|As one of the 'byproducts' of building the tiny 1/72 BD-5J, I compiled a census listing all BD-5Js that ever existed. For many years it was part of the webpage that showed construction of the model, but in 2021 I decided to split off as a stand-alone page. The links below will guide you to my other BD-5J pages.
|1/72 BD-5J under construction 2020
||1/72 BD-5J N3038V finished
If you want an alternative paint scheme to the LS supplied decals, there is a limited choice. Only a small number of BD-5J's have been built and flown, largely because the required Microturbo engine was very scarce and very expensive. I have tried to compile an overview of the aircraft, with the kind help of Bob Bishop, Juan Jiminez, Corkey Fornoff, Peter Reny, Scott Manning, Erling Wiig, Stanley March, Paul Dion, Gecko, Warren Vail, Philippe Bezard, John Duncan, Gary Redden and Michael Wheeler. Bede factory-built aircraft appear to have construction numbers in the '5J-000x' range. The following demonstration teams can be found below: Bede Jet Team (1974-1975 at least), Acrojets (1976-?), Coors Silver Bullet Jet (1983-1992), Hammer Jets (? - 2004 or 2005), Bud Light Jet (?-?) and Microjet Airshow (1979-?). The same data can also be viewed in French with small photos on Philippe Bezard's 'Minijets' site.
- N1BL: formerly N153BD, registered as N1BL when sold to Leo Loudenschlager, seven-time US aerobatics champion. As N153BD previously, it continued to be flown as the Bud Light Jet during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, piloted initially by Ed Johnson and Leo Loudenschlager, and by Bill Beardsley from the spring of 1988 on (he made his first flight in N1BL on 7 February 1988). The aircraft was modified by Kirby Totty with a secondary spar. A unique feature of the Bud Light jet was that Leo added fireworks: a flare dispenser was mounted on the lower aft fuselage. The flares were fired in conjunction with a ground fired rack of salutes. A flame thrower was tried first, but that plan was abandonded. N1BL was also used as the 'mall airplane' for a day or two before the shows, fitted with fake fiberglass wings made by Kirby Totty. Re-registered N210LL (1988 or later) and continued to be owned by Loudenschlager.
- "N1BL": exhibit in the Budweiser Brewery in St Louis, MO (see tour information). Painted as the Bud Light jet that no longer exists (see N210LL). Although it conflicts somewhat with the information listed for the real N1BL, it is reported that this is the former 'mall airplane' of the Bud Light Jet team, that could be dropped off at a mall on the way into town to generate interest in the show. It was an abandoned BD-5 project made up to look like the show jet. Ed Johnson's crew member Michael Wheeler picked it up in Kenosha (WI). The following names are listed on the side of the aircraft: "Constructor Kirby Totty, Mark Hromnak - Assisted: Steve Borgman, Steve Stratz, Chris Woodward".
- N5BD: Bede prototype and demonstration aircraft. Construction number 5J-0001. Flown as N5BD with '5J' and '1' on the vertical tail, the latter probably as #1 of the 'Bede Jet Team'. Had oleo struts all around. Main landing gear could not be retracted completely. It made a hard landing at Edwards AFB (stalled at 20 ft altitude), removing the landing gear, and pilot colonel Jones (could be an alias) broke his back and was paralysed from the waist down. The lawsuit that followed resulted in large compensation to be paid by Microturbo, which forced the company to try and stop the use of their engine in the BD-5J. Most likely rebuilt, but severely damaged 1 August 1973 at Oskosh, WI. During landing the thrust reverser closed, and the loss of power caused the aircraft to approach too low and hit landing lights. Factory pilot Ed Mahler ('Big Ed' at reportedly 6 foot 5 and 280 pounds) was unhurt. Undamaged parts (including vertical and horizontal tail, rudder, thrust reverser, canopy, and instrument shield) were used on N70CF.
- N8TW: rebuilt from N13SL (below) by Tom Warren using spare parts from a kit over a one-year and 1200 hour period. Registered as a 'Warren-Thomas BD-5J'. Landing accident at Pampa TX in 1981 in which the aircraft was substantially damaged, and the pilot/owner broke his back. Sold to Dave Hoover, who rebuilt it as N45DH.
