BD-5 Information Memo - No. 2
Courtesy of Mr. Ken Trager
Introductory Order Form
One point we would like to clarify on the introductory
order form. Some people have been confused by the last sentence under terms
and conditions. It reads as follows: "This type of offer is a pre-production
introductory offer only and can be changed or canceled at any time without
notice by Bede Aircraft, Incorporated." What this sentence means is this
type of offer is for a limited time. In other words some time shortly and
definitely before we go into production we will not accept orders on the
introductory basis. We will try to notify everybody probably 30 days before
we cancel the introductory price and after that time we will not accept
orders at the $1,800 figure. It does not mean that we will cancel anybody's
order if they sent it in prior to the termination date. Therefore, anyone
sending us $200 or more deposit while we are accepting the introductory
order form will be guaranteed the firm price of $1,800. Under no conditions
will they be subject to any price increase. It is obvious anyone who has
an introductory order form and sends it in 2 years from now we would not
be able to accept it at the introductory price. The last sentence, therefore,
only means that this type of offer can be canceled.
BD-5 in Progress
Progress with construction of our first prototype BD-5 is going along
really well, according to latest reports from our chief project engineer,
Paul Griffin, who is at this time at our prototype and research facility
Recent "tuft" tests with the "Micro" indicate absolute minimal turbulence.
In fact, areas where some turbulence was expected turned out to be absolutely
clean. Looks as though we have a mightily clean bird in the BD-5 "Micro"!
Next issue of this Information Memo we hope to publish latest pictures
of the BD-5 nearing completion.
Frequently Asked Questions on the BD-5
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions we have received
on the BD-5. It has become necessary to answer questions in this manner
because of the thousands of letters we have received, making it a mammoth
task to try and reply to each one individually. If you have written to
us with a question which is not answered in the following list, you may
find it answered in the next issue of the BD-5 Information Memo.
Last Update: 8/1/98
More information on installment purchasing. A customer placing
an order for a BD-5 with a $200 deposit can enter into an agreement with
Bede Aircraft to make monthly installment payments of $100 until the balance
is paid in full. If a customer's airplane becomes available for delivery
before the period covered by the installment agreement ends, he can elect
to pay the outstanding balance due at that time and take delivery of his
airplane. However, he can also elect to continue paying $100 monthly installments
until the total price has been paid. Installment payment agreement forms
are available from Bede Aircraft upon request.
Could the BD-5 be made with two seats? The BD-5 is a single-place
aircraft and an extra seat cannot be installed.
Can kits be purchased without engine? The BD-5 will only be
sold complete with engine.
When will three-cylinder engines be available? There is a possibility
that the three-cylinder engine (70 hp) might be available sometime in early
1972. Notification of availability will be published in this BD-5 Information
When will the variable speed drive system be available? The
variable speed drive system will be available by the end of 1971.
Can a 15 gallon tank be used with smaller engines? Yes, the
larger fuel tank can be used.
Will the deposit be returned upon request? The signing of the
Introductory Firm Price Order Form and the payment of a $200 deposit can
be considered binding. However, the contract does outline our responsibility
in this respect.
Are jigs required? Only simple jigs will be needed for construction
of such things as the tail sections. These can be easily constructed from
wood by the average handyman.
Could gross weight be more than stated in information kit? The
gross weight of the BD-5 can be increased slightly, and more definite information
on this will be published at a later date.
Will D.O.T. accept the "Micro"? There should be no trouble with
the D.O.T. (Canada) accepting the "Micro" once final FAA approval has been
obtained in this country. (Note: Next
Information Memo clarified this answer. -- J.)
Will the BD-5 be extremely noisy? Noise level in the BD-5
will be determined after first flights and finalization of insulation to
be used in the aircraft. More details on this later.
More information on forming squadrons. The idea of "Squadrons"
is being well received everywhere. We will publish more information later
as nothing yet has been finalized on this idea.
How much forward visibility is there through the slanted windshield?
Visibility in the BD-5 will be excellent - both forward and to the sides
and, to some degree, rearwards.
What type of shock absorption will be used? The fiberglass construction
of the landing gear legs is a shock absorber in itself. (Note: An oleo
shock absorber later replaced the fiberglass nosewheel leg. -- J.)
