.
Cons - Nondifferential brakes did not aid with steering. No trim installed (though hardly needed if one pilot operates aircraft). In-cabin pull starter on a smaller engine will be challenging due to the layout. Refueling causes some fumes inside cabin.
Instrumentation; Ergonomics of controls; Creature comforts; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Spacious cabin is larger than other tandem, enclosed ultralights. Entry is simple; bottom first (lowering nosewheel), then swing legs in. Seating quite comfortable. Reach to controls very convenient. Some area available for cargo if weight and balance verified.
Cons - Sits on tail when unoccupied, frowned upon by some potential buyers. Zippered doors seem too basic for those used to general aviation aircraft (though can be folded inward a bit to allow ventilation). No quick seat adjustment. Tandem seating is not universally preferred.
Taxi visibility; Steering; Turn radius; Shock absorption; Stance/Stability; Braking.
Pros - Taxi visibility is good, even to the sides as you sit at leading edge of wing. Good clearance on rougher fields, thanks to tall gear position. Steering was quite responsive, pivoting with ease. Wide stance offered good stability. Good gear absorption.
Cons - Though steering is responsive, turn radius is not particularly tight and without differential braking, planning will be required on a crowded ramp. Visibility from rear seat is much diminished (especially without a skylight).
Qualities; Efficiency; Ease; Comparative values.
Pros - One of the best ultralight aircraft for takeoffs and landings. Excellent approach to landing visibility. Recommended 50-mph approach has a liberal safety margin. Little precision demanded to achieve smooth touchdowns. Good energy retention in ground effect. Flaps were very helpful on approach. Good controls for crosswind operations.
Cons - Slips will run out of forward stick if flaps are fully deployed; use one or the other (flaps work so well, no slip is needed). My landings without flaps were consistently firmer, suggesting you should use them on all landings. No other negatives.
Quality and quantity for: Coordination; Authority; Pressures; Response; and Coupling.
Pros - Excellent overall control feel and response; not too light or quick yet you get what you expect easily and authoritatively. Steep turns were comfortable and efficient. Control harmony is very good. Pitch response will be comfortable to pilots of all experience levels.
Cons - Roll rate isn't fast and runs out of range in some conditions (though these are outside most normal use). Adverse yaw was quite significant; coordinated control usage recommended at all times. No other negatives.
Climb; Glide; Sink; Cruise/stall/max speeds; Endurance; Range; Maneuverability.
Pros - Hirth remains one of the smoothest engines in ultralight aircraft. The Hawk flew efficiently, holding altitude even at power settings down into the low 4,000-rpm range. Performed very well in low-and-slow flying, which I consider to be the ultralight realm. Factory literature speed figures proved accurate.
Cons - Not a particularly "fast" ultralight. Climb and sink rates seemed only average, not exceptional. Though good overall, performance doesn't stand out in any category.
Stall recovery and characteristics; Dampening; Spiral stability; Adverse yaw qualities.
Pros - Mild, easily recovered stalls for all types attempted, even when aggravated. Power-on stalls never broke. Stall speeds down into the 30s. No spiral instability noted during any maneuver attempted. Cockpit cage has proven its ability to prevent some injuries.
Cons - Adverse yaw requires coordinated use of controls (as on many other aircraft designs). Deep slips with full flaps will run out of control range; I recommend using only the flaps, which are quite efficient.
Addresses the questions: "Will a buyer get what he/she expects to buy, and did the designer/builder achieve the chosen goal?"
Pros - Excellent choice for a recreational aircraft. Priced reasonably. The Hawk, and its popular designer, are icons of ultralight aviation; when you sell, recognition won't be a problem. For overall flight and handling qualities, all the Hawks are among my top recommendations.
Cons - Design has changed little over the years, reducing its appeal to those who want the newest creations. A few ultralight designs might have even lower prices. Folding wing is optional.
The nation is focused on the celebration of 100 years of powered flight, thanks to efforts by a couple of Ohio brothers in 1903. But ultralight aviation has its own bigger-than-life hero from yesteryear and he’s also from Ohio. Chuck Slusarczyk needs no introduction because almost everyone involved with ultralight aviation for any length of time knows the jolly designer of the Hawk series of ultralights. Chuck first flew gliders just as did Orville and Wilbur Wright. Like the famous Wrights, he ignored those who said he couldn’t do what he hoped to do – in Chuck’s case, bring to market an ultralight that broke new ground in several important ways. For one, you had no chance to foot-launch it.For those who became ultralight enthusiasts more recently, the rule in the early 1980s – before passage of FAR Part 103 – was that ultralights had to be foot-launchable. When Slusarczyk first introduced the Hawk, a demonstration of foot-launching was required; since the Hawk was fully enclosed, the pilot could not provide the demonstration, if asked.