Alturair, located at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California, is an innovative business dedicated to assisting BD-5 builders and Swift owners.
The BD-5 Aircraft:
The BD-5 was introduced in 1967 by Jim Bede at his BEDE Aircraft Company in Newton, Kansas. Approximately 3,000 partial kits were produced and shipped to pilots, excited about flying their sport aircraft. Unfortunately, Bede Aircraft was dissolved prior to shipment of the balance of kit parts including the engine and drive system.
Alturair was one of the few Bede Aircraft distributors and when the aircraft company was dissolved, Alturair purchased much of the remaining BD-5 tooling and inventory. Today, Alturair's invetory includes a comprehensive line of custom parts, hardware, and plans that Jim Bede was not able to supply. Alturair has the necessary jigs and fixtures specially designed for the BD-5 and can provide many alignment ad assembly services that can save the builder hours of work while ensuring the highest levels of quality, safety and performance.
Interest in the BD-5 has increased greatly over the years since its inception. A staggering number of original BD-5 kits are still waiting to be discovered by eager builders. At present it is estimated that about 200 BD-5's have been completed and flown. It is estimated that another 200 BD-5's are presently being assembled.
For more interesting facts and information on the BD-5 including the history, how to begin a BD-5 project, and skills and tools required to build a BD-5, request Alturair's Info Kit. The Kit also includes performance information, technical information, stories from builders, and how the BD-5J(jet) was developed.
The development or discovery of the optimum engine installation still awaits - with many convinced the Turbo-Honda is the best egine flown in the BD-5 to date. However, nine different engines have been used with varying degrees of success.
Alturair continues developing a single-rotor, liquid-cooled engine of approximately 100 horsepower, weighing less than 100 lbs. it uses aluminum to replace cast iron in the side housings.
This light-weight, rotary engine's simple construction with few moving parts and all rotary internal motion yields virtually vibration-free operation. A remote radiator and oil sump are needed to complete the installation along with mounts and a battery. Ratings for this engine are shown below:
Design: Rotary Combustion (Wankel Type) Rotor Cooling: Oil
Fuel System: Carburated or Injected Air Filter: Paper Element
Bearings: Sleeve Type Rotation: Counterclockwise
Weight: 102 lbs Housing Cooling: Liquid
Rated Speed: 6000 RPM Ignition System: Spark
Fuel: Gasoline Oil Usage: 0.08 g/hp-hr
Displacement: 0.65 L/Rotor (40 in.) Output: Direct or Geared
Compression Ratio: 9.7:1 Starting System: 12 or 14V Electric
Lubrication: 1. Remote sump required
2. Dry sump optional