How does the capacitor discharge ignition system work? Capacitor
Discharge System is an electrical unit which has the ability to store an
electric charge, thereby building up power which is released, under controlled
relay, through the ignition system to the spark plugs. This charge, which
has a tremendous reserve of power, insures a strong and powerful spark
How is the tricycle landing gear actuated? The tricycle gear
is actuated mechanically by means of a hand lever inside the cockpit.
Will we have the engine FAA approved? Yes. The engine will be
approved by the FAA in the "Experimental" category. (Note: Next
Information Memo clarified this answer. -- J.)
By whom is the engine manufactured? The engine manufacturer's
name will be announced in the very near future.
Will the BD-5 meet the performance specifications as stated in the
information kit? Performance specifications have been carefully calculated
by computer and we fully expect the BD-5 to meet these specifications.
Can potential customers go to Wichita to see the prototype?
We will inform everyone interested in seeing the BD-5, after it has completed
flight test, when it will be available for viewing.
What provisions have been made for isolating the fuel tank from
the cockpit in the event of a crash? There is a strong bulkhead between
the fuel tank area and the cockpit. (Note: The fuel tank behind the
pilot was moved to two fuel tanks in the wings. -- J.)
Can the wings on a BD-5A and a BD-5B be interchanged? The wings
on the BD-5A and BD-5B will be interchangeable.
How would the increased gross weight affect the G limits? Increased
gross weight effect on "G" limits will be calculated and details published
in this Information Memo at a later date.
Do you plan to offer the BD-5 as a completely assembled aircraft?
The BD-5 will not be offered as a completely assembled aircraft. It is
purely a homebuilt. (Note: The decision was later made to offer the
BD-5D, which was to have been a version of the BD-5 fully certificated
by the FAA and sold as a finished aircraft. -- J.)
What is the service ceiling for the BD-5? Service ceiling for
the BD-5 will be published soon.
What airfoil is used? The BD-5 has a tapered airfoil section:
Root - 632212. Tip - 632218. (Note: This is not correct, next
Information Memo published the correct airfoil identification. -- J.)
What types of instruments will be included in the materials package?
Basic instruments will be included in the BD-5 materials packages, including
airspeed indicator, altimeter, engine instruments, tachometer and compass.
What type of brakes are used? Hydraulic disc brakes.
Would the BD-5 be restricted in the area it can fly? The usual
restrictions will apply for the first fifty hours of flying, as with all
homebuilts, i.e. restricted to a 25-mile radius. After fifty hours there
are no distance limitations on the aircraft whatsoever. (Note: Next
Information Memo clarified this answer. -- J.)
What will the cost be for the "Micro Hangar"? The cost of the
"Micro Hangar" has not yet been finalized. This will be announced in the
Information Memo when known.
Is the $1,800 price for the 32 hp model? If so, what will be prices
for the 40 hp model, 70 hp model and the twin-engine model? The $1,800
price for the basic BD-5A is an introductory price and is for the 32 hp
model only. Optional engines of 40 and 70 hp will be available at a later
date, when prices will also be announced.
What material will be used for the fuselage? The fuselage is
of aluminum angle construction, forming a framework inside a fiberglass
shell-like hull. The frame will be entirely of bolt-together construction,
with aluminum gussets and using aircraft quality bolts and screws. (Note:
Information Memo No. 4 announced the
switch to an all-metal fuselage. -- J.)
Will the plane have an electric starter? An electrical system
will be available as an optional extra, and will include everything needed
for converting the BD-5 to electric start.
Will the plane have a heater system? A heating system for the
BD-5 has been designed, and will be offered as an option.
Will a builder have to form metal and/or fiberglass parts? The
difficult forming of raw material will be done by Bede Aircraft. The builder
will be required to do all cutting, drilling and forming that can be easily
done by simple shop tools.
Is carburetor heat and mixture control provided for in the BD-5?
There is no need for carburetor heat with the engine used in the BD-5.
However, a mixture control will be necessary and this will be included
in the complete aircraft materials package.
