The smallest acrobatic microjet

It is not necessary to look like a mighty fighter to be an aviation gymnast and reach incredibly high speeds. This is a light bullet that can be manned by daredevils due to the high acrobatic performance only awarded by fighter jets. Just seeing how this plane flies is shocking because of its small size. We are talking about the BD-5. The small series aircraft created by Jim Bede, an aircraft designer.

The BD-5 is a single-seat and single-engine aircraft homebuilt, which means that it can be constructed without the expertise of qualified engineers or technicians. The purchase comes with drawings and instructions and assistance as a kit to be assembled. So, it is an amateur home-building kit.

BD-5B aircraft. Source: Valder137/flickr.com

The aircraft was originally conceived by the “Micro” in 1967 when the preliminary design turns into the BD-5. Bede had gained expertise from the homemade aircraft Bede BD-4, another light aircraft he designed. Opening the doors to this type of airplane to be simply constructed. In 1970 the aircraft was offered to the public and a huge demand starting with 800 orders despite the aircraft being in the testing stage. Not a year had passed after its launch and other concepts began to rise, giving a successful business to the company as well as expertise in aircraft building and design.

The BD-5 and its performance were suitable for hobbyists and enthusiasts of aviation, and easy to fly. The fuselage was constructed primarily from fiberglass panels over an aluminum frame, and within a few hours, the construction could be done.

BD-5 Construction Scketch. Source: jimbede.com

The series of these aircraft cover a variety of variants, that involve different features such as type of engines and wings. However, talking about the microjet, the jet-powered aircraft, one of the last variants is the FLS produced by BD-Micro Technologies and powered by a PBS TJ-100 engine.

BD-5 FLS. Source: revivaler.com
BD-5 FLS Microjet in Flight. Source: Box5 Media/youtube.com

The main characteristics of this aircraft:

• Top Speed: 320mph (515 Km/h
• Stall Speed: 67pmh
• Max Range: 200nm (370km)
• Max Lading: +-6 g’s
• Wing Span: 17ft (5.1m)
• Length: 13ft (4m)
• Height: 5′ 9″ (1.75m)
• Empty Weight: 416lbs (188 kg)
• Max Weight: 860lbs (370 kg)
• Jet Fuel: 30 gal
• Thrust: 265lbs (120 kg)
• Engine: Quantum Turbine System
• Featuring the PBS TJ-100

To see really this aircraft flying, the cost around 189,500 in 2011. Somewhat affordable when talking about planes that speed up to 515 km/h.

References:

https://jimbede.com/

http://www.bd5.com/bdfl73.htm

The world’s smallest jets: BD-5 or FLS Microjet

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