<pic: line-up, prototypes N500BD, N501BD, N502BD>
<Caption: A bevy of beauties! All three BD-5 prototypes line up in front of Bede Aircraft Flight Test Center, Newton, Kansas. N502BD took time out from flying for this picture to be taken. Immediately afterwards, N501BD was shipped off to the Paris Air Show.>
The first flight of N502BD was made on March 26, 1973. This aircraft was different from our first BD-5 in that it was made from standard parts from warehouse stock and was therefore representative of the aircraft homebuilders will be constructing.
N502BD has plain flaps with two settings (20° and 45°) and manually-actuated landing gear with longer fiberglass main struts and an Oleo nose strut. This aircraft has the CD dual ignition engine with a magnesium crankcase and integral blower fan for cooling and a Walbrow carburetor with a special calibration for this engine and propeller.
Taxiing is even more pleasant than with N501BD. The longer main gear struts and the Oleo nose strut give a softer ride and are capable of handling a much rougher runway. Brake effectiveness and rudder pedal geometry are both better, thereby improving the BD-5's excellent ground handling characteristics.
With the new fixed drive system (1.6 ratio), static engine RPM at full throttle is about 5,500, increasing to 6,000 RPM at a best climb speed of 120 MPH IAS. Both the climb rate and takeoff distance are improved over the last airplane, and with the new carburetor there is no requirement to change the mixture below 7,500 ft. On the first flight I climbed to 7,500 ft. in less than ten minutes and could indicate 166 MPH (185 TAS) at only 6,200 RPM!
This new manual landing gear is a major breakthrough. I could retract and extend the gear in one second with ease and there was only a small trim change. The plain flaps work very well also, and the actuation forces are only 10 lbs. at 110 MPH IAS. Full flaps with power at idle provides more than adequately steep glide angle.
First flight of N502BD lasted an hour and we've flown every day the weather has permitted since then.
With so many BD-5's under construction now, it's a good idea for builders to purchase an aircraft logbook before contacting the FAA office for the first inspection.
The FAA inspector can then log his inspection and get the program off to a good start.
There are many sources for logbooks. But, as a suggestion, EAA Headquarters, Box 229, Hales Corners, WI 53150, has logs available for $1.00 plus 20 cents postage.
Even though we got a late start in the semester, response to our BD-5 College Program has been exciting.
There should be quite a few BD-5's under construction next fall, when the clubs really get going.
What we're doing is offering a complete BD-5 to any organized College Flying Club which participates in securing 10 BD-5 sales. In addition, we ask that the club participate in programs with a nearby BD-5 dealer at Open Houses, shows and exhibits. In this way the student not only gains experience by helping in the construction of an aircraft, but also participates in the real world of aviation around him with the encouragement of the college.
Construction progress reports will also be reported by the College Club and photos will be presented in future issues of the newsletter.
An all-new, updated Information Kit is now available at all Bede dealers, or by contacting us at Newton.
All active BD-5 customers will automatically receive a complimentary copy.
Featuring full-color photos, the new information kit contains latest performance data and specifications, as well as articles of general interest to the prospective builder.
Also included in the information kit: a special four-color embossed brochure; three views of both the long and short wing BD-5; performance data sheet; specification sheet; dealer lists; large detailed "inboard profile" drawing.
Additional information kits are available at $5.00 each, postpaid.
<pic: photo of 1/4 scale model BD-5>
Preliminary tests on a spin test recovery chute design are underway, using a detailed radio-controlled model of the BD-5.
The beautiful model, constructed by Loren Tragellas, of Wichita, is built to a true one-quarter scale. Loren is one of the country's outstanding RC enthusiasts and will be at the controls during the test program. Loren also is rated pilot and flight instructor.
It took him about six weeks to complete the model which weighs 9 lbs., powered by an HP-61 engine and featuring the Kraft Five Channel RC system.
The primary purpose of this RC test program is to determine the location and design of the spin test chute which will be installed on BD-502 when it reaches that phase of the flight test program.
