Designer Chuck Slusarczyk established himself as a hang glider designer in the early 1970s, including producing engine power units for hang gliders. In October 1979, his company, Chuck's Glider Supplies was renamed CGS Aviation. In 1980 Slusarczyk surveyed pilots at Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture to find out what they wanted in a new ultralight aircraft design. The survey revealed pilots were looking for:
When the resulting Hawk first flew in January 1982 it was the first ultralight aircraft with an enclosed cockpit and to use strut bracing. The aircraft was intended to meet the requirements of the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles category, including that category's maximum 254 lb (115 kg) empty weight.
The Hawk wing is strut-braced, constructed from aluminum tubing and covered with either pre-sewn Dacron envelopes or doped aircraft fabric. The wing also features flaps. The fuselage is of similar construction and uses a curved boom tube for its main structural member. The curved tube allows the tail to be located higher, out of the wing's downwash, especially when the flaps are extended. Landing gear for all models is optionally tricycle or conventional.
The Hawks are available as aircraft kits, quick-build kits, or completed aircraft.
Single seat, developed to compete in the 1999 European World Air Games. Eight were flying by 2011. It has competition features, including streamlined struts and landing gear legs, no jury struts, a semi-symmetrical airfoil and 3 in (8 cm) extra headroom. Standard empty weight 310 lb (141 kg) with a 625 lb (283 kg) gross weight. Engines available include the two-stroke 40 hp (30 kW) Rotax 447, 52 hp (39 kW) Rotax 503, 65 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582 or the 40 hp (30 kW) Hirth 2702.
Single seat, based on the Classic. The Classic weighed under 254 lb (115 kg) when introduced, but became heavier as amenities were added and thus no longer qualified for FAR 103. The Ultra model is a lightened version to comply with the FAR 103 rules. Eight flying in 2011. Standard empty weight 254 lb (115 kg) with a 600 lb (272 kg) gross weight. Engines available include the two-stroke 40 hp (30 kW) Rotax 447 or the 35 hp (26 kW) Kawasaki 440.
No longer in production. 30 reported flying in 1998. Single seat, based on the Arrow and equipped as an agricultural aircraft for spraying. Standard empty weight 275 lb (125 kg) with a 800 lb (363 kg) gross weight. Specified engine was the two-stroke 65 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582.
Introduced in 1985 and no longer in production. 290 reported flying in 1998. Two seats in tandem, based on the Classic. Standard empty weight 340 lb (154 kg) with a 800 lb (363 kg) gross weight. Engines available included the two-stroke, 52 hp (39 kW) Rotax 503, 65 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582, 55 hp (41 kW) Hirth 2703 and the 65 hp (48 kW) Hirth 2706.
Hawk Arrow II
Two seats in tandem, with the rear seat raised for visibility. Based on the Classic, but with a less sloped windshield, longer nose, larger tail surfaces, flatter floor and reinforced tail boom. Available as a fully assembled US Special Light Sport Aircraft. It incorporates the semi-symmetrical airfoil and streamlined extruded aluminum wing struts from the Hawk Sport. 186 flying in 2011. Standard empty weight 420 lb (191 kg) with a 950 lb (431 kg) gross weight. Engines available include the two-stroke, 52 hp (39 kW) Rotax 503, 65 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582, 55 hp (41 kW) Hirth 3202, 65 hp (48 kW) Hirth 3203, 80 hp (60 kW) Hirth F30, 100 hp (75 kW) Hirth 3701 and the four-stroke 60 hp (45 kW) HKS 700E.