Smallest Jet Aircraft

The smallest jet aircraft

Which is the smallest jet-powered aircraft? MC-15 Cri-Cri-Jet may keep the Rekord (?) For the youngest, but before it appeared, the BD-5J micro jet shown in the James Bond movie "Octopussy" would have kept this track - it was even on the movie's posters. BD-5J is actually a jet model of the BD-5, which had a rear thrust prop.

An article I was reading about the flying qualities years ago said that it was quite difficult to get a plane to land because the jet outlet was higher than the center of mass, which means that the accelerator pedal pressed the gas downwards and the accelerator pedal pressed the gas downwards, making the touch down a real test........

Excitement of the world' s smallest jet flight


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When I saw Justin Lewis at a flight show last summers in his BD-5J bright silvery, that old feel came back. Longing to buckle back into a BD-5 nozzle. Then I wanted to plunge it along the show line, lift it vertically, circle it through a wild turkey, go backwards into a stern chute, move the equipment up and down, then go past the air show amount, as we did in 1975 when I was the third BD-5 jet team driver.

Smooth as a ball, as effective as a glider, as sexual as a small Reno-Racer, the BD-5 was at the heart of Jim Bedes dreams of making flight accessible and funny for the people. He had already made a home run and sold more than 800 sets for his box-shaped, handy, homemade BD-4.

However, orders for the BD-5 rose to over a thousand. His hull, which is not much larger than a motorbike (empty weight: approx. 450 pounds), set a Guinness Guiness Records as the smallest jet in the can. Before the plane even flown or the motor ran, they sent payments in the hope of building construction sets or places in the line for the serials.

On the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, last July, Lewis tells me that the sight of BD-5 aircraft in the 80s and 90s gave him the inspiration to go flying. Speaking also about constructing his own flight line models with Skeeter and Richard Karnes at BD-Micro Technologies in Siletz, Oregon, one of the places where amateurs can get help assembling a BD-5.

The Luftfahrt-Bundesbehörde (Federal Aviation Authority) considers the BD-5 to be "experimental", so the carnassians who purchased parts from one of the genuine retailers can make any desired modification. "It' got reinforced wing, a more powerful motor, and a 5-inch section to the hull. I, for my part, was telling him tales from the time when I was a wing man in the demo squad with the other air show drivers Bob Bishop and Corkey Fornof.

The Bede Aircraft had already started its historical rear waterslide when I was flying my first flight show with the crew in May 1975, but I didn't know that. Perishable, there was no commercially available, flyable two-stroke reciprocating motor for the -5, and it was the inexpensive reciprocating motor type that the builders wanted, not the 20,000 dollar jet.

None of the planes had ever used such an motor, and in attempting to design one, the engineering staff and snow-mobile motor manufacturer they worked with seemed to run in silt. Born in Newton, Kansas, Germany, Bede Aircraft was a major attraction for home aircraft enthusiasts, drivers, mechanics as well as civil and industrialists.

At Fornof' s, who headed the jet crew and had been flying air shows in the P-51 Mustang and F8F Bearcat, he bought a Beede dealer to buy kit sets, and later, he was hoping, serial aircraft. Bishop, who had become known for his air show appearances in the Bellanca Super Viking, was flying the right grand piano and had deposited a security for one of the serials.

Designed to puzzle the drivetrain that connected the hull motor to the rear-facing prop, Dan Cooney showed up in Newton with his Cessna 172, willing to store in storage until they found him a position. Today's renowned aircraft constructor Burt Rutan quit a civil position at Edwards Air Force Base to become Bedes pilot.

" In Newton Rutan came with his own almost ready designed VariViggen. From 1972 to 1974, while at Bede, he upgraded the BD-5 support system, upgraded the -5 to Jet-5 aeroplane aircraft, and designed Bede's coach's idea of Truck-a-Plane: a BD-5 cell hung on a trapezoid in front of a pick-up lorry.

Rutan's other input was to make Les Berven the test driver of the BD-5. At Edwards Rutan and Berven worked together and flown the planes in the Aeroclub of the airfield. And I knew Les would be a better BD-5 to fly than any test pilots who would retire from Phantoms or F-15s.

" And Bishop named Berven our test cockman. Johnny and I worked in the van that drove from Wichita to Newton, with cardboard cases of binders and records, and answered correspondence. "John Hall was crucial to Bede's deal in two ways: Oversaw the BD-5's large-scale advertising drive and affectionately sketched the BD-5 blueprints, known for their carefully designed series.

Bishop and Fornof said there could be a position for a wing man if I had enough for him. When Bishop phoned me to take the place of her third driver Ed Mahler, I had just spent a year and a half in Canada working as a driver in the Four-Pitts Carling Aerobatic Team.

He became their solopilot until the moment his jet took in and burned out polluted propellant at Corpus Christi, and the plane descended on a sand spot near the airfield. Bishop and Fornof flown the remainder of their 1974 20-show seasons without him. He had seen a tape of me fly on the Carling crew, so he thought I could do the gig, and he thought a girl on the crew would make him more attractive to sponsoring companies.

He was sceptical; he did not know any female pro acrobatic flight instructors because there were none except me. From 1971 to 1973 I had headed a squad for the renowned air show driver Jim Holland, then I took the number four or slots spot in the Carling aerobatics group. When I showed up in Kansas in May, Fornof said I could give it a try, but that I probably wouldn't be willing to play with the Oshkosh crew at the end of July.

However, when we went together, I felt at home in the jet and felt at home with their forming routines, and Fornof turned his part. Ă‚ Our new crew flown our first show 10 nights later for our clients and staff in Newton, and the remainder of the summers we three had a great few hours together to fly.

It was our task on the jet crew to keep the BD-5 in front of the people. In the beginning Bete asked us all into his offices to make an inviting ashtray. Paul Griffin sketched them with Bedes' drawings on square headed glass as a guideline. 1964, after having read a Mechanix Illustrated about the BD-1, Griffin came to Bete Aviation (which became Bete Aircraft) as an illustrator.

Bedes' designs gave birth to his dreams. He worked on the BD-5 for a whole working day and then stayed behind to grind a prototype of the next Beta design. Due to the sluggish and piecemeal supply of construction sets, the early poisoning had to be intensified via the BD-5 prop versions.

Actually, right after the Newton show, we took one to the big air show in Reading, Pennsylvania, because our planes had been sent by the Air Force to Edwards for test and research purposes. But Hollywood also saw its spy plane potentials and poured them into the 1983 James Bond Octopussy, with Fornof at the wheel as Roger Moore's stand-in.

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