Since the BD-5 is a pusher, location of the spin recovery chute presents some restrictions as to its location and deployment.
The spin recovery chute will not be part of the BD-5 materials package. The chute is a safety requirement, used only during the flight tests of the factory aircraft.
The BD-5 does quality as a homebuilt under the FAA's guidelines.
We have received this assurance from the FAA and urge interested homebuilders to review Advisory Circular No. 20-28A, dated December 29, 1972. Titled "Nationally Advertised Construction Kits, Amateur-Built Aircraft," the Advisory Circular presents guidelines for the prospective builder when selecting and evaluating prefabricated kits or components for amateur-built aircraft.
BD-5 materials packages have been prepared and presented in such a manner that the major portion of the BD-5 must be constructed by the builder to meet the FAA requirements.
After nine months of intensive study of the Hirth two-cycle engines used on the BD-5 we now arrive at the following conclusions:
The basic twin-cylinder engine manufactured by Hirth is as good, or better, than any engine we have had the opportunity to study and test. We have received excellent cooperation from the factory in West Germany and they have incorporated all modifications we desired and even recommended several additional features, which further improve the engine to make it the best possible light aircraft engine.
All engines, the 440cc which is approximately 40 HP, the 650cc which is approximately 55 HP and the 720cc which is approximately 70 HP are of the same general size and all are two cylinder, air-cooled with a single carburetor. The weight of the basic engines are: 440cc engine, 68 lbs.; 650cc engine, 73 lbs.; 720cc engine, 72 lbs.
Notice, the largest engine is actually one pound lighter than the 55 HP engine. This is because Hirth developed and tooled up for a completely new cylinder design and size specifically for the BD-5.
The ignition system on all engines will be of the capacitor discharge type. Dual ignition will only be available on the 650cc and 720cc engines. New cylinder heads had to be designed to accommodate the two spark plugs. It was found not practical for dual ignition to be incorporated on the smaller engine.
All engines will come equipped with an axial fan for guaranteed cooling under all operating conditions.
All three engine sizes have undergone extensive testing with final configuration established and production tooling committed. Based upon these factory tests and our own flight evaluations, we recommend the following: the best overall engine for the BD-5 is the 720cc (70 HP) engine.
It not only provides the aircraft with the greatest amount of power, which results in shorter takeoffs and better rate of climb, but it gives the pilot the option of very high cruising speeds or the capability of throttling back to lower power for lower fuel consumption. This engine is also the most desirable because it features the new cylinder design specifically for aircraft operation. The power-to-weight ratio is also by far the best of the three engines.
The next engine choice is the 650cc engine (55 HP) engine which is also available with dual ignition but has no other real advantages, except it is available at lower cost.
The 440cc (40 HP) engine is a minimum consideration. First, dual ignition is not available and, second, although our aircraft and N501BD has been performing satisfactorily on 40 HP, takeoff distances have been longer than we desired. The rate of climb with gear and flaps retracted has not been outstanding either, and the rate of climb with gear down was not the best. Although this engine is by far the least expensive, we believe the savings are not justified considering the total time and money spent on the project.
We, therefore, strongly recommend that the 70 HP engine becomes the primary selection for everyone and, only for those who are operating on a minimum budget, select the 55 HP engine.
Further, we do feel the advantage of dual ignition is worth $72.00. More power is developed with the dual CDI system. You can observe this by shutting one system off and noting the power drop.
Starting also seems to be smoother and easier. We have spent considerable time and a great deal of money very thoroughly evaluating these engines. We are now convinced that we have an absolutely beautiful, lightweight, low cost engine. We believe these engines are as good or better than the ordinary certified aircraft engine and for this reason Hirth has undertaken to certificate these engines in West Germany. When this is completed we believe the bilateral agreement will result in certification in this country.
In any event, we have committed everything possible to make the engine as reliable as is technically possible. We regret that it has taken so long to complete all the testing, but the results have certainly been worth it.
We're late with this issue of the Information Memo because things have been pretty busy at Newton the past couple of months. Materials have been going out of our warehouse at a record pace.
