BD-5 Construction Plans

inigo88

Composite-lover
Anyone know where to find and purchase them?

I have been humoring the idea of building a homebuilt as an Aerospace Engineering senior design project for some time. I was originally looking for in-progress Long EZ builds to take over, but a friend has generously offered to donate a BD-5 fuselage and wing skins to the cause. It's an incomplete kit, so we'd be lacking some of the more complicated parts and trying to fabricate as much as possible from scratch (fortunately my university has several machine shops!).

I am trying to pitch the build as a faculty-supported club or class with multiple students working on it. It would be for "educational purposes only", with some extensive academic structural analysis done and published (possibly beyond what Jim Bede did back in the late 60s). Due to the high mortality rate of experienced BD pilots and difficulty in obtaining the engine I'm not convinced I want to set foot in the thing, but I want the airframe built to FAA standards (i.e. AC 43.13). Other options would be static display, donation to an aerospace museum, structural testing, etc.

I've tried to get in touch with Alturair at Gillespie field (so far unsuccessfully), and I'm planning on contacting aerospace museums that have done past BD-5 restorations (San Diego Air & Space Museum and Western Museum of Flight at TOA), but if anyone has or knows anyone who may know how to get a hold of the plans, I'm all ears! Any other suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
I seem to see incomplete BD-5 projects regularly pop up on classifieds, so I would think if you cannot find some that posting a 'wanted' ad might do it.

Why not design something new that will fly? You can use the BD-5 for inspiration. Carve it out of a big block of foam and fiberglass it. You could use some of the large scale RC turbine engines as a power plant and built it around those.

Or, better yet... get yourself an O-200 and build a Formula One race plane around the engine and take it to Reno!

Sounds like more fun to me.
 

NickH

Dank Meme
There are a lot of BD-5 kits out there.

You sound like you are aware of many of the issues.

http://www.bd-micro.com/ Used to make kits, but seem to be focussed on their jet version now. They might have information and be able to help.

There's a lot of information here, and they may be able to help you find plans: http://www.bd5.com/
 

Pilot Fighter

Well-Known Member
My God, don't think of flying the damn thing. Have you considered a wood and fabric or tube and fabric aircraft? You can build a Himax for about $7K and it is a very easy plane to fly. You have a much better chance of finishing a simpler design.
 

inigo88

Composite-lover
Found a source of the plans, as well as a complete copy of the original newsletter and plans change notices! Not bad for a company that's been out of business for almost 40 years!

Unfortunately the BD-5 really isn't a plan's built airplane. I sort of already knew this but I was hoping the construction plans would provide enough dimensions and clues to fabricate our own wing ribs and spars. They don't. It's a 51% owner fabricated aircraft, so 49% of the most difficult to fabricate parts are provided in the kit (which in my case is very incomplete if we accept the donation). Most of the parts left for the owner to fabricate are simple bulkheads and non-curved shapes that can be easily templated and cut out with tin-snips.

Other than keeping an eye out for in-progress kits for sale on sites like barnstormers and trade-a-plane, does anyone have any tips on how to locate the missing kit parts? :)
 

NickH

Dank Meme
Give barnstormers a chance.

For my Venture, one of the biggest deals came from barnstormers. Landing Gear! The factory kit runs over 17K. I bought a used set from Barnstormers for a grand. Another grand to overhaul and have it modified by the Venture guru, and I'm set. There are some fantastic deals to be found..
 

WacoFan

Bigly
My God, don't think of flying the damn thing. Have you considered a wood and fabric or tube and fabric aircraft? You can build a Himax for about $7K and it is a very easy plane to fly. You have a much better chance of finishing a simpler design.
I admire the spirit of the original post, and love the response I've quoted.

If you're looking for a relative simple project, that is also arcane without tons of data... perhaps we look at a Wiley Post? This was a small biplane built in the 30's that I believe was powered by a Ford Model A engine (similar to Pietenpols). Anyway - I've never seen one anywhere, but looks simple enough and maybe go with a Corvair motor or even a more modern Rotax or something. Might be cool.

104.jpg
WileyPostBiplane.jpg
 

inigo88

Composite-lover
I see this post is dated 2013.
If still interested -
Here's what I have ( BD-5 project )
I'm also thinking of putting the plans on a CD.
And I have a copy of plans for DAL-1 Spezo Tuholer & on CD

Robert
Canyonville OR
Thanks for reaching out. I’m still part of the forum all these years later. My classmates and I abandoned the BD-5 idea and restored a Rocketdyne LR101 liquid rocket motor instead. :)


Reading the description on the mods that were made, it sounds like marketing the kit for static display is going to be your best bet. Thank you for highlighting the deviations from the plans, as those can be very painful to discover long after purchase (speaking from first hand experience). It was also surprisingly hard to find a copy of the plans back when I posted this in 2013, so if you took the time to digitize them on CD I’m sure you’d get some interest. Best of luck.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
A couple guys in my EAA chapter have a BD-5 project they acquired. They are turning it into a go kart for kids to drive at Young Eagles events.
 
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