Hawk II Arrow

Well, here I go, embarking on another great adventure. You're invited to look over my shoulder as I build a Hawk II Arrow.

My name is Steve Bensinger; I now live near Lakeland, Florida (the home of Sun N Fun). When I began this project I lived in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. I've been flying ultralights since 1984. The Hawk will be the fourth plane I've built; the first one was a 1984 Teratorn Tierra (now sold by Golden Circle and called the T-Bird), the second was a 1993 RANS S-4 Coyote, and the third was a 1996 Arnet-Pereyra Aventura II seaplane. You can see the Aventura building process at my Building an Aventura II web site. I have since built yet another plane, a single seat Hawk Sport, which you can see here.

CGS Aviation of Broadview Heights, Ohio USA (near Cleveland) manufactures the Hawk line of light single and two seat planes.

The following information defines what ultralights are in the USA, and gives a little background on ultralight construction and powerplant choices. Or if you like, you can skip the fluff and start building!

In the USA, this plane qualifies as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) under the newly released Sport Pilot Rule.

It also qualifies under FAA's "51 percent rule" to be registered as an Amateur-Built Experimental aircraft.


This plane's design and construction use the same materials and design concepts as many current light plane designs. Much of what you see here is similar to other popular models from RANS (the Coyote and Airaile models), Quad City (the Challenger), Flightstar, Quicksilver, and many others.


This airframe of this kit consists of aircraft quality aluminum tubing and fittings bolted and pop-riveted together using aviation-grade fasteners. The wing and control surfaces can be covered with heavy-duty dacron cloth, much like what is used with boat sails - or with dope and fabric, a process that uses a special heat-shrinkable polyester cloth and special paints that seal and protect the cloth. I picked the dope and fabric process for my plane.

The Engine

The engine I originally planned to use was a 52HP, two-cycle, two-cylinder, air-cooled powerplant sold by Rotax (a subsidiary of Bombardier) of Austria. It incorporates two Bing slide-type carburetors, a dual CDI ignition system (two spark plugs per cylinder), and a gear reduction system at a ratio of 2.58:1 to drive the prop. By the time the kit was finished I ended up installing a Rotax 582, a 65HP two cylinder, two cycle water cooled powerplant with a 3:1 gear reduction.

Does Bombardier sound familiar? Originally these engines were designed to drive water pumps, then were redesigned for snowmobiles, and lately are being used in personal watercraft. The engine used here has been specifically designed by Rotax for use in light aircraft. They have a very high power-to-weight ratio, mostly due to the fact that they produce power on every piston stroke, as opposed to four-cycle engines which produce power on every other stroke.

There has always been concern about the reliability of two-cycle engines because they work harder than a comparable four-cycle. However, with proper maintenance they can be very reliable. This means you have to either be knowledgeable about your engine, or have the money to pay somebody else to maintain it. These engines do not have to be babied, but they do need to be properly maintained, or you will have an engine failure. Of course, that applies to any engine!

Enough Already! Let's start building!

Other Sites

Recreational Mobility, a good place to get your aircraft supplies.


Aero Sports Connection


United States Ultralight Association


Experimental Aircraft Association

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Do you have any questions or comments? Email me!

 Apple Computer's Web Site

  Copyright 2001 Steve Bensinger

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