Copyright © 2009 Jim Bede. All Rights Reserved.
The BD-8, a high performance aerobatic aircraft, was developed by BedeCorp in the late 1970’s. This plane was built to rival the Curtis Pitts biplane, which was a small, very agile plane that featured a low moment of inertia around the various axes. Mr. Bede sought to achieve the same qualities and advantages, but as a monoplane. The BD-8 had much lower drag than its biplane counterpart, which it gave it an edge in performing vertical maneuvers.
Since the BD-8 was very similar to the BD-4 in construction, it made this dynamic plane easy to assemble, utilizing the same bolted-together fuselage stringers. The aircraft could withstand +/- 12 g’s, and employed an asymmetrical airfoil that allowed for both positive and inverted flight aerobatics. The fuselage had a relatively large side area that permitted “knife edge” flight and the all-flying tail was linked to the aileron, enhancing the roll capabilities, by increasing the differential movement of the horizontal tail.
Two BD-8’s were produced in total and tested very well, but were never fine-tuned, causing its production to be halted. Its competitive design, however, has great potential and is prospected to be activated again in the future.
Crew: one pilot
Length: 17 ft 5 in (5.31 m)
Wingspan: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)Height: 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Wing area: 97.0 ft2 (9.01 m2)
Aspect ratio: 3.9:1
Empty weight: 975 lb (442 kg)
Gross weight: 1,510 lb (685 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming IO-360-A1A air-cooled flat-four, 200 hp (149 kW) each
Maximum speed: 215 mph (346 km/h)
Cruise speed: 190 mph (306 km/h)
Rate of climb: 2,000 ft/min (10.2 m/s)