Hugo Schneider's BD-4 Newsletter 1977


The forums began with a self introduction of all persons present, each stating their particular type of BD-4 project and the modifications 
that were being incorporated in their projects. This proved very educational in itself, as everyone became acquainted with each other, the  different projects and the various problems being encountered.  

Jack Murphy elaborated on the modified nose gear model, that he had to show the builders, this is a replacement for the original. This nose  gear does not use the load mount donut or the shock; Jack went into detail on his metal wings and other products that he makes available to  BD builders.

Ron Daly from Orlando, FL covered the accident, that he had with his BD-4. He had an engine failure due to vapor lock, so he is in the 
process of rebuilding the BD-4. He stated that the fuselage is very well built and offers good protection.

Mr. Schmitz passed out list to the builders with BD part numbers and prices of the parts; he can supply for the BD-4 builders. 

One of the builders went into detail regarding a person having a problem with fuel starvation that was partially contributed to by an uncoordinated turn combined with low fuel.

Don Phillips elaborated on his problems of last year. He lost his nose gear again after OSHKOSH when the nose gear failed because of the tail wheel used for the nose gear shimmying; it did not have any shimmy dampener springs in it. Although the nose wheel had set up a shimmy  before, it had not caused too much concern. This time the problem occurred while they were on the East coast and Carol happened to be taking  pictures with a movie camera as I was coming in for a landing with a passenger on board. "The nose gear went into severe oscillation", Don stated, "and I tried to keep the nose gear off as long as possible but without success. The nose pant had broken off from the hose assembly and then the wheel casting broke; the nose gear bent backwards and, although it did not break, it acted like a skid. The nose casting was crystallized in tie casting and separated from the nose strut. The upper engine mount took tee spring load from the engine mount, so I had to completely remove both upper engine mounts on the fuselage; no other structural damage was found. I lost the muffler system, air induction system to the fuel injector box and the cowl. The propeller was repairable. After the accident we disassembled the wings and loaded the plane into a U-Haul and trucked it some 3,000 miles back to the West Coast and home." Don had Jack Murphy make up a new gear with a 500-4 tire and he is very happy with it. 

Don did a lot of checking on shimmy and found that NASSA says there is no way to completely eliminate shimmy in on aircraft although there are many anti-shimmy devices available. The most corrective method is spindle friction. For those of you who are in the construction stage this bit of advice might be worth considering. From experience I have found that leaving a doorway in the or center of the firewall skin is very helpful so that the nose gear can be removed from the airplane as most bolts, ect. can only be removed from the front.

Don Phillips was asked if he had had any fuel problems. He replied "no" and added that he felt this was because of the way his fuel pickup was set up in the tank; this reduces problems that other builders with a different setup might have.

The cover picture is Don J. Phillips and wife Carrol. BD-4 Nl1DV San Jose, CA. 

  1. Jim BEDE and Don Phillips 

  2. Don Phillips seats made light weight. see page 5 for more details. 

  3. Don Phillips seats. 

  4. T. W. Chun from Lebanon, Ill. N406BD 

  5. Ed. Dahl/Ralph Green, Peoria, Ill. N8826

  6. Jim and Jack Murphy, Huntington Beach, CA. N486JM 

  7. William Stokes, Dallas, TX. N999PP 

  8. Don Hewes and wife Newport News, VA N632DH 

  9. Bob Norrison and wife, Palmyra, NY. N126BD 

  10. Colin Powers, McMinnville, OR N239CP

  11. Joe Gauthier, Cromwell, CT N162BD 

  12. Don Gray, Cortland, Ohio N4DG Although Don did not have his BD-4 at Oshkosh last year I recieved this photo as a Christmas card. See pg. 7 

  13. Don Phillips BD with the top cowl off. 

  14. L. Carstens, Excelsior Springs, MO. N777LC 

  15. Hugo Schneider, Jackson, Mich. N222HS 


Paul Kauffman from Traverse City, Mich. has come up with a method of taking the wings on and off, so I am including on of the prints that shows the most, he has some more prints that goes into more details.

Paul Kauffman
420 S Division
Traverse City, Michigan. 49684
616-947 6822

I am sorry that I did not get all the BD-4 pictures that was at Oshkosh as I had color film in my camera most of the time, later in the week
I put in the black and white film and then some of the BD-4s had already departed, so I hope this year I can get 100% coverage.

Other BD-4s that was at Oshkosh were:
355RK Hay Kooguer from Lyndhurst, OH
364H Gale Hannum, WOOdland, CA
481L E. S. Lanyi, Elizabeth, PA
C-GSWW Stanley Wilkin, Islington, Ont. Canada

The next issue will cover the remaining BD-4 forms along with high lights from the Dinner Banquet at the Anchor Inn with Jim BEDE in 

Address for your reservation at the dorm is:

Department of University Housing
ATTN: 1978 E. A. A.
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 414- 424-3212

I need information to include in this News Letter for the BD-4s, so some of you gals help-help. It seems that the boys out there don't have much to say.

