Bearhawk Aircraft Announces New Ownership

AUSTIN, TEXAS, MARCH 7, 2024 – Bearhawk Aircraft announced today a change of ownership for the kit-manufacturing company. Bearhawk Aircraft kits are renown for their superior strength, off-field capabilities and higher than expected cruise performance. New company owners will carry on the successes of Bearhawk kit-built aircraft, available in five distinct models.

Virgil Irwin, of Fairview Oklahoma, took delivery of Bearhawk Aircraft assets on February 2, 2024, initiating the company’s relocation from Texas to Oklahoma. For prior owner Mark Goldberg, focus has long been on the future success of the company, as well as the factory where kits are manufactured. Goldberg commented, “After turning 70 years old twenty months ago, I began to think it was time to let someone younger take charge of the company.”

Irwin entered into the Bearhawk world as a customer. “At the time, I was in search of a utility airplane that could serve overseas in a remote environment. I needed true off-airport capability with great cross-country performance.” Discussions with Goldberg commenced, and good timing allowed him to be the first kit customer for the Bearhawk Model 5, so named for being the 5th design from veteran design engineer Bob Barrows. Furthermore, the Model 5 is a 6-place aircraft with unique and outstanding qualities.

Irwin added, “As I began to build the airplane, I was blown away by the amazing craftsmanship that went into it and the potential that the entire Bearhawk line had. Barrows has without a doubt designed a line of aircraft that have carved out their own segment of the market.” Irwin posited one thought “a couple of times” while building the aircraft, “I wonder if Mark will be ready to retire soon?”

Goldberg called Irwin shortly after he began flying his newly completed Bearhawk Model 5 to ask if he would be interested in displaying the airplane at AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. Irwin accepted and in July headed to Oshkosh not knowing what was to come of the week. While getting to know each other at the show, “I [Irwin] shared my dreams of owning my own aircraft company one day with Mark, and that is when we started exploring the purchase of the company.”

In 2001, Goldberg started the kit manufacturing business in Mexico where he had a long-standing relationship with those now operating the factory. “I was blown away by the quality of construction, cleanliness of the factory, and overall work environment,” Irwin exclaimed on visiting the factory. “Mark truly did what many have failed to do.” Impressed by a manufacturing system that has been able to reliably produce quality aircraft, he credits Goldberg for having built the Bearhawk brand from the ground up, noting, “his hard work is evident throughout.”

Solidifying the relationship between the two, Goldberg had this to say about Irwin: “I became convinced of his abilities, honesty and willingness to do the hard work to take the company to the next level. Virgil will be a great captain to drive the company going forward.”

Irwin and his wife Mackenzie, now co-owners of Bearhawk Aircraft, have big plans for the company. Irwin elaborated, “We will be revising kit manuals, developing new products, and overall expanding the offerings that Bearhawk has for its customers. Our new facility in Fairview, Oklahoma, will be home to our demo planes, transition training, a build-assist center, warehousing, and so much more. We look forward to welcoming all to the new facility and we anticipate hosting several events throughout the year.”

Goldberg summarized, “I am especially appreciative of all the new friends made during these 23 years. This includes customers all over the world who are now friends, and vendors and others who have become much more than just business associates. I learned a tremendous amount from working with design engineer Bob Barrows whose engineering talent is just off the scale. My involvement with the company will continue as long as is needed to make the transition smooth and easy.”

All models in the Bearhawk lineup appeal to backcountry and cross-country flyers alike, and are designed to perform a variety of flying activities. The original 4-Place Bearhawk and new Model 5 fill a utility and transport role extremely well with their large cabins. The Bearhawk Patrol is a tandem two-place version that excels at accessing remote airstrips. The Bearhawk LSA is a lightweight design that meets current Sport Pilot requirements. The Bearhawk Companion is a side-by-side 2-place model with superior strength and payload capability. Each aircraft excels at stable slow flight and attains higher than expected cruise speeds. Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high quality quick-build kits for all five models.

For more information on Bearhawk Aircraft, visit www.bearhawkaircraft.com, or contact Bearhawk at info@bearhawkaircraft.com or 580-744-9084.

– Bearhawk –

Virgil Irwin (left) and Mark Goldberg at AirVenture Oshkosh 2024.
Mark Goldberg (left) and Virgil Irwin at the Bearhawk Aircraft kit factory in Mexico.

Leave a Reply