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

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Hephaestus

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it is valuable for pilots to HAVE experience in REAL WORLD highly responsive control.
Not having time in a bd5; not knowing anyone who does...

My question is - is experience in other rutan side-stick aircraft the appropriate training answer? Quickie, Variez, Longez - all have similar issues and at their core - a common designer... PIO was a factor in all these aircraft; and all have been described with similar attributes.
 

Rob de Bie

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TFF and BoKu, thanks for your responses. I ordered the plans (or actually: made the donation) yesterday and downloaded the 244 MB PDF. First impressions: professional drawings and instructions, but wow, what a load of work for an amateur builder. A real pity they did not scan a clean copy, this one is full of notes and scribles. But worth the money, I agree.

Rob
 
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Wild to think that the ones that were disassembled and trailered between air shows for years didn’t wear out that minimal attachment.
What I've heard is that BD-5Js on the airshow circuits, which were quickly accumulating a lot of high-g cycles, got new wing panels every year or so. The wing flex, and specifically the oilcanning, was taking a rapid toll, causing cracks in the wing skin and fuel leaks. In that context, the frequent assemblies and disassemblies was probably a drop in the bucket.
 

cblink.007

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Back in the day, you had fighter jocks, helo drivers, and glider guiders that had been forced to develop the sort of control touch that small/high control sensitivity/highly responsive aircraft required. These days, sim work could take a lot of the risk out of initial flights for something like a BD-5ish aircraft.
I am a fan of sims. They are amazing for IFR training & currency, great for cockpit procedures training, emergency procedures training, tactical management training (ie flight lead & air mission commander) and many Cat B & C flight test rehearsals, and they are quarter, if not half decent for learning how to fly a given aircraft. Let me explain...

Back in 2011, the Army's chief warrant officer of the aviation branch wrote an OpEd in a prominent military aviation periodical of how he felt that flight school should be mostly simulator only, with the student only flying the real thing for the pre-check and actual check rides...and was rightly mocked, severely, across the operational force. Modern FTD's simply do not provide the level of fidelity required to teach a zero-time pilot how to fly. Without the presence of 'fear' and the appropriate proprioceptive senses that only the real thing can provide, there will be significant gaps in the learning process that can manifest themselves into potentially dangerous situations.

This said, with respect to 'learning to fly', simulators are amazing at giving the user basic familiarization of how the vehicle behaves...provided the 'model' is correct...but you still need the real thing at the end of the day to put it all together.

Case 1 in point:

Many years ago, Wingco (the group that fabricates the fast-build options for the Velocity line) developed the Atlantica blended wing-body aircraft. On their website, they openly talked about how they used X-Plane to 'test & refine their design'. Only one problem with that. Yes, you can create and simulate aircraft on X-Plane. We have done it with our all-wing design we are currently developing. However, like any analysis model, the "BS in, BS out" rule is in full effect. Wingco had a bad model in the software...and it manifested itself into an accident (inadvertent takeoff) during high speed taxi tests that severely damaged the aircraft and injured the pilot.

Case 2 in point:

Last year, we were tasked with investigating an aeroservoelastic mode in the V-22 that data was showing had the potential for accelerating airframe fatigue. But to properly characterize it, we had to put the aircraft through a specific series of accelerated, high stress maneuvers that had the potential to cause severe damage to the aircraft. So, we rehearsed it in the simulator ad nauseum. Some results were good, others not so much. But we followed up with doing a crawl-walk-run approach in the actual aircraft (as we knew that simulators only went so far), and the end result was a safely-conducted flight test program.

Who knows? Had Jim Bede and many late BD-5 pilots had the tools we have nowadays at our fingertips (even open-source products we have out there), perhaps the aircraft could have been improved into something better...and certainly something safer.
 
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PMD

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Who knows? Had Jim Bede and many late BD-5 pilots had the tools we have nowadays at our fingertips (even open-source products we have out there), perhaps the aircraft could have been improved into something better...and certainly something safer.
The BD-1 and its derivatives have an EXCELLENT safety record - but they didn't get there while under JB's hands. Aviation NEEDS dreamers and schemers such a Bede, but we also need to be a sufficiently mature industry to take those dreams and schemes and engineer the idiocy out of them.
 