Will it be possible to install a radio in the BD-5? If so,
what type? It will be possible to install a radio in the BD-5
"Micro", and we will be making available a suitable radio as optional equipment.
WE will release further information on this after initial flight tests
with the prototype BD-5.
Does the BD-5 has a steering nosewheel? The nosewheel on the
BD-5 will be free-castoring.
Can the BD-5 be operated off of rough strips (dirt) (gravel)?
The BD-5 can be operated out of any licensed airport.
Can the wings be extended even more than the maximum 19.5 feet on
the long wing version? This possibility has been considered, but we
will not be considering any developments in this area until after the basic
aircraft has been fully tested and flown.
How many man-hours are required to build the BD-5? We estimate
at this time that approximately 200 man-hours will be needed to construct
a BD-5 to a ready to fly condition. (Note: The average time to construct
the all-metal BD-5 from scratch from the materials shipped by Bede Aircraft
is approximately 2,500 to 3,000 hours; the BD Micro Technologies FlightLine
Series kits require between 700 and 900 man-hours to complete. -- J.)
What is the cost of the extra set of wings needed to extend the
span to 19.5 ft.? Actual price of the longer wings has not yet been
finalized. However, we estimate between $150 and $200.
What materials are used in the construction of the BD-5? The
BD-5 is almost an all-metal aircraft, with wings, tail surfaces... (Note:
The rest of this answer was apparently truncated during the editing process.
Can a customer purchase separate parts of the BD-5 -- such as plans,
engine, etc.? At this time the BD-5 is available only as a complete
aircraft package, including all materials necessary to construct the plane
as well as engine, propeller, exhaust system, basic instruments, etc.
What type of canopy is used? The canopy is supplied preformed
and is of strong, clear Plexiglas. It will come complete with insulation
strips, runner and hinges. The canopy hinges are on the left side.
Is the propeller wood or metal? The propeller is made of wood.
Can a builder install IFR instruments? Although there obviously
would not be room for a complete panel, it is possible to install some
IFR equipment. Full layout details and recommendations will be included
in the BD-5 Instruction Handbook.
What optional equipment will be available? A complete line of
optional equipment is planned for the BD-5, although we do not have any
catalogues or price lists at this time. We will finalize this after first
flights with the BD-5 prototype.
Will dealers or distributors be appointed in different parts of
the country? We do plan on appointing dealers to handle the BD-5 in
different parts of the United States. Further information on this will
be available after production of the airplane has started.
Will the BD-5 be safe for a low-time pilot to fly? The BD-5
will be perfectly safe for a low-time pilot. It will have built-in safety
features that will make it suitable for anyone to fly. (Note: The BD-5A
is not recommended for low-time pilots; in fact, it is not recommended
at all. If you have a BD-5A, get yourself a pair of -5B wings. The
BD-5B is easier to fly, but it still requires you to have experience other
than initial flight training and small single-engine light aircraft time.
It is recommended that you seek a high performance endorsement in a complex
aircraft and reach/maintain currency and proficiency before attempting
to fly the BD-5. At a minimum, 10 hours in an airplane with similar flight
characteristics, like the Grumman AA-1, is recommended. -- J.)
Will the BD-5 have any of the following features? Trim Tab -
The BD-5 will have a three-axis spring bungee trim control. Alternator/Generator
- The BD-5 will have an alternator/generator. Night Navigation Lights
- Night navigation lights will be available as optional. (Note: BD Micro
Technologies offers various nav/strobe light options for the BD-5. -- J.)
Dual Ignition System - The engine has been modified for a dual
ignition system, and this will be supplied as optional equipment.
Is the wing construction the same as the BD-4? The BD-5 wing
construction is basically similar to that on the BD-4, although made entirely
Is the engine started from inside the BD-5? Standard equipment
on the BD-5 will be a mechanical start which can be operated from inside
the cockpit. It will be a pull-start system. An electric starter will be
available as an option, and both manual and electric starters can be incorporated
in the BD-5 at the same time.
Will a dual-engine version of the BD-5 be available? We do have
ideas for a dual-engine BD-5, but this will come much later.