- N13SL: built by Steve Lansing at the Bede plant in two months time. Test flown by Bede Aircraft pilot Less Derven for about three hours. Destroyed in first take off by the owner at Newton, KS, 11 February 1976, killing Lansing. He had failed to fly the truck-o-plane simulator properly, but ignored the advice to get more training. He rotated too early or over-pitched, then got in severe pilot-induced oscillations (PIO), followed at the very end by a very abrupt pitch up caused the jet to snap roll to the inverted position from which it made a level upside down landing. It skidded almost 300 feet, stopping at the side of the runway. The airframe appeared relatively undamaged. The insurance company sold it to Tom Warren, who rebuilt it as N8TW.
- N21AP: owned by Bob Bishop / Aerial Productions International. Incorpated many design changes compared to BD-5J, and it was therefore licensed as 'Acrostar Special'. Flew as #2 of the 'Acrojets' team (briefly called 'Aerojets' in the beginning), as depicted by LS box art. NTSB reports incident on 6 August 1977, Latrobe, PA. Engine flameout during low level roll, aircraft went off the end of the runway, gear collapsed. Then flown as the 'Coors Light Silver Bullet' jet from 1983 to 1991. Then to Freedom Jet (owned by Bob Bishop), in a white and blue scheme (resulting from a sponsorship from USPA & IRA, a military financial planning firm). Among others flown in military exercises as cruise missile simulators. Still in operation. Recent avionics upgrade (Chelton EFIS/synthetic vision systems) and rewiring, plus extensive work performed in other areas.
- N23AP: owned by Bob Bishop / Aerial Productions International. Flown as the 'Coors Light Silver Bullet' jet from 1989 to 1991, in one or two aircraft shows (see N45DH and 21AP). Later part of Freedom Jet Team (Bob Bishop) for military financial planning firm promotions for USPA & IRA, and is now called a 'SMART-1' (Small Manned Aerial Radar Target Model 1). Landing mishap on 16 April 2002, Monroeville, AL. Veered off the runway after hard landing, left wing struck a vasi, and the nose wheel came off. Quickly repaired. Recent avionics upgrade (Chelton EFIS/synthetic vision systems) and rewiring, plus extensive work performed in other areas. Crashed on 27 June 2006 at Ocean City Municipal Airport (Maryland) during the landing phase. On finals leg it collided with trees that border the approach end of the runway. It came down 75 feet further, and caught fire. Pilot Chuck Lischer, with 9,600 hours in over 70 different models of aircraft and an airshow performer, was killed in the accident. The aircraft was flying a defense-related mission, and had accumulated 452 flight hours. The NTSB investigation concluded the aircraft was overweight for landing, got behind the power curve and developed a high sink speed that could not be arrested. Freedom Jet does not agree, and suspects a pilot incapacitation some 20 seconds before touchdown.
- N45DH: rebuilt from N8TW (above), owned and flown by David Hoover. Flew for five years for the 'Coors Light Silver Bullet Jet Team', in solo or twin aircraft shows (see N23AP). Crashed 12 September 1992, Chico, CA, at the end of display routine. While performing a flamed-out roll on final approach, pilot Hoover seemed to lose consciousness (possibly as the result of a medical condition). He did a couple of strange turns, away from the approach course, and hit the ground at a very steep angle, with no apparent last minute attempt to pull out.
- "N45DH": David Hoover (see the real N45DH) had a second BD-5J, that was probably never flown. It was built from one of the twenty BD-5J kits that Bobby Bishop bought from Bede Aviation when it went under. Hoover's widow donated this aircraft to the Ohio History of Flight Museum at Port Columbus International Airport, where it was displayed in Minolta Dynax colors (as used in a commercial). The N45DH registration was probably transferred out of respect. The museum closed in or before 2001. The Ohio Historical Society received part of the collection, and some of the aircraft have been returned to their owners. The BD-5J is now in archival storage in Columbus, OH, since it is considered part of Ohio history as Dave Hoover was from Ohio.
- N53EJ: built by Bill Zivco for John Duncan (see N153BD), who donated it to his airshow partner Ed Johnson (hence the 'EJ' in the registration). Flown as the 'Bud Light' jet together with John Duncan's N153BD, and later for Leo Loudenslager. When Ed Johnson gave up airshows, the aircraft was sold to Dave Harris / 'Hammer Jets', aka Micro Aviation Services, and flown in airshows in a white-blue-red paint scheme. Red left wing with 'MAS' and blue right wing with 'MICROJET'. The paint scheme was most likely based on Pepsi sponsor markings carried at one point. The basic red-blue pattern was then retained for a number of sponsorships, like Tri Counties Bank (1994), Clamptite (1994), United Van Lines (1995) and United / Fly Navy (1997). It usually had a two-digit number on the fuselage identifying the season. Reportedly one of the most beautiful -5's ever. The aircraft was stolen at one point, but recovered. Sold to Bob Bishop/Aerial Productions International in 2004 or 2005. Sold to the Red Bull 'Flying Bulls' team, late 2009 / early 2010. Pilots Guido Gehrmann and Markus Siller have been trained to fly the aircraft. The aircraft retains the basic Micro Aviation Services color scheme (white, red and blue) but with Red Bull logos. A photo report can be found on the Flying Bulls website, which shows it at the Salzburg airport in Austria. On 1 May 2013, pilot Guido Gehrmann gave a flying display in Zillertal, but during the return flight to Salzburg he experienced engine problems. Gehrman attempted an emergency landing in the Baumkirchen-Mils area, but the aircraft hit a road embankment and the pilot lost his life.
- N55PQ: owned by Jerry Mercer, who establised PDQ Air Service (PDQ standing for People Dedicated to Quality), renamed to Financial Air Express, US Check and finally AirNet Express. Listed as manufactured by Ames Industrial Corporation, model MJ 90; see F-WZAV below for a partial explanation. The serial number is listed as 001A, year of construction 1978. N55PQ was flown with Budweiser (not Bud Light) sponsoring in the eighties and possibly nineties. The aircraft was sold in 2003 to Freedom Jet (Bob Bishop), to be flown as a 'SMART-1'. Recent avionics upgrade and rewiring, plus extensive work performed in other areas.
- N60LC: owned by Lewis & Clark Performance, LLC and built by Justin Lewis. The aircraft is called an FLS Microjet instead of BD-5J, in honor of the work that BD Micro Technologies, Inc. put in the development of their 'Flight Line Series' kits. The airframe is possibly the only jet BD-5 with a 5 inch stretched fuselage, and it is fitted with a jet-standard 17 feet wing. The aircraft was certified in November 2010, but due to Oregon weather, flight testing was first started late January 2011, and is expected to be completed by March 2011. The pilots are Justin 'Shmed' Lewis and in the near future Tom 'Tiny' Lunsford. The aircraft was initially in bare metal with a large blue registration number, but this has been replaced by a three inch registration number and vinyl decals promoting Lewis & Clark Performance and BD Micro Technologies. The aircraft will be painted later for corrosion control.
- N70CF: owned by Corkey Fornoff. Flown as #1 of the 'Acrojets' team (briefly called 'Aerojets' in the beginning), as depicted by LS box art. It was built in 1976 by several FAA-certified mechanics. The total time to build it was in excess of 3500 man-hours, using many parts from the original BD-5J, N5BD, plus the FAA conformity airframe bought from Bede. Like N21AP, N70CF incorporated many design changes compared to BD-5J, and it was therefore licensed as 'Acrostar Special'. The name 'Acrostar' was also used after the 'Acrojets' disbanded. Currently on display in a Seattle aviation museum as 'James Bond 007' without registration. Still owned by Corkey Fornoff.
- N78FS: owned and flown by Stefan Maldonado. Built by the owner and BD-Micro Technologies (builder assistance program) in one year. PBS TJ-100 engine installed. BD-Micro Technologies calls the aircraft an FLS Microjet (FLS for Flight Line Series) instead of a BD-5J, since hundreds of improvements and upgrades ranging from hardware (nose to tail) to an improved laminar airfoil wing have been made. First flight September 2013. Pilot training under supervision of Justin Lewis (see N60LC).
- N100DK: owned by Dan Gray and Lucy Scaranzzi, operated from Camarillo (CA), first flight 17 May 2012. It has a PBS Velka Bites TJ100 with 250 lb / 110 kg thrust and 42 lb / 19 kg weight, and a JetCatUSA P200 mounted below main engine to give 60 lb boost. Full glass instrument panel. Painted light gray with yellow registration. Called 'Kedan1' because of the changes in the design. Just before one of the test flights, the JetCatUSA P200 caused a fire that damaged the fuselage extensively. Rebuilt fuselage, now featuring one engine, and renamed 'Kedan2' accordingly. First flight 27 October 2013.
The 2016 video BD5-J Microjet Freedom Rush joy ride shows the aircraft repainted in a fairly complex red-black-whote scheme with 'Freedom Rush' markings and 'Maurizio Perissinotto' as the pilot. More recent photos at the Cloud Dancers Aerobatic team website show an overall metallic red BD-5.
- N110BJ: built and owned by Allen (Al) Johnson of Racine, WI, a Bede employee (landing gear specialist). It is shown in this video: BD-5J Kenosha Wisconsin home-built jet completed / flown 1985, possibly while being test flown by John Duncan in Kenosha, WI. The aircraft has a pointier nose than standard. The video also features N153BD. Painted silver overall with blue panels on the fuselage. John Duncan, Ed Johnson, Ron Henning are thanked in the mute video. Allen Thompson sold the aircraft to Toyoshi Kimura in 1989, who had this professional video made: BD-5J Kenosha Wisconsin home-built jet: Toyoshi Kimura acquires the Thompson Kenosha jet in 1989. It retained the N110BJ registration. It was crash landed in a Florida swamp after a flameout, the result of an unlicensed mechanic tinkering with the engine's black box. The Amcar Special - US Civil Register - 30 September 1992 lists the aircraft with the following data: 'N110BJ - Allen A Thompson - 0011 - Kimura International - Opa Locka airport FL - 11/9/91 - 11/12/91'. Kimura International ran a flight school at Opa Locka Airport. Toyoshi Kimura died in a Beechcraft 90 King Air (N230TW) on 5 January 1994. Donald Wall subsequently bought it from the Japanese estate, and it became N575J.
- N150BD: cn 5J-0005. Not 100% sure, but almost certainly formerly N501AE (see there). Bob Bishop flew it while at Bede. It went to France as F-WZAV (see there) in 1976. At the time Bede was in a legal dispute with Microturbo about unpaid engines, but this was likely settled by turning over N150BD. N99775 was originally intended, but crashed during tests.
- N151BD: destroyed when Ed Mahler (a BD-5 dealer) had a flameout shortly after takeoff from Corpus Christi NAS, TX, on 29 June 1974. Ed survived the crash, but not without some injury. Substantial airframe damage through collision with concrete blocks.
- N152BD: Bede built, cn 5J-0002, painted in a standard Bede scheme (white with red, Bede logo, number 2 on tail, probably as #2 of the 'Bede Jet Team'). Incident on 17 July 1974 at Newton, KS, Bede home base, with Bob Bishop at the controls. Canopy failed at redline speed (250 kts.), and the force of the blow, along with flying debris hitting the tail, probably caused the stick to full deflection producing a calculated 14.7 Gs. The airplane flew home with 23 degrees of permanent set in one wing, and 19 in the other. The aircraft was flying again in about two weeks. Later sold to Dave Harris / 'Hammer Jets', aka Micro Aviation Services, and flown in airshows in a white-blue-red paint scheme. Sponsored by Boeing Airplanes in 2000. Sold in 2006 to Peter Reny, without an engine and incomplete cockpit. Refurbished and fitted with a TRS-18-046. First flight 22 July 2012. The engine will be replaced by a Jetbeetle motor in 2015.
- N153BD: Bede built aircraft, cn 5J-0004. Flown as N153BD with tail number '3' in standard white-red Bede livery, probably as #3 of the 'Bede Jet Team' (a picture with tail number '1' exists too though). It was used for military evaluations by the USAF (painted in a camouflage scheme as shown below), US Navy at Patuxent River, and in France. Sold to Richard Bach, as a sister ship to N177RB. Sold to Red Stevenson, who crashed it on takeoff damaging wings and fuselage. Sold to John Duncan, who hired former Bede factory foreman Bill Zivko to rebuild it. It was also modified on several occasions with upgraded wings and engine. The aircraft was operated from 1979 to 1987 as 'Microjet Airshow', then for Republic Airlines and finally as the (first) Bud Light jet, piloted by owner John Duncan. The aircraft and pilot (plus Ed Johnson) also served as the second jet on the movie Octopussy, alongside Corkey Fornoff. Sold to Leo Loudenslager and re-registered N1BL (later re-registered again to N210LL).
- N154BD: registration reserved for Bede built aircraft, cn 5J-0006. It is unclear whether the aircraft was actually built.
- N155BD: registration reserved for Bede built aircraft, cn 5J-0007. It is unclear whether the aircraft was actually built.
- N177RB: owned and flown by author/pilot Richard Bach. Reportedly the first private 5J. Sold to Red Stevens from Tulsa, OK. Sold to George Marshal. Landed short due to flap problems at Merced, CA, on 14 September 1979 according to NTSB report, with airframe damage, but no injuries. Rebuilt by Keith Hinshaw and others, and flown at least in 1980. It was then totaled in a trailering accident. Sold to Keith Hinshaw, who resold it to Lit, and together they rebuilt it again, this time with GAW wings. The GAW wings lowered the stall speed some 30 MPH, at a cost of top speed of some 25 to 30 MPH. It was flown for some 25 hours by both Lit and Keith Hinshaw during 1986, before it was decided to donate it to a museum and take a tax write off. The museum then sold it to Mike Brundage, a Texas captain for Southwest Airlines. Mike was briefed on an engine problem, with intermittent stoppages, that was caused by a faulty engine overspeed switch which cut the fuel to the engine to save it from itself. This problem continued to occur until a full flame-out required an emergency landing at Vanderhoof, BC, Canada. Unfortunately the aircraft hit a wire and flipped over, the crash killing Mike Brundage.
- N210LL: previously N153BD and N1BL (see there). The new registration N210LL was chosen as the most compatible with N10LL, Loudenschlagers Laser 200. It continued to be flown as the Bud Light Jet, piloted by Bill 'Burner' Beardsley with his parents (Bill and Teresa Beardsley) as crew members, together forming the 'Bud Light Air Force' aka BLAF. On occassions where both the jet and Leo's Laser attended, Leo flew the jet too. Ownership transferred to Bill and Teresa Beardsley after Leo Loudenslager passed away in 1997. Red-white scheme with blue and gold cheat line, Bud Light markings in several variations. Flown for a number of years like this. The jet was leased to Freedom Jets, and flown without Bud Light markings on military contract operations. During one of these missions, the aircraft developed an in-flight fire. A fuel servo burst and flooded the engine compartment and then cockpit with flames. Pilot Bob Bishop bailed out, and the aircraft was destroyed (17 April 2002, near Grovehill, AL).
- N313HJ: owned by William 'Wild Bill' Brooks from Cornville (Arizona). Initially registered as N711J, but possible conflict with a PA-23 with the same registration (see N711J below). Fitted with a Solar T62 engine (T300 hybrid of T16 gearcase with T32 burner and fuel control). 25 flight hours are claimed, but only a faked in-flight video from the early nineties exists (it shows taxi tests at a US air field and footage of C-GBDA taking off at Kelowna (BC) and in-flight footage). Rebuilt with three engines (HJFS-100, 107 lbs thrust each, reportedly 420 lbs total with water injection for two minutes), one internally, two in engine pods on the sides of the rear fuselage. Possibly reregistered as N313HJ at that point? Reportedly heavy and underpowered. Winglets fitted. Not flown in this configuration. Offered on Ebay around 2002-2003, and again in 2004, possibly by the purchaser of the first auction. Bought by Dave Dearing without engine(s), with the intention of fitting a Noel Penny NPT301 jet engine. Canard wings. Dave opened a small website about his aircraft.
- N501AE: built by Aeronca (hence AE in the registration) in preparation of a proposal to manufacture the aircraft in series. Incomplete set of parts provided by Bede. Engine installed by Microturbo. Because of legal problems of Bede Aircraft and possible liability of Aeronca, the management did not want to get involved, and the aircraft was registered as a 'Hollenbaugh-Murphy BD-5J' in September 1975 (Bob Hollenbaugh is confirmed as an Aeronca engineer). The plane only made high-speed taxi tests and was not flown, again because of fears of liability. Transferred to Bede Aircraft, paying around 10,000 US$ for expenses made. All links to Aeronca were removed (papers, registration), and almost certainly re-registered as N150BD (see there).
- N505BD: built and owned by Gary Lyons from Tennessee. It received its airworthiness certificate in March 2006, and it has about six hours of low and high speed taxi test time on it. The wings are the standard B-model wings with the 21'6" span. It uses a Turbomeca Palas turbojet with 350 pounds static thrust, taken from a 1954 French SIPA 200 Minijet. The installation is modified by having the thrust vectored below the horizontal stabilizer, with part of the lower rear fuselage cut away, and the original exhaust tube plugged. It is painted in a blue-white scheme with a red and gold cheat line.
- N557DM: formerly C-GBDA (see below). Owner listed as Twin D Enterprises, location reported as Hemet, CA. Hasn't flown yet.
- N575J: formerly N110BJ, see there. Donald Wall of Omaha, NE, rebuilt the jet. First flight 17 July 2004, piloted by Harry Barr. This Nebraska PIREPS PDF has more information and some photos of the first flight, and this EAA page has more details and photos. It is also seen at the end of this 2021 video: Bede Aero Southeast - factory tour
- N711J: previous identity of N313HJ (see there) during the first half of the nineties (probably). However, N711J has been assigned to a PA-23 since 1982 if I interpret the FAA registry correctly.
- N3038V: formerly VH-JRQ, finished by Juan Jiménez, almost ready for taxi tests late 2004.
- N99775: built by employees of Ames Industrial Corporation in Newton, Kansas, possibly after Ames took over the BD-5J design from Bede Aircraft (and possibly part of the staff??). Crashed on 5 March 1976, Newton, KS. Pilot Bob Bishop was performing factory stall tests and entered a flat spin, from which he could not recover. He jumped from the plane and parachuted to safety. Aircraft total time was 13 hours. The aircraft was bare aluminum, unpainted. The aircraft was to be shipped to Europe after testing. This BD-5J was fitted with 17 foot wings with the then new GA(W)-2 profile. The aircraft would spin normal to the left but was very difficult to get into a spin to the right. NASA investigated the crash, since they had just introduced the GA(W)-2. Their conclusion here was that the rapid spin rate (due to the short span wings) created a situation in which the gyroscopic forces were starting to translate the high pitch moment of the stalled GA(W)-2 wing into a yaw moment. Depending upon the direction of the spin, those forces were anti-spin or pro-spin. Bob Bishop recommends against intentional spins in the 17 foot (jet) wing or anything shorter. He remembers Les Berven spining a 17 foot GA(W)-2 wing prop-driven BD-5 and described it as "the fastest spinning aircraft I had ever seen"
- D-EBDJ: built and flown by Peter Jo Volk. Designated BD-5J/V, most likely a play on the builder's family name. The aircraft is fitted with a PBS Velka Bites TJ100 B1. First flight on 1 August 2012 at Manching, still in primer paint. In 2015 it was painted bright green with black checkers at the tips of the flying surfaces.
- C-GBDA: built by Geoff Taylor, serial number BS-9 (perhaps Barron-Stephen nine?), registered December 1993. Registered owners were David Barron and James Stephen. This is a heavily modified 5J: pointy nose, Allison 250 (C17-20 version reported, but only B17 and C20 versions exist) turboprop modified for thrust only, exhaust under instead of overhead the horizontal tail. Aircraft was described as being seriously underpowered. Removed from the Canadian register in November 1999. Sold to a buyer in the US, see N557DM.
- C-GBDV: owned by Scott Manning, first flight November 2003. White overall with a red flash along the fuselage and other red details. See also the Microjet Canada website. Performed in several airshows during 2005, but crashed fatally on 16 June 2006 at Carp Airport during an airshow practice for Air Show Ottawa. Initial analysis of the accident by Bobby Bishop was that a split flap condition must have occurred after the gear demo pass (the 'now you see it, now you don't' routine). Power is added at that point and the flaps are pulled up in two steps (40 to 20 degrees, then to 0 degrees). One flap was thought to have came up all the way, resulting in a sudden split flap situation, giving full roll command at low level. That condition is basically unrecoverable at any altitude. The CTSB later analysed that a bolt in the right flap wasn't held properly by its locknut, resulting in the uncommanded retraction of the flap. Since the flap actuation was electric on this specific BD-5, retraction of the remaining flap would have taken seconds anyway.