Bede Aircraft continues to grow -- with more than 75 people now on hand to handle the BD-5 and BD-4 orders and other projects.
Herb Sawinski recently joined the company to head all marketing operations. He was formerly General Sales Manager for Bendix Avionics Division, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and had previously held advertising, sales and marketing posts with Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids.
Vic Oliver, former Sales Manager at Bede, was the most outspoken individual on late deliveries on behalf of all BD-5 priority holders... so we made him Production Manager. And he certainly has been producing... materials have been really moving out of the plant, as thousands of BD-5 builders can testify.
Greg Reddick heads the BD-5 Customer Relations department, with Harry Smith assigned as the Bede Dealer Coordinator. Clete Dold is in charge of all BD-4 sales. With the heavy BD-5 activity, both Clete and Harry are available to assist in the BD-5 customer inquiries.
An enlarged staff of clerks and secretaries carries the routine chores of paper flow and in-house coordination.
Engineering, production and administration, all have been expanded to provide better service to all our customers.
Several new buildings are under construction to provide much-needed additional space. Simple and functional, these new facilities are beginning to dominate the Newton Municipal Airport with Bede activities. We really feel the tough period is behind us -- capable staff, adequate facilities, improved deliveries, top notch suppliers and a great airplane -- offer us nothing but optimism.
The moral support of our customers has been a key factor in battling through frustrating delays and glitches. In the end, the exciting BD-5 and its role in sport aviation is the reward we will all share.
<pics: What our builders are doing, 10 pics of various builders and their projects with appropriate captions>
<pic: Scale model, BD-5, Testors>
At the same time the BD-5 is being released to the public, Testor Corporation is introducing its powered scale model of this popular sport aircraft.
The Testor BD-5 comes completely assembled and is packaged in an attractive picture frame carton with a see-through top. Full flying instructions are included with each plane.
The BD-5 is the largest Testor ready-to-fly airplane in the field, with a wingspan of 25 inches.
Powered by the reliable .049 Testor/McCoy engine, the BD-5 is remarkably stable and maneuverable in flight, making it a plane that both beginners and expert pilots will enjoy.
The engine on the Testor BD-5 is mounted behind the cockpit, just like the real thing, for optimal weight distribution.
The ready-to-fly model is available at leading toy and hobby centers for $19.98.
Photographs of you building your BD-5 are requested for publication in the BD-5 Information Memo.
While this comment is not presented as an endorsement we are flattered to share it with our BD-5 supporters.
The Civil Aviation Authority, Airworthiness Division, in a recent letter to Peter Bayliss, our appointed dealer in England, noted:
"I note that the drawings, which are superbly presented by any standards, deal only with the wings and ailerons. Please convey my personal congratulations to Jim Bede on such high standard of presentation of this machine, it deserves to be a success."
The letter was signed by a key official in the CAA.
The BD-5 plans and instructions have drawn highly favorable comments from the field because of their clear, direct and detailed presentation.
With the heavy flow of materials to BD-5 builders under way, our Dealer Program is being accelerated to assist builders in the field.
If anyone out there is interested in a Bede Dealership, particularly in the Texas, Florida and Chicago areas, please contact Harry Smith, Dealer Coordinator at our Newton facility.
A Bede Dealer will play an increasingly important role in the BD-5 and other programs. He will be the source of materials, technical advice and provide facilities (in some cases) for builders who lack construction space. The Bede Dealer is our factory-direct representative and will provide the builder with all current and important information, previously secured directly from the factory.
He will participate in shows and demonstrations and become a very active member in a new aviation community, Sport Aviation, where new products, exciting developments and marketing concepts lie ahead.
Despite the three weeks of solid rain and overflowing creeks, spring must be on the way from the number of BD-5 builders who are arriving at the Delivery Center to pick up their materials packages.
We're tickled to accommodate all of you, but we request some advance notice to permit the packages to be ready.
If you are planning on coming to Newton to pick up your materials, please give us at least 48 hours notice. This will enable us to have all the materials removed from storage, clear up any last minute paperwork and check the cartons for final delivery approval.
