Aircraft of the Month: BD-5

The BD-5 is a small, single-seat homebuilt aircraft created in the late 1960s by U.S. aircraft designer Jim Bede and introduced in a kit form by the Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s.

The aircraft is streamlined, with its jet or propeller engine mounted to the rear of the cockpit. The pilot sits semi-reclined under a large canopy. The BD-5J version holds the record for world’s lightest jet aircraft, weighing only 358.8 pounds.

Operators: Private aircraft

Manufacturer: Bede Aircraft Corporation

Country: United States

First Flight: September 12, 1971

Crew: 1 pilot

Cruise Speed:  320+ km/h

Engine: Various reciprocating engines, from Rotax to Turbo Honda; turboprop with modified Solar T62; jet with Microturbo Couguar or TRS-18.

Height: 5 ft. 2 in.

Length: 12 to 13.5 ft.

Wingspan: 14 to 21 ft.

Passenger Capacity:

Operating Weight (Empty):  167 kg

Maximum Take-off Weight: 530 kg

Did You Know? The BD-5 appeared in the opening sequence of the James Bond movie, Octopussy, where the aircraft was flown through a hangar.

The YVR Connection: During YVR’s 80th Anniversary celebrations, a BD-5 took part in a vintage aircraft flypast and was parked at the South Terminal for the public to view and enjoy.

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