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Based on previous work with innovative light aircraft, the BD-1 (eventually developed into the American Aviation AA-1 Yankee) and the BD-2, Jim Bede designed the BD-4, the first real "kitplane" in the world. The design was based on a high-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional design, able to be fitted either with tail wheel or tricycle undercarriage, as the builder chooses.
The builder was also able to choose between building a two-seat or four-seat version. Bede wrote a 165-page BD-4 builder's book, "Build Your Own Airplane", that gives the amateur builder a good perspective on construction techniques. The intention was to have people with little or no fabrication experience start with a set of comprehensive plans and work up to a "bolt together" operation, using complex components provided from the factory. In order to simplify construction, there were few curved surfaces and most of the fuselage was made up of flat aluminum sheeting. The only major components with compound curves were the engine cowling and landing gear spats which were made of fibreglass. The fuselage is constructed of aluminum angle braces bolted together to form a truss frame. An innovative wing structure employed a "panel-rib" constructed in sections consisting of a rib whose upper edge was "extended" horizontally to become one section of the wing surface. The wing was progressively built up by sliding these sections together over the tubular spar and fastening them together where they met. Although the original wing design was easy to build, current BD-4B features a redesigned, more conventional, metal wing with a tubular spar bonded to honeycomb ribs.
The BD-4C is a greatly improved four seat model with 1,200 lb (544 kg) empty weight and 2,400 lb (1,089 kg) gross weight. Estimated construction time is 700 hours. Two models completed and flown by 2011 with kits currently being assembled around the world.
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The Next Generation BD-4C
ENGINEERED TO FAR-CERTIFIED STANDARDS
Design parameters were to build the safest aircraft possible using the most economical and easy-to-work aviation-grade materials.
Specially designed parts are limited, including the aluminum honeycomb construction ribs and the tubular spar for the new all-metal wings. Although the BD-4C meets or exceeds the structural requirements for certified aircraft as specified in FAR – Part 23, it is not certified, and is intended for construction and operation only as an amateur-built airplane.
THE WING – "A LITTLE BIT OF HONEY"
Forget rivets. The all-metal wings of the BD-4C are tough and smooth. 0.50 inch metal honeycomb panels are used to fabricate the ribs, which are bonded to the famous Bede tubular spar with the same adhesive used in US military fighters, and then the metal skin is bonded to the edges of the ribs and rear spar. This design results in a "wet" wing, with far lower drag than the original. The new wing is available in kit form from BedeCorp, or visit our Build Center for explicit help which usually takes 3 days.
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All-metal, internally stressed design. Designed for home shop construction. No welding, no complicated jigs. Gusseted and bolted aluminum frame angles form "erector set" safety cage. Sleek bonded .016 and .020 aluminum skin, blind-riveted load-carrying components. The Cockpit can be upholstered and trimmed to production aircraft standards. Spacious instrument panel accommodates IFR components.
Second generation Jim Bede-designed all-metal "wet" cantilever high wing design with a 64-415 modified airfoil. The bonded wing skin is rivet-free except for the trailing edge spar. Ribs are 0.5" aluminum honeycomb. 10, 20, and 30-degree flap deflection. Flaps and ailerons, designed to be interchangeable, are torque-tube controlled. Rugged ready-to-mount 6.5" O.D. tubular main wing spars of 6061-T6 aluminum are sleeved for fast assembly to fuselage spar. Three-piece spar assembles quickly, is light and strong, and permits foldable wing option.
All moving horizontal stabilator with 2.5" O.D. 6061-T6 Spar, 63 009 airfoil, 36" chord, and 88" span. The vertical and horizontal tail are built using the same 1/2" thick honeycomb ribs and bonded skins as the wings making them incredibly strong and lightweight. (rudder is not bonded, spar is not 2024-t3)
BD-4C Selected Dimensions and Capacities:
Height (tricycle gear):
Fixed tricycle or tail wheel configuration.
51 to 80 gallons
Ultimate G Load Limits*
BD-4C @ 2000 Lb. gross:
Positive 6.3 G, Negative 6.3 G.
BD-4C @ 1400 Lbs. gross:
Positive 9 G, Negative 9 G.
*The BD-4C, as a 4-place 2400-Lb. gross airplane, currently exceeds the required standards for the “Normal” FAA certification category. As a 2-place plane, it exceeds the required standards for the “Aerobatic” category. However, this design is not certified, and is intended only for construction and operation as an amateur-built aircraft.
Item # BDC101 = BD-4C Fuselage Package --- $4,838.00
Kit includes all formed aluminum angles, precut gusset’s, aluminum skins, center section and hardware *Builder Assist Package Available
Item # BDC102 = BD-4C Metal Wing Package --- $11,226.00
Kit includes all precut honeycomb ribs, wing spars, formed rear spar, formed wing skins, new fuel pickup system, Proseal and electric fuel senders. Kit includes flap and aileron formed skins, precut mahogany ribs, aileron torque tubes.
*Builder Assist Package Available
Item # BDC103 = BD-4C Control Package --- $5,493.00
This kit includes the bonded vertical and horizontal tail section, all bearings and hardware. Also included is all the weldments, push pull rods, trim system needed for the internal control systems.
Item #BDC104 = BD-4C Landing Gear Package --- $8,454.00
Kit includes S-Ply landing gear struts, formed nose gear strut, redesigned landing gear box, nose gear wheel, main gear wheels, brakes, tires and tubes, all hardware, aluminum support angles, master cylinder, brake lines and all hardware
Item # BDC105 = BD-4C Finish Package --- $3,150.00
Kit includes Plexiglas, wing tips, vertical and horizontal tips, all hardware
Item # BDC110 = BD-4C Complete Package --- $29,844.90
Kit includes all 6 packages, plus engine mount welded Dynofocal Type 1. Items not included in the Complete Package: Engine, propeller, cowling, instruments, exhaust system. All of which are available through BEDECORP.
(Contact Jim Bede at firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.)
UL Power Engine--
Hartzel Constant Speed Propeller--
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