BD-5 - Why is it so engrained in our psyches?

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We want the right to pile anything we want into the ground.
As long as we don't endanger a third party.;)

Safety-police?? Moi?
To many a few of us you sound exactly like that, except some 'safety-police' actually care about their fellow man's life.

Some would rather live outside the Citadel than live under the protective thumb of Brussels' bureaucrats.
It's a philosophical thing........
 

Tom DM

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Some would rather live outside the Citadel than live under the protective thumb of Brussels' bureaucrats.
It's a philosophical thing........

Please know the Brussels' bureaucrats are not from Brussels, "we" mildly profit from them as they are big spenders of somebody else's money, but they are liked nor accepted.

As to "protective thumb" : if you mean by that the neck-breaking speedlimit in Brussels (30 kph) I have to agree but, then that stupidity does not come from the Brussels' bureaucrats of which some have proper "free out of jail" CD-plates allowing free parking, speeding and drunk driving.

I eagerly await that the 30 kph -limit also to be imposed on aircraft in final for Zaventem (Brussels International Airport) as then I will have a front row seat of the spectacle.

Philosophical thing you say? Come on: ya pulling my leg, laddie!
 
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Safety-police?? Moi?

TFF's post is probably a response to your essential misunderstanding of the FAA's role in granting special airworthiness certificates for the operation of amateur-built experimental aircraft:

...My guess is, would the BD5 have "worked" engine-wise, the FAA would have outright banned it with Jim Bede either seeing jail time and/or being plucked beyond the bone by dead men's lawyers...

The FAA has little or no power to "ban" an aircraft type or design. And they have very little power to deny the granting of an EAB special airworthiness certificate. If the I's are dotted and the T's crossed, the paperwork is all in order and the operating limitations clear, they pretty much have to give it to you.

The FAA can, and has, revoked type certificates for certificated aircraft. But they generally view each amateur-built experimental as its own individual type. I can think of only one time that the FAA has issued what amounts to an AD on amateur-built experimental type; that was for the RV-3 wing spar. And all it did was recommend to local FSDOs that the operating limitations for non-upgraded RV-3s prohibit aerobatics.

As far as "...Bede ... seeing jail time," that represents a misunderstanding of the American criminal justice system. Yes, if a court finds that Jim Bede was criminally negligent, it is possible they could send him to jail. But the bar for such negligence is so high that is usually only met where the conduct can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be intentionally or egregiously reckless with regards to safety concerns. Clearly, the BD-5 was and is a very dangerous airplane. But, that's just a matter of degree. Most amateur-built airplanes are statistically more dangerous than certificated general aviation aircraft, and in terms of fatalities per participant-hour, general aviation as a whole is about 156 times as dangerous as commercial airliners, and 1.5 times as dangerous as riding motorcycles.

As for Bede "being plucked beyond the bone by dead men's lawyers...," the legal standard for that is generally that the "preponderance of evidence" supports liability. And that happened several times over. It might have slowed him down a little, but it didn't stop him.
 

Tom DM

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TFF's post is probably a response to your essential misunderstanding of the FAA's role in granting special airworthiness certificates for the operation of amateur-built experimental aircraft:



The FAA has little or no power to "ban" an aircraft type or design. And they have very little power to deny the granting of an EAB special airworthiness certificate. If the I's are dotted and the T's crossed, the paperwork is all in order and the operating limitations clear, they pretty much have to give it to you.

The FAA can, and has, revoked type certificates for certificated aircraft. But they generally view each amateur-built experimental as its own individual type. I can think of only one time that the FAA has issued what amounts to an AD on amateur-built experimental type; that was for the RV-3 wing spar. And all it did was recommend to local FSDOs that the operating limitations for non-upgraded RV-3s prohibit aerobatics.

As far as "...Bede ... seeing jail time," that represents a misunderstanding of the American criminal justice system. Yes, if a court finds that Jim Bede was criminally negligent, it is possible they could send him to jail. But the bar for such negligence is so high that is usually only met where the conduct can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be intentionally or egregiously reckless with regards to safety concerns. Clearly, the BD-5 was and is a very dangerous airplane. But, that's just a matter of degree. Most amateur-built airplanes are statistically more dangerous than certificated general aviation aircraft, and in terms of fatalities per participant-hour, general aviation as a whole is about 156 times as dangerous as commercial airliners, and 1.5 times as dangerous as riding motorcycles.

As for Bede "being plucked beyond the bone by dead men's lawyers...," the legal standard for that is generally that the "preponderance of evidence" supports liability. And that happened several times over. It might have slowed him down a little, but it didn't stop him.

Thanks for expleaning the working of the FAA / American Criminal Justice System, might come in handy if a green card was to be envisioned. I guess I 'll fail that test for the moment. It seems that the American Justice System or better the Federal Trade Commission -both organizations of which I happily declare to know nothing about- had nevertheless some leverage over Jim Bede.

However what I miss among the adoration of the BD5 is that that other jet, the BD10, received not even a tiny mention. That airplane got a serious dose of the DNA of the BD5: dangerous, overstated, structurally not sound but the "engine"-lesson was retained.

The overall picture of Jim Bede is that of a failed engineer, a screwed / crooked businessman which ultimately met the foreseeable result, that being multiple failures. However -and that is without a doubt- if he couldn't do the walk , Jim Bede could certainly do the talk .
 

Dan Thomas

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Are you referring to the air mobility companies? Here are two important differences between air taxis and the BD-5: First: safety. Today nobody will accept a computer-controlled vehicle with an increased level of risk compared to manual driving, no matter how quickly it takes them places. If it's not safer than a car, that vehicle won't create a profit.Second? They're not marketing those air taxis to some middle-aged men with a bandsaw in his garage. They're marketing it to cities that are currently struggling with unworkable transportation and living arrangements. See portions of the target audience sitting on the interstate any working day during daylight hours -- that situation is as unbelievable as the flying cars. The fact is that our generation is facing substantial challenges due to the way our communities are structured, and those crappy CGI videos are part of our solution towards beginning to addres the technical challenges, whether or not the result satisfies your personal expectations.
I am referring, as I said, to the outfits that publish vaporware making claims about machines that have not flown. Some aren't even built. Some have flown for a minute or two. It's all well and good to propose machines to move people over the congestion rather than through it, but please, prove it first. That's what is lacking in almost every case. This sort of garbage has been going on since before I was born, which was a long time ago. Ideas that were peddled as workable solutions, but NEVER built and flown. Most of them needed power sources that were light enough and powerful enough to do the job, and those power sources still do not exist. Even after 80 years.

Design it, build it, fly it at Oshkosh several hours every day, and maybe then we'll believe it. Until then, don't make promises.

What's happening with the Terrafugia? Or the Eviation Alice? Those were supposed to be flying people around years ago already.
 

bhooper360

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It's all well and good to propose machines to move people over the congestion rather than through it, but please, prove it first. That's what is lacking in almost every case.

You don't understand my argument. I'm saying that those machines do not have to fly in order for those companies to benefit me. Whether or not the machines move people over congestion is of little concern. I pay my taxes, the taxes fund education for engineers, designers and others. Once those engineers graduate, some of them call the cadmium mines and request samples, some of them plug variables into PID controllers, maybe the architects mock up sustainable city centers out of foamboard. At this point, the existence of that company is already benefitting me, because it's motivating people to do stuff for me on my behalf. Are those people solving public health crises in Guatemala? No, they aren't. But they're not marketing some crappy drone to the Israelis, either, and I care about my city centers a whole lot more than I care about location of some Arabian pool contractor's tent.

What's happening with the Terrafugia? Or the Eviation Alice?

I've never heard that company. I know the Alice is the one that looks like the egg, and it burned down, so presumably past the CGI rendering phase.

Ideas that were peddled as workable solutions, but NEVER built and flown. Most of them needed power sources that were light enough and powerful enough to do the job, and those power sources still do not exist. Even after 80 years.

This seems a bit melodramatic. I've seen tons of really cool FPV drone footage -- especially the freestyle stuff blows my mind -- and it was definitely not there when I was getting into air sports. I was building park flyers and playing Counterstrike surf, so if it was practical then then I would have. Clearly, associated technologies are progressing, have progressed, and will continue to progress.
 

Dana

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Are you referring to the air mobility companies? Here are two important differences between air taxis and the BD-5: First: safety. Today nobody will accept a computer-controlled vehicle with an increased level of risk compared to manual driving, no matter how quickly it takes them places. If it's not safer than a car, that vehicle won't create a profit.Second? They're not marketing those air taxis to some middle-aged men with a bandsaw in his garage. They're marketing it to cities that are currently struggling with unworkable transportation and living arrangements.

No, they're not. They're marketing to anybody with cash to invest or put down a deposit so they can pay for the next round of glitzy web page animations (and, of course, their salaries). Actually producing hardware to solve real world problems is not a required part of the business plan.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are a few outfits out there that are genuinely trying to product real world hardware... but it's hard to find them amidst all the noise being made by the vaporware producers.

The overall picture of Jim Bede is that of a failed engineer, a screwed / crooked businessman which ultimately met the foreseeable result, that being multiple failures. However -and that is without a doubt- if he couldn't do the walk , Jim Bede could certainly do the talk .

My impression of Bede was that was a very creative conceptual and out-of-the-box engineer but not so good on details, a great salesman, and an extreme optimist. He certainly could "do the talk". Not a crook, at least not intentionally, but the kind of well meaning guy who tends to make other people lose money (or their lives).
 

Dan Thomas

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I've never heard that company. I know the Alice is the one that looks like the egg, and it burned down, so presumably past the CGI rendering phase.
Terrafugia built a flying car and promoted the thing long before it ever flew. Once it flew, it did so poorly. Now they've come up with another version, but we hear nothing about it anymore.

Yup, the first Alice burnt, which was probably a good thing. It was a collection of oxymoronic ideas such as wingtip motors (what happens if one motor fails just after liftoff, with all that thrust one one tip and all that drag on the other?) and whose propellers were so close to the ground that slipping for a crosswind landing was impossible. Couldn't crab it on, since it was a taildragger. It had a tail motor that put the prop just off the surface, behind the tailwheel which would flick debris up into it. Now they've come up with a different airplane, a bizjet lookalike with electric motors driving props. It still hasn't flown.

Sure, you can get some pretty awesome multicopters. Expensive toys, useful for aerial photography and the like. But like model airplanes, you cannot scale that up to man-carrying size with any success. Model airplanes also have awesome performance because they have awesome power-to-weight ratios, ratios impossible to achieve in full-size airplanes unless you install really expensive turboprop engines. Many-carrying multicopters need a lot of power, and a lot of battery if they're going to stay aloft for any useful amount of time. And they need redundant systems so that the failure of one motor or electrical system doesn't crash the thing. They cannot glide nor can they autorotate like a helicopter; they are entirely reliant on those motors keeping on going. So far I have heard of no practical machine, safe enough for transport, and that doesn't cost way more than a new Cessna 172.
 

BJC

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My impression of Bede was that was a very creative conceptual and out-of-the-box engineer but not so good on details, a great salesman, and an extreme optimist. He certainly could "do the talk". Not a crook, at least not intentionally, but the kind of well meaning guy who tends to make other people lose money (or their lives).
Bede’s “Design Notes” were useful back when a few people were actually trying to design one-off homebuilts.
Terrafugia built a flying car and promoted the thing long before it ever flew. Once it flew, it did so poorly.
It flew at Oshkosh once. The pilot was on the PA system with the airshow announcer. The announcer asked the pilot to “rock the wings”, but the pilot, wisely, chose not to. It was a POS.


BJC
 

Tom DM

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There are some Bede designs that meet the oft-stated HBA poster’s criteria of easy to build, good performing, and inexpensive. Many would be more popular were it not for the stigma attached to Bede.

See The History of Bede Aircraft | Bedecorp


BJC

Those few were most likely due to pure luck (sandwichpanel/bonding etc) rather than testing or actual knowledge (learned or obtained). Some "succesfull designs" required extensive rework afterwards just to make them work. The majority of the BD-range is intentionally overhyped and (maybe) unintentionally under-engineered. Some are plainly fraudulent in design, comercialisation and execution. Some projects like the 3-4 wheel-car are just anecdotical and rather embarrassing.

A laywer (US or outherwise) may -correctly- state that "fraudulent" differs in US-legislation but somebody who takes money from customers and does not deliver , is for me just that. If on top of that the product is dangerous due to technical errors, requiring extensive modifications and/or is made of out unobtainium, that comes as a bonus.

Jime Bede was indeed "quite innocent" that's why after the BD5-finale he accepted "without recognising guilt" an 10 year ban of taking pre-paiement for aero-services. In my profession that ressembles to "exclusion of the profession", I know of no engineers (or doctors for that matter) who could live with such.

Weeks after the sanction the con-scheme restarted with the BD10 in identical fashion.

The history of Bede Aircraft is better served by objective sources rather than from people with direct gain. It must be quite hard for the actual Bedecorp to live / do business with that knowledge. One can easily fool people once, yet fooling all the people all the time and dodging technical norms proved beyond the considerable capabilities of Jim Bede in those fields.

I think his charms and persuation skills far exceeded his technical capabilities and a lot of people paid for in money or quite more. There is -sadly- no stigma attached to Jim Bede, he did it by himself and -of that I am sure- knowingly.
 

PMD

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Not in the US, brother. Every penny spent on my undergraduate and graduate engineering educations (one of which was a state university) came out of my pocket! Test Pilot School on the other hand, was funded by the taxpayers.
Every penny YOU spent. About 15% of all post secondary funding in the US comes from the Feds and EVERY state university and college receives considerable funding from its home state. I guess they don't teach that in Engineering down there.
 

raytol

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There is a lot of us on here, the starry eyed aircraft designers that think we might just have "the next big thing". We wish that the flying community will be impressed enough with our offering that they might consider, help us feed our families, by buying one of our creations!
It will have to be something exceptional now as the past is littered with failed enterprises and shysters.
The "safety" society and overload of lawyers makes true "experimental" aircraft almost impossible, hence the proliferation of RV's, Zeniths and the like.
It is a hard ask for a designer to be an engineer, sales person, production scheduler, test pilot, financier, etc. But that is what we all start out doing! It is very easy for the one person business to be overloaded with interest in their product. Investors mostly want faster returns and less risky returns so we get back to selling products to fund our expansion.
Premature exposure of our ideas on the internet seems to be the latest curse. Pretty vapourware and dodgy graphic designers, who know nothing about flying craft, are now soaking up any investment that may have been available for a "real" shot at something new and better.
Anyhow, we can just keep quietly designing, plotting and tinkering away until our creations are ready for the world!
 

cblink.007

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Every penny YOU spent. About 15% of all post secondary funding in the US comes from the Feds and EVERY state university and college receives considerable funding from its home state. I guess they don't teach that in Engineering down there.
Wow.

I was very aware of the subsidies the school received. I was referring to absence of financial assistance I received, as most of my demographic is mostly ineligible...but that debate is for another forum.

In any case, what I did pay was worth it...and is far, far less than what most new graduates get strapped with today. If you're curious, I can connect you with a junior engineer of ours who is over $205k in loan debt; he can tell you all about how the taxpayer helped him out...

I digress.
 

Tiger Tim

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Pretty vapourware and dodgy graphic designers, who know nothing about flying craft
I’m not sure that’s a new phenomenon, it’s just easier than before. Consider the Horton Wingless, the Christmas Bullet, Bel Geddes Airliner #4, or anything on the cover of Mechanix Illustrated through the 1930s.
 

SpruceForest

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UAL sunk 2.5 B USD into supersonics and AAM in the middle of the pandemic. How the heck does Scott Kirby handle getting that wheelbarrow he needs through his office door? Makes investment in a BD look positively Blue Chip.
 
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BJC

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Those few were most likely due to pure luck (sandwichpanel/bonding etc) rather than testing or actual knowledge (learned or obtained).
You know that, or are you just being critical without data?

I’m not defending Jim’s BD-5 fiasco, but lots of accusations in this thread go too far in passing judgement on some, but not all, of Bede’s other work. My neighbor has a really nice Grumman Tiger that most of us here would enjoy flying.


BJC
 

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