Tom Marson's Dakota Hawk

  Sixty-nine year-old Thomas Marson's Dakota Hawk is the second customer-built Dakota Hawk flying.  His plane now has 250 hours as of mid-December 1999.   Tom reports that 72 different people have graced the passenger seat in his Hawk.

  Powered by an 85hp Continental, Tom reports a full-throttle cruise speed of 104 mph with a stall speed of 35 mph. Typical cruise at 2450 rpm and 3000 feet is approximately 95 mph. Rate of climb with 2 passengers (combined total weight of 390 lbs.) is 750 fpm at 60 mph with and outside temperature of 50 degrees. Solo rate of climb in the winter is at or near 900 fpm.

The plane's structure has been left pretty standard with the exceptions being the beefed-up landing gear and an additional 24" of wingspan totalling 30.5 feet. Tom built the extra 24" into the root of the wing thus increasing the flaps 20%. Tom credits Steve Lambert at FFP for being especially helpful in his construction period. Tom used 1.7 oz. fabric with Blue River 7601 water-based primer filler and Sikkens polyurethane enamel finish. Fuel capacity is 19 gallons with 7 of those gallons occupying the right wing and the remainder in the cowl.

Tom has authored a booklet called "Tips of Builders of the Dakota Hawk and other FFP planes." This booklet includes construction tips, common mistakes made while building, and flight test parameters. He sells it for $15.00 a copy. Tom can be reached at via email for information on the booklet or details about his Hawk. Calls can be made to 715-386-3448.

Tom's airplane took him about 1500 hours to construct with 300 of those 1500 hours devoted to fitting the C-85-12 F engine to the structure. After two false starts on propellers, Tom ended up using the 2-blade 70" Warp. The prop and engine have been dynamically balanced.  Enjoy these pictures of that nice bird...

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Tom Marson's N21298

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Clean looking instrument panel

Added 12/12/2002

  The attached pictures are of to modifications that were done to my Dakota Hawk within the last year. The speed fairings for the upper lift strut are dress up features  that really work and do improve speed performance slightly. 

  They are made by making a light cardboard pattern by guessing and then continueing to cut and try until the fit is good.  Use soft aluminum (nontempered) so the fitting and shapeing around the lift struts will no crink or wrinkle it.  The only took me maybe 3 hours for all 4 of them. They do provide an improved appearance. The speed increase is small and not easy  to determine. The second picture is an important improvement. The kit solution to Tailwheel spring is two bolts set thru the bottom of the fuselage and through the tailwheel springs.

  After flying a while one will find the "wrenching action of the tailwheel  will have loosend the bolts by wearing out the wood of the bottom of the fuselage.  The first solution  is to drill out to one size larger and put new bolts in----even this will eventually loosen.

  The foolproof bracket I made puts all the side to side stress on the rigid sides of the fuselage where no wear can occur. The plate is made of 1/8 inch mild steel. Note how the leaf springs are help permanently in place by the channel. The bolts now act only in tension----- the way they are designed to do.

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New Submission 10/13/05