The BD-5 Micro is a series of small, single-seat homebuilt aircraft created in the late 1960s by US aircraft designer Jim Bede and introduced to the market primarily in “kit” form by the now-defunct Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s.
In total, only a few hundred BD-5 kits were completed, although many of these are still being flown today. The BD-5J version holds the record for the world’s lightest jet aircraft, weighing only 358.8 lb (162.7 kg).
With the demise of the Bede Aircraft Company, the BD-5 entered a sort of limbo while builders completed their kits. The early safety problems and the challenge of adapting a suitable engine exacerbated delays. Over the next few years, however, solutions to most of these problems arrived in one form or another. Many other changes have also been incorporated to improve the original design. Today the BD-5 is a rewarding, if demanding aircraft.
- Crew: one, pilot
- Length: 12 ft to 13.5 ft w/stretch kits (3.88 m to 4.11 m)
- Wingspan: 14 ft to 21 ft 6 in (4.26 m to 6.55 m)
- Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.6 m)
- Wing area: Depends on wing used (-5A, -5B or -5J)
- Empty weight: 167 kg and up
- Loaded weight: 407 lb to 809 lb
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,100 lb (530 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Various reciprocating engines, from Rotax to Turbo Honda; turboprop with modified Solar T62; jet with Microturbo Couguar or TRS-18,
- Maximum speed: 200+ mph (320+ km/h) recip, 300 mph (500 km/h) jet
- Range: 720+ miles (1,152+ km) recip, 300+ miles (500 km) jet
- Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3,700 m) recip, 23,000 ft (7,000 m) jet
- Rate of climb: 1,900 ft/min (579 m/min) recip, 4,000 ft/min (1,219 m/min) jet
- Wing loading: Varies depending on wing selected and aircraft weight