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  • Bede BD-5




    The Bede BD-5 Micro is a series of small, single-seat homebuilt aircraft.

    General Information

    Created in the late 1960s by US aircraft designer Jim Bede and introduced to the market primarily in kit form by the now-defunct Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s.


    The BD-5 has a small, streamlined fuselage holding its semi-reclined pilot under a large canopy, with the engine installed in a compartment in the middle of the fuselage, and a propeller-driving engine - or jet engine in the BD-5J variant - mounted immediately to the rear of the cockpit. The combination of fighter-like looks and relatively low cost led to the BD-5 selling over 5,000 kits or plans, with approximately 12,000 orders being taken for a proposed factory-built, FAA-certified version. However, few of the kit versions were actually completed due to the company's bankruptcy in the mid-1970s, and none of the factory built "D" models were produced, as a result of the failure to find a reliable engine for the design.


    In total, only a few hundred BD-5 kits were completed, although many of these are still airworthy today. The BD-5J version holds the record for the world's smallest jet aircraft, weighing only 358.8 lb (162.7 kg).


    For more details on the development of the BD-5 and its 10 variants, click here.


    Specifications below are for the piston engined BD-5B with extended wings.


    BD-5 Propeller driven




    BD-5J Jet powered.






    Crew: One
    13 ft 7 in (4.13 m)
    21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
    4 ft 2 in (1.28 m)
    Wing Area:
    47.4 sq ft (4.40 sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    355 lb (161 kg)
    659 lb (299 kg)
    1 × Hirth two-cylinder two-stroke, 70 hp (52 kW)
    Maximum speed: 232 mph (373 km/h, 201 kn) at sea level
    Cruise Speed:
    229 mph (369 km/h, 199 kn) at 2,285 m (7,497 ft)
    Stall Speed:
    55 mph (89 km/h, 48 kn) flaps down
    935 mi (1,504 km, 812 nmi) optimum, with 30 min reserve
    Takeoff Dist.:
    to 50 ft (15 m): 226 m (741 ft)
    Landing Dist.:
    from 50 ft (15 m): 253 m (830 ft)
    Rate of Climb:
    1,919 ft/min (9.75 m/s) at sea level

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    I know the aircraft was an absolute disaster for everyone but to think a two cylinder two stroke engine producing 70 hp could send this along at 200 kn and get nearly 2000 ft/m climb rate at sea level, just amazing

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    Well it hardly weighs anything and it's pretty sleek. 200 Kts is not that fast. I saw a BD5J at Avalon fly. I think it had about 20 minutes of fuel. The stall speed at 48 kts is quite good giving it a wide speed range (multiple of stall speed) that few U/L's equal.  Nev

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    All 'specs' need to be taken with an American pinch of salt (a bucket).

    I have spoken to BD-5 owners, and the numbers, while still impressive are usually nowhere near Jim Bede's comments.

    Stalls are typically between 65~85kts, depending on wing type (four or five to choose from, A, B, D, J & S).

    Quoting one owner;

    My BD-5a, first flew in June 1997 after four and a half years of construction. It was a third hand, untouched partial kit when I bought it for $500. This isn't an easy plane to build, but aftermarket support and parts are available. No complete kits were delivered by Bede Aircraft before they folded in the mid 80s. However, they shipped over four thousand partial kits, so many original ones are still available. Full kits are now available from Bede Micro Technologies in Oregon. Alturair, in ElCajon, Ca. also provides parts.

    My example is powered by a Rotax 583 turning a Prince 43x43 P-tip prop. Modifications to the design include stretched "A" wings with a 19' span and a leading edge cuff, all pushrod stabilator control, and a reshaped aft fuselage.

    Unlike its popular reputation, this is an excellent handling and easy to fly plane. It's quite stable and has perfect control harmony! Mine has an empty weight of 510 lbs., stalls at 80 mph. and cruises at 170. ROC is 950 to 1,000 fpm. Best glide is a 15/1 ratio at 120 mph.

    Much as I still love the aircraft (I've got sort of two kits), it's nowhere near an RAAus type aircraft, and really needs a lot of work to make it more 'usable' with it's assorted maintenance problems, buckling skins, leaking tanks, etc.

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    Australian rego, you can always look it up !.

    Tori Mac a singer l beleive, but could be wrong.


    See l,m wrong, She,s a Drummer. 

    Edited by spacesailor
    Lost photo
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    That's interesting, I always thought VH-POX was either a Heinz CH300 or Tri-Z?

    It was a homebuilt made by a gynaecologist I had heard, sadly passed away last year 😱

    And VH-POK appears to be a C-206, and other variations, PQX, PQK are also Cessna's.

    I wonder how recently the top photos were taken?



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