TFF

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Sims allow someone to cheap out. That can be good or bad.

Sims, if they are good, allow pilots familiarization without having to risk a real artificial. There are different levels though. Full motion are great. While I am
Really a maintenance guy with a pilot license, I have flown the CRJ 200 and Airbus 300 sims and didn’t crash. I definitely had trouble judging flair, but flying is flying. They are a lot like flying a real plane, especially IFR. They will make you motion sick if you don’t believe.

You can’t crash a sim; not usually. A friend actually did, though. There was some type of limit switch float on a Q400 sim he was in. It actually came out of the rams and crashed 20 ft to the ground. Out the emergency crash door and up those side ladders in the pit. I have ridden in a sim where the person crashing had never flown before and it was fun to watch. The guy screamed the first time it crashed . The second time the instructor would stop it right above the ground and inch it into the ground. The player gets as many lives as allowed.

One friend taught his son how to fly in the CRJ sim. Could handle all the emergencies. One time the chief pilot got in and this 16 year old flew it all and the chief pilot says something like, we have people we have hired that can’t fly that good.

The bad is no skin in the game. That kid in the sim. He has no license, has no desire for a license, has not had the thrill of bobbing along by yourself checking out the scene. When he joined the army, he could have gone straight in to drones because he out tested everyone. No interest. His dad even had an airplane. Just a big video game.

Some sims suck. The commercial stuff below full motion tend to suck. It’s been a while so they have to have gotten better, but all have sucked in some way or another. We had a panel sim for the CRJ. Switches were supposed to make the messages work. Sometimes. For a professional trying to learn flow, ok. Not doing much for the low time guy not knowing what any of the stuff does until demonstrated. I have flown some helicopter sims that were down right disgraceful. Microsoft sim 98 was better. These are sims that cost more than the aircraft they emulate.

I understand the need for better training and sims are one of them. A sim means something different to a PPL , commercial and a military. Military is a job to learn how to blow stuff up directly or indirectly. While the person in that job might enjoy the job, it has no bearing on the task at hand. Learn the job or out. Commercial is a step back. Job is to move stuff in exchange for money. Enjoyment can creep in some by self limiting upward mobility. Choice to stay with a certain type plane, route, company. Some people are crop dusters, some fly regional jets, some are flying 747s and 777s. Only personal motivation on where you stop. PPL should be digging the ride. While some PPL learn how to fly for personal business, PPL should be for fun. Sims don’t do much for fun except cheat the experience of real. I know lots of pilots from a lot of diverse experience levels. I tend not to like the ones who don’t fly for fun, even if it’s a job. The ones who fly for fun don’t care what they are in as long as it’s not falling apart. Of course they would pick fancy planes if offered, but they will pick free fuel in a Cub to get off the stinking earth anytime.
 

cblink.007

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The only time that I have had my hands on “helicopter” controls was in a full motion Blackhawk simulator at Fort Bragg. It seemed very realistic, and It probably is effective. It stays (at least it did when I visited) busy much of the time.


BJC
They get used quite a bit, and at times, depending on location, lining up sim slots can be difficult. That said, no-shows were (and still are) a big deal. The V-22 sims at New River NC, when I was there, were doing at least four to five 2-hour sorties each per day. The one we have here at Pax River is a tad antiquated, but good enough for some of the basic stuff we need it for. I even hear it used to be a full-motion device until a Midshipman literally crashed it. Kids these days....
 

Dan Thomas

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Aviation NEEDS dreamers and schemers such a Bede, but we also need to be a sufficiently mature industry to take those dreams and schemes and engineer the idiocy out of them.
So true, but we have far too many websites promoting aircraft designs that are "promising" so much and they have never even flown. Some have never taxied, and some haven't even been built. The dreamers eventually destroy consumer confidence in any new proposals by doing that. Moller was an example of that. 40 years and $100 million worth of promises that all came to nothing.

This is why some of us tell such dreamers to go build their ideas, quietly, and fly it at Oshkosh several hours every day for a week, and then they'll have something worth promoting.

