I'd been flying my Aventura II for four years, having fun splashing down on the local lakes. During that period, though, I had started getting into the ultralight competition scene. I won third place in two-seaters in the USUA national competitions in 1999 and 2000, and first place in the ASC national competition in 2000. Obviously, I was pretty happy with my record, but a seaplane doesn't make a very good competition plane. I needed something with predictable low-speed handling, but with a high enough cruise speed to allow me to get to the competitions held all around the midwest. I wasn't in a big rush to buy something until a friend offered me a deal I couldn't resist on a low-time Rotax 503. Then suddenly I had an engine that needed a plane to bolt to it.
I'd had an eye on the Hawk for years, but I was never really tempted to check them out closely until I saw a Hawk II Arrow at Sun N Fun 2000. It was done up in dope and fabric with bright red paint and gold stripes - gorgeous! (That plane has since been featured in KitPlanes magazine as the "Millenium Hawk.") I went up with Grant Smith at Oshkosh 2000 in a Hawk II Classic and liked the way the plane flew. I'd gotten to know Chuck Slusarczyk over the years, and had drunk a fair amount of his muzzleloader and eaten some CGS bratwursts when I crashed his Hawk Owners Parties, so I decided maybe it was time to put up or shut up. I visited the factory and gave the brains of the outfit (Chuck's wife) a deposit on March 4, 2001.
March 4, 2001: We visit the factory and pick up the rib kits.
March 4 - June 9, 2001: Building the wing ribs.
June 9, 2001: We pick up the rest of the kit.
June 9 - 24, 2001: Preparing the boom tube.
June 25 - 28, 2001: Starting the cabin.
June 29 - July 8, 2001: The tail feathers.
July 9 - August 6, 2001: More fuselage work.
August 7 - 11, 2001: Attaching the belly pan.
August 12 - 19, 2001: Stringers, motor mount, more fuselage work.
October 3, 2001: Glamour shots.
November, 2001 through March, 2002: Interregnum: The move to Florida.
Late June through July 5, 2002: The instrument panel.
July 6 - 12, 2002: The wings.
July 13 - 20, 2002: Attaching the wings and control surfaces.
July 21 - 23, 2002: Landing gear and brakes.
July 24 - 25, 2002: More cockpit work, engine mounting.
July 26 - August 5, 2002: Wiring and plumbing.
August 6 - 28, 2002: Covering the control surfaces.
August 21 - September 3, 2002: Covering the wings.
November 11 - December 6, 2002: Covering the fuselage.
December 7 - 18, 2002: Spraying the PolyBrush.
December 19 - 21, 2002: Spraying the PolySpray.
December 22, 2002 - January 1, 2003: Spraying the Color.
January 1 - February 2, 2003: Reassembly.
February 2 - 12, 2003: Mounting the Engine.
February 15, 2003: FIRST FLIGHT!
April 2 - 8, 2003: At Sun N Fun.
May 12 - 23, 2003: Building the Doors.
Into the Future...
More to come! Bookmark this page and come back to check on my progress!