- F-WZAV: entered in French register May 1976, Microturbo (France) owned. Formerly N501AE and N150BD (see there), reportedly cn 5J-0004. Presented at the SBAC Farnborough show in September 1976, with a red-white-blue scheme, flown by Airbus test pilot Pierre Baud. The Farnborough appearance was sponsored by the US company Ames Industrial Corporation, the American subsidiary of Microturbo, and the UK agent for Microturbo. In some photos it does not carry the French registration, but 'MJ90' on the left side of the cockpit. MJ90 (Micro Jet 90, no idea what the 90 stands for) was the designation Ames wanted to use for the BD-5J, the rights of which it had taken over from Bede Aircraft, following a lawsuit following the crash of N5BD with an Air Force colonel at the controls. The aircraft was also noted at the 32nd Salon at Le Bourget in June 1977. Stored later that year by Microturbo. After three years of work and the installation of a TRS18-046 by Microturbo, it was flown again on 7 June 1982 by Jean-Marie Saget, chief test pilot of Avions Marcel Dassault (he flew the Alpha Jet and Mirage 4000). It was owned by the aeroclub 'Cercle Aeronautique Marcel Dassault' (CAMD). A 'Cercle Aeronautique' is an association which takes the name of a man in homage, in this case Marcel Dassault, but it has no official links with the Dassault factory. It was painted in white overall with light and dark blue stripes on the fuselage and wings, described as the colors of Jean-Marie Saget. Further markings are '-BD5J-CAMD-' under the cockpit and '-TRS18-MICROTURBO-' on the rear fuselage. It made a hard landing in 1984/1985 and required extensive structural repairs of (at least) the fuselage. These were not performed, and instead the aircraft was donated to a aeronautical college near Aix en Provence. It was later sold to M. Muller, who plans a rebuild, but confirmed that the fuselage is beyond economical repair. It has been reported that the aircraft was reregistered F-BZAV at some point (F-Wxxx is for prototypes, after receiving a certificate it is re-registered), but this very likely never materialised.
- F-BZAV: formerly F-WZAV, see above. Situation is not clear on this registration, and most likely it was never actually used. Listed in this (unofficial) French 2002 register (no longer online but accessed through the Wayback Machine), with c/n 50005 instead of 5J-0004 (see above). Reportedly owned by Chris Esquirrol (spelling not sure). The official French registry has no F-BZAV listed, only a pencil-written entry that the registration was reserved on 21 March 1976 for a BD-5J with cn 5-0005.
- F-PJET: Nicolas Charmont built a new BD-5J, starting in 2003, and registered it as a 'CJ-01'. It is fitted with a TRS18. First flight on 20 August 2015 at Melun-Villaroche that lasted 15 minutes. White overall with gold and black cheat lines, registration in silver.
- HB-YAU: c/n 281, Swiss registered. It started life as a BD-5B built and owned by the official European BD-5 importer from Davos, Switzerland. Whether it was registered HB-YAU back then is not confirmed. It made an emergency landing in the Lake of Locarno during the first flight on 10 June 1976. It then flew some four hours in France without a airworthiness certificate or a permit to fly. Due to a stolen log book its history until 1988 is unclear, but a TRS 18-046-1 was fitted somewhere. In 1988 this engine was replaced by a TRS 18-1-202. It was now based at Locarno-Magadino airfield. Yellow overall with red flash on the fuselage sides and a red tail banner with Swiss cross. Crashed 16 August 2002 in Iragna, very near Lodrino airfield, just after take-off from Lodrino. Instead of flying back to Locarno-Magadino as planned, the pilot entered the circuit after take-off, but crashed during the base leg to finals turn, killing the pilot. Investigations did not turn up a definite cause, but the pilot's health and the elevator structure (left side was never found) were noted as possible causes.
- VH-JRQ: built by Quentin Campbell in Australia. It has a non-standard wing structure, similar to that of the Smyth Sidewinder. Sold largely finished to Juan Jiménez and reregistered N3038V.
- VH-POK: built and owned by Tori Mac. Yellow overall with black pinstripes, 'The Trailblazer project' markings on the tail. Teledyne Continental J402-700 drone engine planned (same diameter as a TRS-18 but slightly longer) 600 pounds thrust. Appears largely finished, but no immediate plans for flying. It is partly a marketing tool for Tori Mac.
Some links to references:
Return to models page