Ideas don't get people into the air and across the country. Real aircraft do that, and reality is much harder than dreams.
 

cblink.007

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These are sims that cost more than the aircraft they emulate.
Back during the plandemic, some of the world's motorsport series, in an effort to keep sponsors and others engaged, did a bunch of sim races on the iRacing platform. During this time, alot of attention was given to some of the "sim rigs" that some drivers have. Some literally just had your basic stuff for the sole purposes of personal entertainment or track familiarization (as an iRacing user myself, they do a very good job of this), while others, like NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, had a home setup that had force feel and an active seat to give proprioceptive feel...and cost over $80,000!

The new car I just took delivery of, despite its impressive track-capable performance, costed less than that....

That was just for motor racing. I've seen some home-based flying sims that are half decent, but again, great for instrument training (which the particular one I saw was used specifically for), but not for learning how to fly.

I am sure some of those FlightSafety full-motion sims probably push close to 8 figures!
 

Tom DM

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snip

Who knows? Had Jim Bede and many late BD-5 pilots had the tools we have nowadays at our fingertips (even open-source products we have out there), perhaps the aircraft could have been improved into something better...and certainly something safer.

Who knows indeed.

But your point of departure is that of an honest man... not the point of a person who doesn't care if he sells dreams or nightmares as long as they sell, a person whose interest in you last just as long as the money flowing for you to him.

Several times in this thread I hammered on decent engineering, that is what an engineer lives and dies by. That does not mean we always get it right or never make mistakes. When a mistake is made , we try to put it right, and make **** sure not to repeat it. An engineer will be physically sick when confronted with a grave error made on his watch.

One error is one error, two errors is a concidence (also called a very bad day in the office), three errors indicates a certain systhematic. Once that last state is confirmed, the gloves will come off.

Mr Jim Bede made multiple times the same error to the point that it is not an error any more, that it is deliberate. He is *not* an engineer and he is *not* a designer, he is a crook and a conman.

I do not believe in afterlife but should it exist, then Mr Jim Bede was attended by quite a number of persons at any gate he wished to pass.
 

TFF

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Denny makes $20m a year. The F1 sims are millions of dollars. The I racing is impressive for the money. Everyone wants a 911GT2 or more for a track car. I had a lot of fun in my Spitfire and Alfas. Fastest car I ever drive on a track was first gen 300zx turbo. The slide I made through the Esses at Memphis Motorsports Park is legendary. Drifting before drifting was cool and in control. While more expensive, a 24 hr Lemons car has got to be more fun than a video game.
 

gtae07

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I think sims have a lot of potential at the light GA level when it comes to training for emergencies (especially flying "into the crash" and doing other things too risky for real flying), instrument work, and some of the other procedural and academic instruction that can benefit from being able to pause, show outside views with force vectors, etc. A good session in Xplane would probably do wonders for explaining AOA to the average new pilot.

I may soon have a chance to do my instrument rating on the company's dime, so I'm starting to look into what it would take to set up a basic sim at home for practice (and how not to develop bad habits in the process). I may also end up buying a new computer in the process (my desktop is ancient and the laptop is physically coming apart).
 

AndyCapp

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Hi Gents,
I own and fly a BD5-B for the past two years as well as a Mooney M20j. See photographs. It is powered by a Rotax 582, 65hp silver top engine driving a 42x42 prop. I have more than 10 hours on her since I managed to get her Re-certified after 40 years standing in a Hanger. I cruise at [email protected] 6200RPM.
She is a blast to fly. Landing speed is a little on the high side @ 80 MPH. Takes some getting used to when on the ground due to the low riding position. Mostly flying is done via the trim once aircraft is setup. When flying attention needs to be given to air speed and throttle management as the plane has a very low inertia due to its low weight and loses speed rapidly. Attention must also be given when cycling undercarriage and flaps as the pitch attitude changes instantly when any of the two changes are made.
I had a serious incident 3 weeks ago when the canopy opened straight after take off. Opening would not have been an issue if the canopy moved straight back, but in my case it twisted sideways causing a lot of drag.I managed to do the circuit with one hand holding onto the canopy and the other flying the BD. I have since fitted the same latches as the Jet pilots use. Just for interest I am a low time pilot with only 290 hours.
 

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