We have no stock crews on hand on Saturdays. Only the Sales Department is on hand to host visitors
Our stocks are now complete and ready for immediate delivery on the specialized aircraft tools you've been requesting Bede Aircraft to supply. The Bede Dealer has these items available, with plenty of support materials on hand here in Newton. So -- contact your dealer now for your specialized tool requirements if you don't have them available from other sources. Here's the list of tools we can supply:
1/8" Cleco's (No. 30), pkg. of 50 (1 pkg. min recommended), $20.00 pkg.
3/32" Cleco's (No. 40), pkg. of 50 (2 pkg. min recommended), $20.00 pkg.
Richline 400 Rivet Puller, $12.00 ea.
Dimpling Dies (for use with rivet puller), $4.75 set
Cleco Pliers, $3.95 ea.
11-piece drill set (contains: 4 No. 40, 4 No. 29, 1 No. 39, 1 No. 28, 1 No. 19), $6.26 set
Adjustable Depth Countersink (without cutter), $10.00 ea.
5 piece piloted cutter set for above (contains: 100° x No. 40 pilot, 100° x No. 30, 100° x No. 12, 100° x No. 19, 120° x No. 30), $14.00 set
Some of the correspondence we are receiving tells us that quite a large number of our builders are newcomers to amateur aircraft construction. A lot of customers are asking where they can obtain additional information and guidance on aircraft building, so we've made up the following list of recommended manuals that can be purchased from the Experimental Aircraft Association:
Aircraft Builder's Handbook, $2.00
Sheet Metal - Vol. 1, $2.50
Sheet Metal - Vol. 2, $2.50
Tips on Fatigue, $2.50
Hand Tools, Vol. 1, $2.50
Hand Tools, Vol. 2, $2.50
Building the Metal Airplane, $2.50
Add 30 cents postage for first and 10 cents each for each additional manual ordered. Send orders direct to: E.A.A., PO Box 229, Hales Corner, WI 53130.
If any of you don't know what the EAA is, or does, we suggest you write the Association and ask about membership. It's a worldwide organization for all amateur aircraft builders and enthusiasts. Membership is only $15 per year, and it carries a lot of benefits! Drop 'em a line today -- tell 'em Jim Bede sent you.
<pic: cover of "Flying Models" magazine with BD-5 picture>
BD-5 activities are starting to boom as this exciting new aircraft continues to draw attention, no matter where it appears.
Press interest in the BD-5 and Bede Aircraft, Inc. has been continuous. With the Spring flight test program starting, we expect a major deluge of press inquiries.
Meanwhile, here are a few highlights of what has happened in this area since the last newsletter: Playboy is featuring the BD-5 in pictures and story in the May issue. Flying Models, features the cover, also in their May issue. Plane and Pilot will be carrying a series of articles on the aircraft in their regular issue and a special Sport Aviation issue.
Shell Aviation News, numbers of newspapers, special publications, regular aviation industry magazines as well as technical publications, have been visiting us this winter researching articles.
Air Facts has purchased a BD-5 through our dealer, Ed Mahler, and will be doing a series on the BD-5's construction as well as other areas of special interest to the sport aviation enthusiast.
Recent hobby and toy shows in Chicago and New York, where the BD-5 was displayed by Testors as part of their promotion to introduce the BD-5 flying model, drew heavy crowds, national wire-photo and local TV coverage.
As for our own airshow appearances, we'll be at Reading, also on display in the U.S. Exhibit at the Paris Air Show. Naturally, we're looking forward to Oshkosh -- but more on that later.
Here is a list of BD-5 Dealers in the U.S.A.
Since the beginning of 1973 we have been establishing an overseas dealer network for the sale and distribution of Bede Aircraft designs throughout the world. Ten overseas dealers have now been appointed, and these are listed below with the countries they service.
Last Update: 5/27/97
Web Author: Juan Jiménez
Copyright © 1997 by Juan Jiménez - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED