BD-5 Information Memo - No. 12

6,000 See the BD-5 Fly -- 250,000 Read About It!

You don't have to take our only word for it anymore! A total of about 6,000 people who attended our Open House at Newton, Kansas, on August 19 and 20 (1972), saw the BD-5 in flight. We had over 200 transit aircraft come in each day, with many camping out in the aircraft parking area.

The weather was good, but temperatures rose to the high 90's and low 100's. We restricted flight demonstration to twice a day, and it appears everyone present enjoyed seeing the BD-5 fly.

But more than the 6,000 avid aviation enthusiasts who attended our open House will be convinced of the BD-5's ability, when the October issue of Air Progress magazine is seen. This particular issue carries a full-color photo of the BD-5 in flight on its front cover, plus 12 pages inside with more photographs.

Air Progress magazine -- October, 1972 issue -- should be on the newsstands by September 15. We strongly recommend that all of our BD-5 Information Memo readers go out and buy the magazine if a truly independent, unbiased appraisal of the status of the BD-5 is sought.

Incidentally, the photography of the BD-5 in this particular issue of Air Progress is superb. They publish a double-page spread in the center of the issue, showing an overhead view of the BD-5B in flight.

After you've read the October Air Progress -- we suggest you send them a subscription. It's just about the best aviation publication that's truly 100% behind general aviation and sport flying.

One last thing on the subject of Air Progress: it would be a great show of appreciation to the magazine if everyone reading this Memo were to write a letter to Editor Dick Weeghan, expressing his or her interest in the BD-5 and commenting on the excellent report on the aircraft in the October issue.

BD-5 Movies Available

A Super-8mm, four-minute movie of the BD-5 will be available in early October at $5 per copy. The film shows the BD-5 in flight, as well as some construction shots. Anyone interested in purchasing the movie should send a Check or Money Order to BD-5 Movie, PO Box 706, Newton, Kansas 67114.

Flight Test Program

Although the BD-5 flight test program is, and will remain a continuing process, we wish to confirm that all basic flight testing has been completed. We have established that the aircraft is extremely stable, and has excellent control response. Most of our engine problems have been resolved, and there only remains a little more advance development work to be done on the drive system.

We are always developing new ways of improving the systems in the aircraft, and our latest findings on the belt-driven systems are proving outstandingly good. Although the present system works well, we are trying two alternative modifications that could make it even better.

Outside of this area, the overall design of the aircraft system has been finalized.

The BD-5 is more exciting than we ever imagined it could be -- and that's saying something!

<pics: laid-out materials kit, Hirth 40 HP engine>

<Captions: A display of the BD-5 complete materials package, laid out on the floor of Bede Aircraft warehouse in Newton, Kansas. Upper left of the photo can be seen the fuselage section, center left can be seen the two-cylinder powerplant. Caption 2: The New Hirth 40 HP Engine>


Deliveries are being made to BD-5 customers. First packages, containing canopy and instruments (delicate items), were being shipped out steadily to the tune of 500 per month, until deliveries of canopies from our supplier in Switzerland came to a temporary halt. But this wasn't our supplier's fault either! He obtains raw Plexiglas material from England, and the nationwide dock strike there put a halt to deliveries to Switzerland.

We have been looking at a number of alternative suppliers in the United States, and we do hope to have resolved this delivery problem by the time you read this Memo.

In the meantime, we are shipping out wing material packages to all our customers, to be followed very rapidly by fuselage and control systems parts. In other words, despite a number of supplier delays we have experienced, deliveries are being made and we should be in full production on all parts for the aircraft by the end of a few more weeks.

Price Increase

The price of the BD-5 has now been finally established, which will mean an increase in the base price of the aircraft to $2,600 for the BD-5A, and $2,675 for the BD-5B.

Prices for optional equipment, such as engines, electrical system, etc., will remain the same.

This price increase will be effective as of October 15, 1972. Anyone sending a deposit of $200 and an order for a BD-5 up to that date will still be able to buy the aircraft at $2,100 ($2,150 for the BD-5B).

The effective date of October 15 for this price increase is firm, despite any previous announcement we made to an October 1 deadline.


We are still negotiating with prospective dealers all over the United States, and have already appointed seven dealers as follows:

Edward H. Mahler, PO Box 57, Pittstown, NJ 08867 - (201) 996-6393

James G. Hammers and Keith T. Hinshaw, 1555 Cherry Ave., San Jose, CA 95125 - (408) 293-6411

E.A. Schroeder, 331 S. Phillips, Sioux Falls, SD 57102 - (605) 338-5157

Charles Brewer, 1504 Putnam St., Richland, WA 99352 - (509) 945-4803

Mark Anderson and Austin Belnap, 1399 S. 7th St. E. Ste 9, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 - (801) 466-8673

Donald L. Winter, 3123 E. Kirkwood Pl., Bay City, MI 48706 - (517) 686-3678

John Cartwright, 1319 Iowa Ave., York, NE 68467 - (402) 362-4600

These dealers will be receiving their demonstrator aircraft soon, and if you live near any one of them we suggest you make contact with your dealer soon, and tell him of your interest in the BD-5.

