We have been working hard and steady on FAA certification of the BD-5D. Although we have made good progress on certification, we have taken steps to accelerate the program even more. We feel very fortunate to obtain the service of Mr. Dan Coen. Dan was chief engineer at Gates Lear Jet for the past ten years and was directly responsible for the certification of the Lear Jet models 25 and 35. Dan Coen new heads up our entire certification program for the BD-5D. He is adding a couple of additional engineers who can be qualified as experts in aircraft certification requirements. Dan has been given the approval to increase our manpower as much as he desires to speed up the certification program to a level that FAA would be able to accept. In this manner we believe that the certification process will go as fast as the FAA can handle.
We have completed enough tests and reports to where we are confident there is no difficulty or problem. It is primarily completion of drawings, reports and tests. The engine certification has taken a little longer than originally scheduled, but is now near completion. Dan Cooney has been supervising the Xenoah engine certification and testing, and he submits the following report:
"The BD-5D propulsion system is scheduled for completion of FAA certification testing in early June, 1976. All developmental and preliminary FAA testing is complete. Reports are being submitted to FAA describing the vibration and stress measurements, which were completed in March. During the next two months, the remaining reports will be submitted. Meanwhile, in Tokyo, the Xenoah Company is well into JCAB (Japan's equivalent to the FAA) type certification program, which is necessary for Xenoah to complete in order to obtain production certificate to produce the aircraft engine. Thus by the time BD-5D engines are installed in airplanes, the engines will have undergone two completely independent type certification tests; one in Japan and one in the U.S."
"During the U.S. testing, the BD-5 engine-to-propeller drive system is being certificated simultaneously with the engine. This will ensure compatibility of the engine to the drivetrain components. Compatibility has been proven by installing strain gages on the engine crankshaft and propeller driveshaft. Results of this complex test showed that there are no RPM's within the normal operating range (300-6250 RPM) that will be restricted by yellow or red tachometer marking, since the stress level of the components is low at all RPM's. This is true when any one of the three engine cylinders is inoperative, so that continued flight on two operating cylinders would present no hazard."
"Endurance testing and in-flight service of the Xenoah engine has been very successful. The last test completed was a 150-hour test in Japan in which all components were within overhaul limits at completion of the run. This achievement is due to the excellent component design, extensive quality control, use of aircraft-quality materials, and very close tolerances on fits of components. An example of the excellent components being utilized on the Xenoah engine is the forged piston, which has an advanced technology metal coating in the ring grooves which greatly extends life of the piston and rings. Engines of similar design use cast pistons, which are inferior in strength and durability."
"Recent installation studies of cooling drag on the BD-5D reveal that close to zero cooling drag has been achieved by use of an exhaust gas augmentor. The augmentor not only provides excellent cooling while taxiing, but also provides thrust in flight which counteracts drag of the ventral cooling scoop. Other installation studies have resulted in an improved propeller hub assembly which has reduced the bending stress on the propeller driveshaft to almost zero, while providing an amazingly low vibration level in the cockpit at cruising speed."
"Design of a powerplant fireproofing system to meet FAA requirements has been completed. This FAA requirement was the last remaining obstacle to achieving a propulsion system which complies with FAA design regulations. Although the Xenoah engine is inherently very resistant to producing a fire, as compared to a conventional aircraft engine (there is no oil sump), and although all carburetors and fuel pumps are enclosed in a drained box, which has no source of ignition, the additional protection of having fireproofed structure and fireproof control system components in the engine compartment has been added. An important feature is the rugged exhaust system, made entirely of stainless steel, which is spring-mounted for protection from breakage due to engine vibration. Quiet engine operation is the result of a large silencer, which enables the engine to surpass FAA noise requirements."
"Although bankruptcy of the Hirth Engine Company caused a long, disappointing delay in propulsion system development, the final results we have obtained with the Xenoah engine has given us a system which is far superior in all respects to the earlier model."
The BD-5D will be manufactured for Bede Aircraft by Creative Industries of Detroit. We are extremely pleased with the capabilities of Creative Industries. They have the very latest and most sophisticated equipment for constructing production tooling. Both their management and production design engineers are truly the best we have encountered.
We are now in the process of working out detailed schedules of production setup and need to coordinate that with the certification schedule. Obviously, production cannot begin until final type certification has been obtained. But a great deal of planning and production setup will be accomplished during the final stages of certification. We thoroughly believe that not only will a high volume production line be set up by Creative Industries, but the quality of manufacturing will be one of the highest in the industry, primarily due to the high quality and sophisticated tooling that will be used.
The BD-5D price will definitely not change from the $5,397.00 price, which will include the three cylinder Xenoah engine for those of you who have an aircraft on order. Inflation over the past two years has been quite high, as all of us are aware. The price for all future orders of the BD-5D will be $7,150.00.
The price of a Cessna 150 is currently around $18,000, so even at the new price the BD-5D will be an outstanding buy. For those of you who already have an order, you will have the opportunity to obtain a brand new airplane at an exceptionally low price. Your early interest in this aircraft will, therefore, have been rewarding to you.
The BD-5D will now incorporate the 17.5 foot wingspan utilized on the BD-5 Jet. It will also incorporate the new GA(W)-2 airfoil section, which is a high lift design. Although the wingspan and wing area is reduced from the original wing, the stalling speed has actually gone down 6 mph. The cruising speed will remain the same at 220 mph. Since the jet wing will be incorporated the structural strength will be increased. Although the aircraft will still be initially licensed in the utility category, the inherent structural integrity may permit us to change to the aerobatic category after the initial certification is completed. We do expect that, if the aerobatic category is adopted, it could be applicable to all BD-5D's, even those manufactured in the beginning.
A special parachute is being designed for use on the BD-5. Rather than a seat or back pack of conventional configuration, a special parachute pack that would conform to the aircraft in the area of the pilot's headrest, is now being studied by ILC of Dover, Delaware. This company currently manufactures various types of military parachutes and was also the manufacturer of all of the Apollo spacesuits. They believe they will be able to develop this specially shaped parachute pack that could be an extremely convenient and comfortable parachute to utilize when the BD-5 would be operated aerobatically, although a parachute is not required in a single-seat aircraft. For those wanting to consider serious and complicated aerobatic flying, a parachute is a good consideration. With this type of design it would make the carrying of a parachute exceptionally convenient.
The following price revisions on the optional systems listed are effective immediately. However, we will honor existing orders previously received.
Catalog No. 225074. Vacuum System. List Price $313.00 (BDC Price $261.00)
Catalog No. 225073. Heavy Duty Electrical System. List Price $308.00 (BDC Price $247.00)
The following is further clarification of pricing and catalog numbers on the two Interior Lighting Pkgs.
Catalog No. 224069. Interior Lighting Pkg. A. List Price $220.30 (BDC Price $159.70)
Catalog No. 224070. Interior Lighting Pkg. B. List Price $114.30 (BDC Price $68.70)
All above quoted prices include installation in your BD-5D.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Last Update: 5/16/97
Web Author: Juan Jiménez
Copyright ©1997 by Juan Jiménez - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED