BD-5 Information Memo - No. 10

BD-5 Production Prototype Flight Test Report

<To-do: Scan N501BD pic on cover as well as other pics inside>

The BD-5 production prototype (N501BD) took to the air on May 31, 1972, with several successful flights clear of ground effect being made.

In this Memo we are publishing a photograph of the BD-5 in flight, together with some photographs of construction detail. Next Memo (which will be published in the next couple of weeks) we will be publishing more photographs taken in flight, as well as more construction photographs and some written details regarding the construction.

We have now found a very good, simple way of putting a BD-5 together without using any complicated jigs and fixtures -- only a plumber's bob and right angle are needed. More details later. Now that we have constructed a couple of BD-5's we have learned a number of time-saving methods of tackling particular parts of construction, and these tips will all be passed on to the builder.


Delivery of BD-5 materials has begun. We were only a few days late in getting started in our schedule and this was caused by the delay in having our new warehouse completed and the tremendous rainstorms we experienced in Newton, Kansas, the week we were originally scheduled to start deliveries.

We have discovered that we will have to ship BD-5 materials out in four (4) main boxes. This is because certain parts of the aircraft are considered "delicate" and "fragile" by the truck lines, and will demand a higher rate of freight charge. Other parts of the aircraft, such as regular metal parts and hardware, have no special category and can be shipped at the lowest rates. We originally tried to ship everything out in three (3) main shipments, but it looks as though we will have to be shipping the paint as a separate item -- which could make up the four box shipment requirement. However, we are looking further into this.

Because of some delays from suppliers on certain items, the engines already mentioned in this Memo, we may have to ship BD-5 materials in more than the four different shipments that has to be made over and above the four main shipments.

All BD-5 materials will be shipped via motor freight, unless we are otherwise instructed by customers. Our BD Traffic Manager will select the best carrier and route. The day a customer's package leaves our delivery center a shipping confirmation notice will tell the customer the date of shipment and the carrier being used.

Our Traffic Manager is an expert at his job and every one of our customers can rest assured that the very best and most economical method of shipping will be used. There will be no need to contact us regarding shipment of your order, unless you desire some other method of shipping than motor freight. Air freight, as a matter of interest, will cost approximately 30% more than motor freight.

BD-5 Engine

There will be a delay in getting engines from our supplier, and at the present time we have not received any firm commitments from him as to the date we can expect powerplants. For this reason we will not be shipping anything from the powerplant or drive systems until we have finalized a firm delivery date on engines. We will notify everyone as soon as we have more definite information.

Dual Ignition

We still have not received a final price for the dual ignition although we can say that it will be definitely available. In view of the delay on the engines anyway, we will be advising everyone in good time on the availability and price for dual ignition, and requesting anyone interested in ordering it, to send in an order. More on this just as soon as we have more details.

Flutter Test

We have just completed a very comprehensive ground flutter analysis. This was performed by outside expert consultants and consists of installing special equipment in the BD-5 and oscillating all areas through a complete range of frequencies. Special sensing devices were placed throughout the aircraft. From this the natural frequencies of all components were accurately measured. This data combined with detailed analytical studies can predict quite accurately, the maximum speed obtainable for various sections of the aircraft before inducing flutter. If any control surface is in too low of a speed range, we can modify the unit appropriately to prevent it from fluttering below the redline speed. These tests were also performed on our BD-4 aircraft and the tests are as complete as could ever be required for certification of a high-speed aircraft. We expect to perform this analysis one more time on the BD-5 aircraft when we have completed our flight tests and made any and all variations to the aircraft. We feel in this manner we can provide an aircraft, that will be free of any flutter throughout the flying range.

BD-5 Construction

<Pics to be scanned>

Plans and Construction Manual

The first set of plans and construction information we send out will relate to parts of the aircraft on which all engineering has been completed. All structural testing has been done on the aircraft, and it only remains to make a few possible changes and improvements here and there in the design of some interior parts, and then make revised drawings. In any case, this will not affect a builder's progress in constructing his aircraft, and any revisions that might come along as testing progresses will be sent out to all customers immediately.


Other than regular home workshop tools, the only specialized tools what will be needed to construct the BD-5 will be such things as a countersink tool, reamer and dimpling tool. All these extra tools will be made available to everyone at reasonable cost, and a list will be published very soon.

Open House at Newton

We are planning to hold "Open House" at our new warehouse and flight test center at Newton Municipal Airport some time in the near future. However, we are unable to make it a firm date at this time. It could be a month or two away yet. In any case, everyone will be given at least two weeks notice when the Open House will be held.

In the meantime, anyone interested in visiting our Newton facility is welcome to do so on any day except Sunday.

Last Update: 5/16/97
Web Author: Juan Jiménez
Copyright © 1997 by Juan Jiménez - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED