Earlier this week I received the following from Bob Barrows in response to my inquiry about building my Patrol wings without flaps:
“The Patrol will do fine without flaps on take off. You will have a problem with float on landings and the resale value will be a lot less.”
I have given Mr. Barrows reply much thought and have decided to proceed with making my Patrol wings without flaps for the following reasons:
1. I plan to polish my wings and I think they will look better without flaps.
2. I will regularly fly from the back seat; my passengers will not be pilots, so I will need to land the plane often with no flaps anyway.
3. I did not choose the Bearhawk Patrol for its STOL capability, I choose it for its pay load capability, tandem seating, and rugged good looks.
4. Super Decathlons are almost identical in specification to the Bearhawk Patrol, including wing span and wing loading; they do just fine without flaps.
5. I love to forward slip; it makes me feel like I’m really flying.
6. I will never sell my plane.
I believe that “float on landing” during a no flap landing is almost always caused by flying base faster then Vref (1.3 times Vs). Knowing this speed is tricky in a plane like the Patrol because of the wide range of weights that it can be flown. These different weights require the pilot to recalculate Vref according to the current load. To ease this task I will placard the following V speeds near the airspeed indicator and fly base at Vref: