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BD-4 Builder/Owner: Richard Martin


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Name Richard Martin
Address  
Meadow Lake, CO , US
Airport 00V  
Phone  
Email (please contact the webmaster to receive the email address of this builder.)
How to contact best  
Homepage http://home.sprintmail.com/~wemartin/ 
Callsign N5576L  
S/N#  
Project Status flying  
First Flight 1981  
Pilot  
Last Update 2004-01-18  
Remarks I have owned N5576L for 6 years and put over 600 hours on it. This past year we flew over 160 hours . Mr. Don Elam of Tennessee built it in 1981 and passed away not long after it was completed. When I acquired it from a dealer in Texas, it had been sitting for about 7 years in a barn.

Modifications I built into N5576L:

  • Vortex generators: I have had them on my wing for 5 years and swear by them. We intend to go back to Idaho this summer and do some back country flying. We were there two years ago and I needed to slow down the airplane. The VG's not only slow me down for approach, but give me a lot more authority on the stick upon landing.

    I can make an honest approach speed dragging in on power at 62 or 63 mph for a short or soft field, that "real" nosewheel lets me do things and not have to worry about just paved airfields. It still leaves me the authority with the stabilator at those speeds and the bottom doesn't "drop out" on me. I have no fancy test equipment, just my butt in the seat to tell what's going on. A couple years after I put the VG's on..... I took them off for testing again, just to see if my memory was correct. I put them right back on after the bottom dropped out and banging the plane on the runway a couple times. I can get the indicated down into the 50's when slow flying. I also have VG's on the underside of the stabilator.

    Here at Meadow Lake we are at 7000', our standard degree day is 39, today is near 50 so we are at 8500 density, in the summer at 75 we are near 10,000' Ft density. I needed the safety margin and I don't think I gave up anything on the speed side to get it. Of course, again that's anecdotal, but I was testing high end speed when I removed them from the wing. I made numerous timed runs trying to determine speeds and finally decided it was too small/marginal to calculate, so I put em back on immediately and have tinkered with them from time to time as to their location.
  • A bubble windshield and door windows. I made them in the kitchen oven. They are larger and give us great visibility and more shoulder room.
  • A Grumman nose strut, fork, wheel etc. I just could not live with the Scott tailwheel up front. It was too darn small, spooled up too fast on landing. It also had a lot of weight on it with the 0-360 and constant speed prop.

We have had our "4" from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Canada to Mexico. It's been to Copperstate 3 times, Rocky Mountain Regional 3 times, Oshkosh and Golden West Fly Ins, Reno Air Races twice, not to mention all the local pancake breakfasts and all. We have enjoyed our plane a lot, it flies great, it is economical and we encourage others to consider this design.

I just stepped down as President of EAA Chapter 72 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while my wife Sandy and I are starting our 5th year of doing the newsletter, they are archived at EAA72.org and our home web pages at http://home.sprintmail.com/~wemartin/. We live at Meadow Lake Airport , just east of the city of Colorado Springs. I also work here and we welcome any other BD 4 folks to stop in for a visit.

 
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Images
Click on the thumbnails to view the full-sized image.

I took this picture at Wendover Utah on the way to Reno for the Qualifying School.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
At Oshkosh with Jim Bede. In the background Scott DeGaynor's N348ST, built by Steven Takas.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
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side bubble window     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Side bubble window     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Bubble windshield     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
These are pictures of the 10" Scott tailwheel I had..... next to the Grumman wheel, tire, axle, fork and bearing I now have.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
The strut is heavy wall 1 1/2" chrome moly, heat treated and the same as the Grumman uses. I think they show clearly why the bigger tire etc.is a better deal, especially for short or soft fields.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
This is a leading edge cuff to reduce the landing speed. I glue them on with silicone RTV, just a small bead along each edge, aerodynamic forces are trying to push them on tighter anyway.

They are 4' long, therefore 40% of wing span. As you can see in the pictures I have VG's along the top edge. I can remove both cuffs in less then 5 minutes with a putty knife and I can carry them inside the cabin. To remove the RTV residue I buff the wing when I get back home.

I believe they would be even more effective at 6' long in reducing stall speed and takeoff run, but it would lower top end speed considerably, but for a short or soft field it makes a hell of a difference even at 4' long.     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Leading edge cuff     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
Leading edge cuff     Edit the text to this image Delete this image  
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Articles

Vortex Generators A description of my vortex generators and some instructions how to build and install them.