Bede BD-5

The Aircraft On Display

The description with the aircraft says, in part:

This Bede BD-5 has been re-built and restored by enthusiastic volunters of the RAAFA Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek and is dedicated to Daniel Florusse who was a member of the Aviation Museum's Youth Club.

The cost of the reconstruction was paid for by a $ 7,000 donation in Daniel's memory by his parents.

Due to the non-availability of parts, some components (visibly in the photos, the nosewheel assembly) are not original.

Type / History

Type Light sports aircraft
Manufacturer Home-built from a kit
Designer Jim Bede
Maiden flight 12th September, 1971
Primary users Aviation enthusiasts
Variants BD-5J, jet engine version

While the BD-5 is in some ways a modern equivalent of the pre-war Flying Flea, it was intended from the outset to be an "extreme" in the home-built aircraft range, offering fighter-plane-like agility and looks. Due to its radical design and construction, to problems with power plants and financial difficulties, the period from the first flight to widespread release was long, and not until well into the 1980s were BD-5s to be seen in the air.

Even then, the combination of a design which had many handling quirks with pilots who were often amateur in many ways resulted in a poor safety record. There have since been many secondary changes to the design which have led to the aircraft being a much safer option.

The jet version, the BD-5J, is accepted as the smallest jet aircraft, and also featured in two James Bond movies, "Octopussy" and "Die Another Day". Specifications Note: fuselage and wing variations result in size ranges

General Characteristics

General characteristics

Length: 12 ft to 13ft 6 in (3.88 to 4.11 m)
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.6 m)
Wingspan 14 ft to 21 ft 6 in (4.26 to 6.55 m)
Powerplant: various near 40 HP; BD-5J uses
Microturbo Cougar or TRS-18
Weight: empty 358 lb (178 kg),
max loaded 1,100 lb (500 kg)


Maximum speed: 200+ mph (320+ km/h); BD-5J 300 mph (480 km/h)
Range: 720+ mi (1,152+ km)
Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3,700 m); BD-5J 23,000 ft (7,000 m)