The world’s smallest jet: the Bede BD-5

The Bede BD-5 is the world’s smallest jet plane. One seat, one engine, it weighs only 163 kilograms (359 lb). Hundreds have been made and over 100 of them are still airworthy! The plane was created in the late 60’s by US aircraft designer Jim Bede, the founder of the Bede Aircraft Corporation. The Bede BD-5 belongs to a small “genera” of planes that are homebuilt. There are many different models of the Bede BD-5. Some, like the BD-5G, use a piston engine (which is almost exactly like a car engine), whereas others, such as the BD-5J (the most popular model), use a jet engine. The models that are powered by a jet engine all use a Microturbo TRS-18, a small jet engine made in France in the 70’s. The ones that are powered by a piston engine use a Kiekhaefer Aeromarine engine (a car engine). Funnily enough, the prototype was made with a Polaris snowmobile engine. Sadly, the Bede Aircraft Corporation went bankrupt in 1979, even though production of the BD-5 was stopped years before. The company continued to produce planes in small numbers until 2015 (the prototype plane of the BD-22 crashed in 2015, killing its pilot, and it seems that production has stopped), but none were as influential and exotic as the BD-5. The Bede BD-5 is indeed an intriguing plane ! 14th of April 2020.

Flug mit Bede5.jpg
Bede BD-5

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