When you order materials ecto you might give a little thought of having it sent by C.O.D. and then you are only paying for what you get.

Pease note that in my News Letter #2 April 1977 page 4 about fuel lines.

Don stated "The use of a 45 degree .fitting at the bulkhead has permitted gas pickup much lower than what the print shows. I have 70 gal. on each side and I can fly one wing dry with virtually no gas left to drain when sitting on the ground. I consider 15 gal. of gas sufficient for take off, but nothing less than that".

Editors note: I feel that in view of the fact that some of us have found that while we have exhausted our gas on one tank while flying, we check our remaining fuel supply when on the ground and find little or no fuel left in the tank, something should be noted about this confusing occurrence. Almost all the BD-4s when on the ground have a negative dihedral, so what gas was left in the tanks would run away from your gas drains unless the gas drains would be on the outboard of the gas tank aero.

Don: "On my trip to Oshkosh this year I had a ground speed of 200 at 4000' for ' the last 100 miles to Oshkosh. I do have my engine torbo charged. I flew all the way from Calif. with a Bonanza and we were getting 160 at 11500'".

A lot of the builders had had problems with the gear spreading and I have found that the loard mount donuts have not been the main problem of the gear spreading, but the gear box itself has been deflecting itself. I modified the gear box by taking off the four 1/4" plates where the gear pins go through and replace those 4-1/4" plates with two plates the lenght of the box, I also raised the inner bolt-. holes to give me more angle on the gear as I wanted the gear to set up a little higher.

Question: How many of the builders have used their swing out engine mounts 
Answer: Two builders said that they have the swing out engine mounts If you choose to use the swing out mount you certainly have to keep it in mind when running your wires and cables in order to keep from disconnecting a lot of items.

Question: Where do you find Finger strainers to be used in gas tank outlets 
Answer: A few suppliers do have them listed. All store bought airplanes do have some type of a strainer in the gas tank so you might do a little checking in third direction. If any one has a source please pass it onto me (Hug.) and I will put it in the News Letter.

Don Phillips: I found that I could reduce weight by eliminating the plywood floor boards and I saved some 4 lbs. by going to honeycomb aluminum. There are different ways you can save weight in your BD-4-this is one of them.

Question to Don Phillips: What kind of a turbo do you use? Answer: I use a. Ray Jay turbo and waste gate.

Question to Don Phillips: Have you noticed any fish-tailing on your BD-4?

Answer. Yes; from what I can gather from a person who works at NASA, I was told that a nose wheel type. plane in a bank or skid motion in such a degree you would get a wind vector, also the strut in essence would give you a fish tailing effect.

Editors note: I did a little evaluating when .I "gas coming to Oshkosh on my rudder, which is a small type, I found in view of the fact that the rudder springs in front are not very strong, and if you would apply even pressure on both pedals there would not be any f1exing of the rudder; when I reduced the pressure :on the pedals you would :.have a good case for fish tailing effect.

Tie Chun concurs in that by having the rudder pedals taunt it will help prevent the fishtailing.

Question Steve Takas: Do you balance your rudder out? As BD mention last year: it wasn't necessary.
Answer: Don Phillips: "I balanced all of my controls."

Question Don Phillips: Has anyone else spun their BD-4 other than Hugo? 
Answer. Someone said that they had spun their BD-4 4 to 6 turns, power off with what they called a agiverated stall and it was a tight spin.

Hugo. I did also get into a spin but it was a power on stall and it also,-was a tight spin, some of my data might help you builders. Bear in 
mind that I have the wing extensions and the small rudder. Stall -power off -no flaps, breaks clean at 65, with 1500 RPM -- 1 notch breaks at 57 , 2 notches breaks at 55, full f1aps breaks at 50. Power on stall no flaps-2500 RPM- breaks at 60 and spun to the left. 

Steve Takas: I fell that before we leave here that we should pass a long any information we hear of any problems or failures in any BD-4 that we get this information to a source such as Sport Aviation or your source such as this news letter. Hugo.- Steve I am in full concurrence with this as I have previously stated that I am unable to put out pertinent information unless some one gives me that information. So if you have information that would help some one else please give the details as you can. including phone numbers ect. as I will not publish any information, unless it. comes from a source that is reliable, gentlemen this is your news letter, so pass along information that may be useful to other builders.

NOTE: Every year in the past; we have mention at these. meetings about the Scott. wheel that is used for the nose wheel and for some reason some one out there doesn't get the word and some-one has an accident like Don Phillips did, so please make sure you check for the springs, that are in the unit for anti shimmy before any taxi. or flights are made. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. The part Number is 3233 and it calls for 5 ea.

Monday introduction of builders present along with information about their projects.

Congratulations went out to Mrs. Takas who is celebrating her birthday here at Oshkosh again.

Discussion on the fitting the wing spar on to the center section, some of the builders had their center section and spars turned down on a lath, where some fitted them in various other methods. 

Jack Murphy went into a lot of detail on some of the mods. they have on N486JM, such as metal wings, different gear legs, flap mods. and many others, besides discussing some of the very good products they make, such as the sleeves for thetorque tube and flaps, which is a good time savers the NASA window air vents, metal ribs for the metal wings, a complete nose gear replacement with many other good products.

Hugo: I would like to at this time, commend Jack and Jim Murphy for their contribution to the BD-4 program as they have developed products that have saved a lot of time and improved many of the parts for the BD-4.

Don Phillips: I have some 200 hrs. on may plane and I would also like to commend Jack and Jim as I have incorporated a number of their mods. and I am very pleased. I am very pleased with the flap mod. and I have flown at 140 MPH indicated with 10 degree of flaps and didn't hardly notice it, I especially like the fact that it carries the load on into the flap area, the construction is so much easier, I also incorporated the round rings (sleeves) in the flap bearings. I also incorporated the replacement nose gear assy., after I had my nose gear problem and I like the attachment of the nose gear which I feel is a lot better than the original. I have replaced the oillite bearings through out and I used stainless steel, this reduces the wear which I feel that the oillite does not hold up.

Jack Murphy elaborated on the Poly Urethane donut to replace the rubber donut. In Calif. we have been using it and so far it looks very favorable; I believe the cost of this new item is $27.00. The BD--); was designed for less than 1.000 lbs and the static load on the donut 
was design for the 1.000 lbs. with out taking a set and the BD-4 got heavier, so the: static loads exceeds what the Mfg. wanted the donuts to have on them.e have tested these donuts on a hydraulic press with very good results.

Question: A builder said he doesn't understand how to install the back seat sling canvas, as the tunnel running down the center doesn't let the seat go low enough.

Answer: One way is to get a scrap piece of canvas and fit it so when you sit in it that you almost touch the bottom of the skin of the fuselage; you make the canvas so you can adjust either the top or bottom, you make a cut out in the center for the tunnel, keep in mind that you will be sitting below the tunnel and not on the top of the tunnel) by having tunnel in the set area does not present any problem. Once you have the pattern you care take it to almost any canvas shop and they will make up one from your pattern, nave them reinforce the center cut out and the edges.

Don Phillips: I have a very good solution for this problem, BD design is perfectly adequate, the intent here is to get the seat as low as possible in the plane without bottoming out. One easy way is to cut out your-sling in center so it will go around either side of the tunnel. I ended up in making a form of the seat and took 1/16th mahogany veneer and I laminated it over the form with the veneer and glued them together, so I have this formed seat either side of the tunnel, the seat. is in two pieces and is readily removable and is self locking, so I have no sling problem and head clearance.

Question: I would like to know where to put the battery. Note information taken from the survey forms. Aft. left side 1--- Aft. ,per print 4 --- Behind rear seat 3 --- Two bays behind rear seat 4 --- Firewall 1 --- Behind front seat 1 --- Editors note: The battery has been located almost at every station in the fuselage, so it would be very difficult to say where to locate your battery in a specified location as it is a good idea to wait till you know what your CG will be and then go from there.

For those builders who want to reduce some weight you might give a little thought of the battery cable weight. If you can find a way to route your line, you might consider using a alum. tubing with a plastic sheeting insulating around the alum. tube of equal diameter of the battery cable and if you can use this method I assure you can eliminate a lot of weight.

If you are just getting started with your fuselage you might consider on putting the forward belly skin on the outside of the side channels and use one piece skin all the way back to the station behind the passengers area, this will permit a smooth flow over the belly, the changes involves shimming a few places with 063 alum. this way you can put the skin on after everything has been done and have everything accessible until completed.

The routing of the gas lines have been discussed quite a lot in the past because of the fuel starvation on climb out, ect. and has been concluded that if you run the forward gas pickup forward and down the front door post and the rear pickup to the rear and down the rear door post that the possibility of fuel starvation is very remote. We, have in the past kicked around-flop tubes, dams, holding tanks ,ect. and concluded that the gas lines is the most fool proof.

Your Aileron rods Cs-17 that goes from the lower bellcrank CS-15 to top of rear door box section, which is installed in the box rear section you will find that the adjustment fork #$1 shows on the bottom. This was OK until the Mod. of boxing in this, the end result there is no good way to make future adjustments, or if you take out the bolt on the fork you have a very hard time working upside down in a very cramped area, therefore I might suggest to put the adjustment end of the fork in a up position at the top, at least it is up where you can get at it and is more assessable and you can see what you are doing.

I have noticed in the BD "Build Your Own Airplane" by BD that the position of part CS-14 has been changed, ref, BD4-3-01 to miss the Mod. in the box section. I guess there may be some more charges that have been made in this book, but the changes have not been noted on the prints, so you builders when you find something that is not on the prints please pass the information on to me and T will get it out. From what BD has put together in this book I -would say that every builder should have one as it will save you a lot of time and money in the end. One address is BD P.0 Box 54, Vernon Hi11s, I11. 60061 and the cost is $14.95

There was some discussion about the top skin of the fuselage forward around the wings., to extend the skin over the wing area to provide a cover over the gap you will have at the wing root to prevent rain ect. from getting in.

From the projects that I have been following I find that when you install the wing spars on to the center section that you will have a tight, fit at the top of the spar to the fuselage and a open joint at the bottom.

A reminder for those that are working on there wing panels, when you leave your wing spar jig always check and double check your alignment when you come back to work on it, as it can get off.

If you are building a tail dragger BD-4. It has been recommended to locate your main gear 1" further forward than what the print shows, and the print for the taildraggers on the tail wheel attaching point is HOT adequate.

On the Horizontal push pull tube at both ends on the parts 23&28 the print calls to bond with 2216 epoxy, a number of the builders have 
experienced a separation of the Alum. from the wood blocks, it would be a good idea to. either use Dexter Hysol or to rivit the 2216 pieces together or bolt the pieces together especially part 28 which is the longest piece.

When you have a little time you might give a little thought about getting the two ball shank fittings that goes on the servo trim cables #155 at part #164 on print BD4-305 and get some one to have these parts swedged on the end of the cables as this cannot be done in the field without a special tool that is not really available. Note this connot be brazed or soldered on.

Some of the tri-gear builders that have there planes flying mention that the tail skid #47 BD4-1-17 should be extended downward as the 
Horiziontal stabilizer and anti-servo tab will hit the ground. 

Some of the builders pointed out that when you deviate from the prints that you can really get involved with a lot more additional changes, so when you make a change THINK AHEAD. 

Some of the results of the questionnaire.
40 were returned 7 with 150 hp
37 are building
with 160 hp
25 are building Tri-gear 19 with 180 hp.,
15 are building Taildragger 1 with 185 hp
6 with metal wings 2 with 200hp
7 with wing extensions
33 having large rudders 24 C.S. Props
6 having small rudders 7 F.P Prop
31 stick controls 17 Wing Fold
7 wheel controls 18 No wing fold
21 Cowl flaps
12 No cowl flaps

I will follow up with more information later date form the questionnaire.

For Sale 

BD-4 Kit complete-- Fuselage 85% complete--Wings not started yet- 180hp with mount- C.S. prop needing some work--Engine his 54 hrs. factory overhaule $7.500 Bill Mossman 461 Joyce Ct. So Holland, Ill. 604 73 312-333-6722

They say the difference between the men and the boys is the price of their toys.

Editors Note: I had conversation with Trevor Ancell from New Zeeland awhile back and just the other day he contacted me from Calif. when he was in town there. 

He said that Kalvin Gore from Sydney Australia has been having some problems with his BD-4 in the gear box section assy. the round plates that hold the lord mounts assy was dished the wrong way and the tubes were also bent, his side channels showed signs of bowing out, he has some 300 hrs. on his bird. He resolved most of his problem by installing gussets from the tube to the round disc. Editor note. Please refer to pg 7 of Issue 2 April 1977 news letter, as this is not the only case of this problem.

Don Gray sent me the picture of himself and children on a Christmas card which is in this issue and said that," I bent r nose gear twice with no damage to the fuselage and really beefed it up and went to a 10" wheel and it is much better." see you later at Oshkosh. Don it really looks sharp.

I see that in the Aviation Journal that Earl Schmitz has a picture of his BD-4, I see that he has a new type landing gear with 8 legs on it, 
of course it is setting on saw horses at least Earl you cant have gear problems this way. I see that he has some BD-4 shirts for sale for $6.95 from B&D Products, 1551 Airpark East, Suite h ,Upland, Call. 91786

It is not too early to send in your reservation for Oshkosh 1978

Received a card from Howard Walrath in Dallas Taxas. He just purchased a partial completed kit, and it sounds like it is a good one.

"In bad weather, it is much better to be down wishing you were up than to be up wishing you were down".

I have complained in the past about not having enough breaking action, I have solved 95% of the problem. As you know car plane sits outside all the time, and my break discs was rusting up most of the time, so I had the discs hard chromed, gentlemen it solved my rusting problem and made a lot of difference in my breaking action. 

Hugo Schneider