How will the BD-5 be restricted within FAA regulations? The
"Micro" will be registered as a homebuilt with the FAA and will be classified
Will the engine have oil injection system, or will it require gasoline/oil
mixture fuel? The two-cycle engine in the BD-5 has been modified in
a number of ways to make it suitable for aircraft use, and one of these
is the incorporation of an oil-injection system.
Is a gas tank supplied? A gas tank, specially designed for the
BD-5, is supplied in the complete aircraft materials. (Note: The production
kits were modified to move the fuel from a gas tank behind the pilot to
wing fuel tanks, 14 gallons to each wet wing. The wing construction includes
construction of the fuel tanks, fuel filler, etc. -- J.)
Will an Assembly Manual be available? An Illustrated Assembly
Manual will be available for the BD-5. (Note: In reality, the manual
is a Construction Profile, it covers the construction of the aircraft in
some detail, but requires close examination of the drawings in order to
determine the complete assembly details, such as rivet positions and spacing,
dimensions of parts that have to be constructed, etc. -- J.)
Does "takeoff" and "landing" distances refer to the ground roll?
Takeoff and landing distances does refer to the ground roll.
Will there be any problems in getting insurance for the BD-5?
There should be no problem in obtaining insurance on the BD-5 -- it is
a homebuilt in the "Experimental" category, and there are thousands in
this category already covered by insurance. (Note: The EAA
have insurance programs specifically for Experimental, Amateur-Built aircraft.
In the contract agreement, can Bede Aircraft change the price or
cancel the deposit? The reason for the official contract is to guarantee
anyone placing his deposit at this time the firm price of $1,800. Even
if the price of the BD-5 is raised after production begins, customers who
originally ordered on this contract and placed their deposits will receive
the aircraft for $1,800.
Will a trailer be available? A special lightweight trailer for
the BD-5 is being designed. But it will be more than a trailer! We are
going to design it as a "Micro Hangar". It will be a self-contained, mobile
hangar/trailer, into which the BD-5 can be stored and towed to any parking
space. More details will eventually be released on this.
How much time will it take to remove the wings? Only about two
minutes will be required -- and just about as much time to reinstall them
again. (Note: More like 5 minutes for each operation. -- J.)
What about spin recovery? The BD-5 will have excellent spin-recovery
ability. This has been one of our prime considerations in its design.
Can an interested party test-fly the airplane? We will be allowing
seriously interested potential customers to take a test flight in the prototype
BD-5, just as soon as all initial flight tests have been completed. The
availability of the prototype for this purpose will be announced later.
(Note: In reality, this never happened. It was apparently decided later
on that only Bede and the Bede Aircraft official test pilot(s) and selected
employees would fly the prototypes. -- J.)
How will the BD-5A compare with the BD-5B in aerobatic performance?
The BD-5A will be noticeably better suited to aerobatics than the BD-5B,
although some aerobatics will also be possible with the latter. A complete
guide to flying aerobatics in the BD-5 is being prepared, and this will
be available by the time deliveries start.
Is there enough room in the cockpit for a parachute? Cockpit
design took this into consideration and the parachute will form part of
the seat back.
How will the BD-5 materials be shipped to a customer? Complete
materials will be made in one complete package, and will be shipped by
motor freight or air -- whichever one a customer requests. (Note: In
fact, deliveries were made in several shipments, and sometimes months passed
between shipments, mostly due to problems with suppliers. Motor freight
was standard, air freight was available at an additional cost. -- J.)
Will the BD-5 be at Oshkosh in 1971? The BD-5 prototype will
be at Oshkosh. It will be a BD-5A. However, we will attempt to have at
least two BD-5's at Oshkosh, one possibly being the BD-5B.
Can a student pilot fly the BD-5? A student pilot can fly the
BD-5 while he is training, and can use it to log solo flying hours after
he has completed dual time. (Note: The chances of this happening
are, in my opinion, nil. You'll be hard-pressed to find an instructor who
will be willing to sign you off for solo flight on a single-seat aircraft,
let alone a high performance complex aircraft like the BD-5. It would be
utter foolishness for a student pilot to attempt to fly the BD-5. -- J.)
Will there be room on the BD-5 for an oxygen system? There will
be room for an oxygen system.