Tuesday, September 1, 2009


STANDARD DATA: Gross wt. 850. Empty wt. 410. Fuel capacity 35. Wingspan 17'. Length 13'3". Engine 70-hp Xenoah. PERFORMANCE: Top mph 230. Cruise mph 210. Stall mph 69. Climb rate 1,750. Ceiling 18,800. Takeoff run 820. Range 1,130.

The Bede Aircraft Co. did not compromise high performance and aerodynamic design for simple tooling and ease of construction in its snappy little single seater BD-5. Originally it was powered by a 40-hp Hirth snowmobile engine and was fitted with a wingspan of 14 feet. The wingspan was stretched to 17 feet, and the more powerful Xenoah three-cylinder two-stroke engine was installed. The pilot is seated under a transparent canopy forward of the engine in a heated cockpit. The landing gear is fully retractable, and the entire fuselage/wing structure is constructed of lightweight alloy materials. The BD-5 was also designed in a jet version; the BD-5J became a regular air show performer and appeared in a James Bond movie. BD Micro-Technologies, Inc. developed a support group to help builders of the BD-5s complete their projects.


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