Flying the BD-5, Part II

by Les Berven, Chief Test Pilot

Since the last flight report in Information Memo No. 11, we have continued our very successful flight test program with the BD-5 and now have over 20 flights completed. Since the aerodynamics of the aircraft turned out so well, we have used most of these 20 flights for systems development, with only a small amount of performance and flying qualities testing.

The aircraft continues to fly better than we had expected in almost all aspects, and instead of having to make major changes to the configuration of control systems, we are able to concentrate on "fine tuning" the handling qualities to make them absolutely optimum.

As an example, we found during our quantitative measurement of the longitudinal stability of the BD-5 that although the stabilator angle vs. airspeed (stick fixed stability) was excellent, the stick force vs. airspeed (stick-free stability) and stick force per G were slightly low.

The fix for this was simply to increase the antiservo tab gearing on the stabilator, which does not change the stick position data but increases the force gradients. About one more flight and we'll have this change optimized.

We did change the cooling system, in that we're now taking in air from the bottom of the aircraft (via a small P-51 type scoop) and blowing the air through the cylinder fins from the exhaust side of the engine. This system works quite a bit better than the old cowl flap, and has significantly less drag. It's very nice to be able to takeoff on a 105°F day, and have both cylinder head temperatures read less than 430 degrees and within 10 degrees of each other!

I really enjoyed the demonstration flights during the Open House we had on August 19 and 20, and we thank you for all the favorable comments we received. In understand that just as the aircraft passed by the delivery center on the first takeoff on Saturday that one fellow turned to his friend and said, "Now, about that bet!"

The first demonstration flight was made kind of high because I keep forgetting how small the aircraft looks from the ground. Actually I was only 2,000 feet AGL but some people said they could hardly see the airplane! That first pass down the taxiway was gear down and an IAS of 110 MPH. The second fly-by was approximately the same. (I always make two passes because we've found that most people are too busy watching the first one to get any pictures!)

On the next two demo flights (Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning) I stayed down at 1,000 AGL for most of the flight. During the steep turns and wingovers, I was at an airspeed of about 140 MPH with gear up. For those of you who could see the bank-to-bank rolls, they were made using about 1/2 aileron deflection.

The gear-up fly-bys on Saturday and Sunday were made at an IAS of 150 MPH with power set at 6,000 RPM. You could get some idea of the excellent stability of the aircraft by noticing how very little the turbulence and gusty wind affected it. If you figure the TAS and tailwind component, the groundspeed on those gear-up fly-bys was about 180 MPH. That gives you some idea of just how fast it will look at 250! During the chandelles after the fly-bys, I used full throttle and I could climb 600 feet and make the 180° turn to downwind and lose only 30 MPH airspeed -- that's one of the advantages of having an aspect ratio of 10.

Our next goal after optimizing the control system is to get some data on the short wings. We will have flown them several flights by the time you read this, and I'll make a full report on how nice it does aileron rolls in the next newsletter.

<pic: engineers working on BD-5 fuselage, and drive system>

<Captions: Two Bede Aircraft workshop engineers at work on yet another BD-5 model. - A detailed close-up of the lower portion of the drive system.>

BD-5 At Kodak World Photo Display in New York City

Bede Aircraft has been invited to display the BD-5 at the World Kodak Gallery & Photo Display in the Towers of Americas, New York City, as highlight of the whole exhibition, which this year has been named "Fun Aviation."

Kodak is enlarging to 8 ft x 8 ft several color photos taken by Air Progress magazine, and these will be prominently displayed throughout the exhibition hall. There will also be shown actual movies of the BD-5 in flight. The BD-5 itself will be displayed at the main entrance to the exhibition, and everyone able to get to NYC is invited to attend.

The exhibition runs from September 27 through November 24 at 1133 Ave. of the Americas, New York City.

(Note: We will not be displaying the latest prototype BD-5, N501BD, but the original prototype, N500BD, which is now painted white.)

BD-5 for College Students

It is a fact that there are many college students who are aviation enthusiasts, and who would love to fly. It is also a fact that the cost of obtaining an airplane, and the cost of maintaining one, has always been a limiting factor.

Bede Aircraft has now formulated a program especially for college students. This program allows for a group of college students to get together and obtain a complete BD-5 -- absolutely free of charge!

Any bonafide college student, or group of students, can write us and obtain further details of the program.

<pics: two pics of BD-5B in flight>

Last Update: 5/24/97
Web Author: Juan Jiménez
Copyright © 1997 by Juan Jiménez - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED