BD-4 NEWSLETTER # 21, Sept 1993
Roger D, Mellema
17605 SE 288 PI.
Kent, WA 98042
PH 206-631-5324

The editor of this newsletter cannot verify that the information contained herein is accurate. This newsletter is only a clearing house for the ideas and opinions sent in by various BD-4 builders/owners. Treat this information as if you overheard it during a "hangar flying" session at your local airport.      rdm

It is past due to update you on all the things that have been reported to me during the past months. I started this newsletter a couple of months ago and started writing about not having fown my V-6 powered BD-4 yet. I suddenly got an inspiration and decided to fly first and then do the newsletter. I have done that and now have 70 hours in the air. I have had no real emergencies yet but I have plenty to tell you about.

The first flight went well with all temperatures within limits and good performance. The only negative was a disconnected radio antenna!! Friends on the ground were disappointed. A good friend with a Mooney flew chase and they even got some video. A postflight check showed everything still tight and oil-free. The only surprise was the amount of fuel used - way too much!

There was more vibration than expected, especially a sudden onset right after takeoff. This could have been a leg fairing that was not secured as the wheelpants were left off for the first flight. There was too much vibration even after the fairing was secured. Part of this was probably the engine running too rich, but even more I suspect came from the Javelin reduction unit. I have discovered that several people have had this problem - especially those with the 2 : 1 reduction. One of the difficulties in test flight is separating the propeller effects from engine/PSRU effects. The vibrations caused by the propeller are usually due to the disturbed slipstream hitting the airframe. This gets better and worse depending on speed, prop rpm, altitude, etc. An auto engine installation does not run as smooth as you might expect because of all these masking vibrations.

It seems that several of us builders are experiencing a problem with the rear prop shaft spinning in the inner race of the back bearing of the PSRUs. Some have never had a problem and some have fixed it with better alignment of the prop shaft to the bearings. This problem has occurred with the both the 1.6:1 and the 2:1 PSRUs. The fit of the shaft into the bearing should be a press-fit of approximately 70 lbs. The rear of the prop shaft can be turned down and a collar installed (available in some bearing shops).

I had several people stop by my airplane at Oshkosh and tell me that the Hueronia Marine PSRUs have some real problems. Even after factory rework, the top pulley comes loose from the prop shaft only short run times. Others said they never got their units.

The first few hours were spent figuring out the Holley carburetor. The trouble all boiled down to leaving the power valve in. This valve is operated by a difference in pressure (vacuum) between the intake manifold and the ambient air above the carburetor. A you might imagine, these pressures vary all over the place in an airplane. The idea of a power valve is all right for richening of the mixture at full power but this valve added fuel at too low a power. I realize that you can put different springs on the valve but by this lime I was longing for a pilot controlled mixture Just like on aircraft engines. I finally remembered that someone closed off the power valve and had much better luck. I did this and also found it much better. This did make the engine run much leaner but of course the temperature came up a lot (1100° F to 1500+° EGT) and now the cooling system was barely adequate. I finally borrowed a mechanical leaning device made by Tom McNeilly that really works. The main jets are removed. the power valve blocked and a rotating shaft totally controls the fuel flow (see "Fuel Flow in the BD-4 Super Sport" below for address and cost).

I battled the cooling problems for a long time, but continued to slowly solve the problems. I didn't want to give up on my first radiator core. I instrumented the engine compartment and discovered a lot of things about cooling. The radiator I reported on earlier (an aluminum version of copper systems that seem to work) was marginal. The heat transfer for a single core thickness of 1.25 inches is phenomenal. This is probably due to rising aluminum and close fin spacing (20/inch). The first core would raise the cooling air temperature 60°F, the second about 30°F, and the third about 10°F. The back pressure is such that the cooling air is not forced through fast enough to make use of the back two cores. I had up to 18 inches of water pressure across the radiator in cruise. I modified the radiator to introduce fresh air to the back two cores and found that cooling was substantially improved. The extra space from the inlet and exit ramp on the cowling I now have allows a production radiator to lay down flat under the engine.

I now have a 1991 Corvette (350 V-8) radiator with plastic end caps installed. Now the engine doesn't overheat even after taxing several miles through soft sod at Oshkosh on a 85° F day.

The Oshkosh experience was great! I was a little hesitant to go as I still didn't get my BD all painted and the cowling was really a mess. It turned out that with the cowling off the airplane really attracted a lot of attention. There were so many people interested in auto engine power I was kept busy all the time and ended up with a very sore throat.
There ended up to be a lot of dead grass around my airplane and now Jack Cox from "Sport Aviation" and "Sportsman Pilot" wants me to write up the whole story of BD-4s, CAFE 400's, and V-6 auto engine.

The auto engine forums at Oshkosh were disappointing. Too much sleaze and salesmanship and not enough knowledge. Several of us builders have gotten together and will be putting out a newsletter and will probably put on a forum at Oshkosh next year. This is the first time I have flown my own BD with the long wings. It is really nice but the speed on final has to be about 75 mph when flying light. I am not used to going that slow and I end up slipping on final to lose energy. The tail dragger landings are substantially easier than with the short wings. I find it is also easier to do three point landings as there is more time to play with the flare. I really do recommend the long wings to make the BD a more comfortable airplane.

It looks like my average speed for the whole trip to Oshkosh was 165 mph and 19 mpg. This included all ground running, taxiing, traffic pattern, etc. I had almost an hour on the ground at Oshkosh with the engine running. I probably should start my timer when the wheels lift off. I would guess that the average speed would be about 182 mph if I count flight time only. The corrected airspeed while flying was between 175 and 185 mph.

The only engine problem encountered during my flight to and from Oshkosh was a fluctuating oil pressure as I was crossing the Rocky Mountains (of course). The pressure would go up some, vary about a bit, go back to normal (60 psi). This continued for about 45 minutes and really made me nervous. The oil and water temperature stayed constant and there was no loss of power so I kept on flying (over the freeway). I have since checked with Ken Mitchell (Bountiful, UT) and he occasionally has had exactly the same problem.

I ended up flying non-stop from Sheridan, WY to Seattle. There was still 1.2 hours of fuel on board when I got here and the tanks hadn't even been topped at Sheridan!

Newsletter Dues -

You are OK if you have a "= ", "*", or "1" before your name on the mailing label. You can also look on the enclosed BD-4 Owner/Builder membership roster.

Almost Accident -

I recently got word of an incident that reminded me of something that was covered in the newsletter some time ago. We reported a problem with the tail-wheel spring mounting where the side-to-side rocking movement of the spring caused the rear of the fuselage to fatigue and crack (newsletter 16, page 7). This rocking of the leaf spring is caused by sideloads to the tailwheel both during landing and probably more due to "kicking" the tail around to look for traffic or whatever while taxiing.

The incident occurred when a hard touchdown was made and the pilot considered going around. The pilot decided he could get stopped before the end of the runway and opted to stay put. Later it was discovered that the stabilator was "locked" in the up or flare position. The hard landing had pushed the tailwheel spring up into the fuselage so that the stabilator push-pull tube was jammed. I suspect that the rear of the fuselage was fatigued which then buckled upward to bind the stabilator tube.

If you have a taildragger please inspect part #28. I replaced mine and then doubled it with a piece of 4130 steel. You could also add an angle or "U" channel across the inside (under the stabilator tube) at the rear attach for the tail-wheel spring.

Oshkosh Winner -

Dick Marker won the best BD-4 award this year. He richly deserves it - a totally finished airplane. You really have to see the engine compartment to believe how packed with goodies it is. It does take a bit of packing to get in a turbo and associated equipment. Dick recently sold his very nice fiberglass wings and built metal wings. They are really smooth and you should see the tiny flap and aileron gaps!! There are also no counterbalances showing on the ailerons. He has promised to send me a drawing of how he did it.

On the way to Oshkosh when I was fueling up my ugliest BD at Rapid City, I saw Dick taxiing in and knew it world be the winner. At least the gas boys know that not all BD's look like mine!

BD-4 Super-Sport -

Really happy to see the great coverage Ray Ward is getting on his Super BD. It is hard to get coverage on something as utilitarian as a BD-4. Ray keeps kicking and he really made some progress.

Due to the articles in "Sport Aviation" and "Kitplanes" Ray and I have been getting a lot of calls about BD-4s. Ray's phone number was not listed in the aricle about him and the "Ray Wards" around Houston are irritated by all the wrong calls. One of them asked a caller "Who the hell is this guy anyway? Is he someone important". Hell Yes!!

Ray informed me that there some 48" aluminum ribs being advertised in "Kitplanes" They are only $19.95 each and are of a Goettingen 387 high-lift airfoil. Don't know if they can be used directly but maybe we can get this manufacturer to make our airfoil. The manufacturer is: Hiett Aviation, Box 2361, Arizona City, AZ 85223, PH: 602-466-6470.

The price of BD-4s has been very low for a long time now and Ray is urging everyone to price them at what they are worth. I know of some now that have sold in the $20,000 range. When the engine is worth $10,000 to $14,000, the whole package should be a good bit over $20,000. A complete original kit with engine and CS prop went for about $7500 in 1970. With the rate of inflation this should now be about $30,000.

Liability Problems?

Floyd Vipond called recently and then sent information about forming a corporation in Maryland. This may be a way to own or sell a homebuilt and get rid of some of the liability. The seventh article of incorporation reads "A director of this corporation shall have no personal liability to the corporation or its stockholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, provided that this provision shall not eliminate the liability of a director (1) for any breach of the director's duty of loyalty to the corporation or its stockholders, (2) for acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, (3) under Section 174 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or (4) for any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit".

We all know if instances where the "veil" of incorporation has been pierced but maybe there is something good here. It costs $285.00 to incorporate and it can be handled very quickly. They will also arrange for a complete corporate kit (seal, minutes, bylaw, stock certificates, and transfer ledger) for $49.00. The annual fees are $125.00.

We just had a lawyer give our EAA chapter meeting a talk about avoiding liabilty in selling your airplane. Mark Lorbiecki really impressed us with his experience and knowledge of aviation law. He stated that a "Delaware Incorporation" was not very useful. In the establishment of a corporation there are certain duties that the initiator is responsible to perform or the corporation is easily nullified. Among the many duties are proper funding, capitalization, and insurance. There has to be the appearance of a proper "business" that is set up for a purpose other than avoiding liability. Mark also stated that "trusts" do not work well. He said that it does help some to sell the airplane in pieces but he thinks that you can do just as well by handling the sale and the contract properly. The first rule is to keep your stupid EGO out of it. It doesn't matter how much you love the airplane or how carefully you documented every step or modification, or how many pictures of construction you have - ACT DUMB. Hide all such supporting documentation someplace where it can't be seized and don't ever admit having it. it will only be useful to you to muse over in your old age or it could possibly help if you ever are sued.
If you are interested in the 8 page seminar notes he handed out send $3 and an addressed envelope.

Memorial Day -

The annual picnic went off as planned. We had many people, too much food, and even had one airplane from Denver. Fran Haggerty and his partner bought John Brecher's BD a year or so ago and have really been putting of the hours. They had fun at the picnic giving rides and doing rapid pull-ups at the end of the runway. An O-360 and a constant speed are sure nice!

V-6 weight and balance

Several builders have been eager to see me weigh my BD-4 so they can correctly position their engines to make up for the various fuselage extensions. I finally finished doing it and am happy with the results. My standard BD tail dragger with O-360 and Hartzell constant speed prop (thick paint, light interior, some radios, full gyro panel, NO fairings, NO curved windshield) initially weighed 1200 lbs and had a CG of 79.36 inches. By the time I flew the CAFE 400 it weighed 1267 lbs and had a CG of about 79.26 inches.

I now have added a V-6 (oil, coolant, NO carb heat or ducting, NO heat riser), Javelin reduction unit, Performance Propeller wood prop, heavier foam cabin insulation, two 20 inch wing extensions, and a new "one-off" cowling. The new weight is 1322 lbs and the CG is 76.375 inches. The water pump pulley on the V-6 is about 3/4 inches forward of the firewall I had figured about 30 lbs extra for the engine and 25 lbs for the wing extensions. This added to the earlier weight would be 1322 lbs

I would be happier it it were down around 1200 lbs but weight savings costs money. The empty wing loading was 1267 lbs/102 sq ft = 12.4 lbs/sq ft. It is now 1325 lbs/115.3 sq. ft =11.5 lbs/sq ft,

The only places I can see to reduce weight are: about 10lbs in the reduction unit, 20 lbs in cabin interior. 5 lbs in lighter fairings, and maybe 10 lbs in the engine area.

I like the CG forward as it makes it easier to load the rear seat and baggage compartments. Ground handling is all right as I still had 13 lbs on the tailwheel in a level attitude during weighing (I originally had only 30 lbs on the tail wheel). I carried a 100 lbs sack of cement in the back seat during initial test flights; just to make sure the stabilator had enough power to flare for landing. It turns out that I can easily fly without the extra rear weight. I can feel that I am about at the limit for forward CG and don't plan to push it further. A heavier engine will require adding to the fuselage length or putting the battery in the tail.

For those of you who want to balance a longer tail, you can follow this example of how to adjust the
location of the engine:

Basic starting point is 1322 lbs x 76.375 inches = 100,967.75 in lbs

The CG of the rear fuselage is 196 inches from the datum and the weight is 183 lbs.

subtract off the fuselage 183 lbs x 196 in = -35,868.00 in lbs
= 65,099.75 in lbs
add at new location 183 lbs x 196.00+24 in = + 40,260.00 in lbs
= 105,359.75 in lbs
add new section 25 lbs x 112.25+12 in = +3,106.25 in lbs
= 108,466.00 in lbs

The CG of the engine/drive/prop combination in my installation is about 19.5 inches forward of the firewall (50"-19.5" = station 30.5").

subtract my engine 465 lbs x 30.5 in =

-14,182.50 in lbs

= 94,283.50 in lbs

We decide we want a CG of 78 inches at a weight of 1381 lbs (107,718.00 in lbs).

find engine moment necessary 107,718.00 - 94,283.50= 13,434.50 in lbs
find engine CG for 500 lb engine 13,434.50 in lbs / 500 lbs = 26.87 in

If my engine was 0.5 inches forward of firewall (CG 30.5 from datum) yours will be 30.5 - 26.87 = 3.63 inches further forward. This will be 3.63 + 0.5 = 4.13 inches from the firewall.

I weighed my airplane with and without a passenger in the various seals and found out that Bede's assumed seat stations are off a little compared to mine (and I have long kegs). His assumed station for the front seat was 94 inches -my measurement showed 91 inches. His assumed station for the back seat was 127 itches - my measurement showed 121.5 inches. His numbers are conservative and add to the aft CG safety margin.

Accident aftermath -

There has been some fall-out from the accident Robert Warfield had with his V-6 powered BD-4 in Denver, CO. Dave Blanton notified the FAA that the accident was directly caused by improper up stops on the stabilator. The FAA has followed up by calling the EAA and requesting help in determining possible design problems and spreading the word in Sport Aviation concerning the proper stabilator up stop settings. The EAA asked me for comment on the issues. I bought the airframe from Robert and found that the CG appeared to be very far aft. I also commented on what I know about the handling during take-off and landing and why I think there is no problem with the present system. I, of course told the EAA that James Bede is the person they should be talking to.

I later received a copy of Jim's reply. He did an excellent job of explaining the rationale behind the present configuration. I think we probably have heard the end of the FAA's involvement. I appreciate Ben Owen's help in coordinating the effort to get the FAA the information that was needed.

Remember that airspeed is your friend. You do not have to climb steeply immediately after take-off (especially if you have 10,000 feet of runway ahead of you).

BD-4 Orientation Flight Volunteers -

My editorial in the last newsletter about the advisability of doing your own first flight brought quite a few responses. Reg Lukasik (11 Deschamps Court, St. Albert, Alb.; Canada T8N 5V7, PH: 403-959-0813) wrote to say he world be "willing to provide dual instruction in my aircraft (BD-4) to new builders wishing to gain time on type, or to evaluate the design to see if the configuration and flight characteristics are for them". Reg is located near Edmonton, Alberta and is a Chief Flying Instructor and have test flown 13 different home built designs over the years. He is now trying to get approval for IFR in homebuilt aircraft in Canada, specifically the BD-4. Reg is interested in information on any tricycle gear BD's that have been stretched. His wife also flys the BD and would like it to stay a tricycle.

A Roots Super Charged BD -

My daddy always told me to finish what has been started before looking for something else. He didn't know how many people there are out there trying to get me into trouble. It all started when Tim McGinnis called me and complained about wanting more power than the 3.8 titer Ford V-6 normally puts out (180 - 190 hp). I assured him that 180 hp is the right amount of power for a BD-4 but that didn't help. I then went on about higher compression pistons (10 : 1), and turbo-charging for more performance at altitude. As an after thought, I mentioned the Ford Thunderbird Sport Coupe and it's super charged V-6. I wasn't sure about exact power output but did know that the engine is a variation on the very 3.8 liter engines that we are currently building up and using. I tried to find one of these supercharged engines when I was looking to buy my V-6. The salvage yards around here told me they were impossible to find and would cost about $7500 for a run-out engine. I gave up at that point and bought my 1986 V-6.

Tim called me back after a few days and had located 8 new (< 200 miles) SC engines. We thought of buying two of them but ended up buying all of them at a discounted price Tim and I each bought two of them and BD-4 builders Dave Dotson, Denns Love, Steve Craigle, and Rick Graf each bought one.

This engine has timed port fuel injection, hydraulic roller cam system. Roots supercharger (will boost 20 inches to 50 in Hg at sea level), intercooler, unique crankshaft, rods, and pistons, distributorless ignition, cast aluminum oil pan, and 8.2 : 1 compression. It is all computer controlled and has "get home" modes built-in (not sure if they are sufficient for airplane safety). it puts out 210 hp at only 4000 rpm (276 fl lbs) and 156 hp at 2600 rpm (315 ft lbs). The peak power at 5800 rpm must be around 270 hp (245 ft lbs). With a torque curve like this (peaks at a low rpm) this engine might work out fine with just direct drive and a constant speed prop.

The weight of the engine with everything on it (air conditioning, power steering, cast exhaust, 3 heavy belt tensioners etc. comes out to 480 lbs. I think we will be able to get d down to < 500 lbs firewall forward. That is about 40 lbs more than I have now.

Steve Craigle has been pioneering the work so far. He has deciphered the wiring diagram and is planning to buy a Northwest Aero Products PSRU.

These engines were taken out of 1990 Thunderbirds so that new modular V8's could be installed for testing.

Most people use 4000 rpm for cruise with the regular 3.8 liter V-6. Normal cruise power (75 %) on a 180 hp Lycoming is only 135 hp. I am afraid we will have trouble loading up the 3.8 SC unless we find a good variable pitch prop.

A Better Curved Windshield - Mack Weston

Mack Weston recently said me a drawing of how he intends to put in a new curved windshield. As you know, Mack likes to make a "better mousetrap". He has his main gear (taildragger) attached to the engine mount and at an angle to the rear so the wheels are close to the correct placement. Now he is thinking of using 5/8 inch by 0.035 wall 4130 steel tubes to replace the side windshield angles # 17 & 18. The tubes will go from the upper engine mount area directly to the cabin spar attachments. This will actually be stronger than the angle now used as long as the tubes tie into the engine mounts and the spar in a way that will be able to take the tension and compression loads. The tubes will be in tension for the majority of the time and of course, it is not hard to beat the compression strength of an aluminum angle. The windshield can now curve all the way around so it also takes the place of the front side windows.

The windshield will now lay flatter as it will go from 6 inches in front of the firewall to the top of the cabin spar. The first 10 inches of the wings will have to change some as they are now sticking out in front of the windshield. Mack plans to taper them back some so now his BD-4 will look more like the Tailwind.

An Alternate Air (Vacuum) Pump -

Walt Beecher has decided to use an automobile emissions air pump to run his gyros but he will be using the pressure output instead of the vacuum side as I have done. A pressure regulator is needed instead of the vacuum regulator normally used in airplanes.

I can see the temptation to drive the gyros with pressure rather than vacuum as some of the auto "smog pumps" only have one fitting - pressure. Some of the pumps suck air in around the pulley which makes it harder to set a up for vacuum systems. If you remove the pulley, you will see that it is easy to block off the chamber that leads to the "front" of the pump. Then you can cut a hole in the side of the pump and epoxy in a vacuum port fitting.

Wait has found a supplier of pressure regulators but they are expensive. Contact him for more information (2705 61st St, Galveston, TX 77550).

Main Gear Box Wear -

Joe Gauthier wrote that he recently found one broken 3/16" bolt and another showing significant signs of stress in the small angles that attach the main gear box to the side rails. The airplane was built to the current Bede drawings and Design Improvements. The airplane had 500 hours on it and had never had abusive treatment.

This angle (LGM-14) is now specified as 2 x 2.4 6061 aluminum angle that is 1/8 inch thick The drawing for making the part shows the angle to be cut down to 1x1 (maybe a carryover from the original plans). There is one of these at the front and back of the box and each is bolted to the side channel with three 3/16" bolts. I leave these angles full sized and put six bolts in each side as shown in the drawing in NL #20. Most of us have had more trouble with the countersunk heads moving about in the outside of the side channel than with actually breaking bolts. I have broken two bolts but that was when I built the first BD-4 according to the original plans.

Joe confirmed that a painted, equipped BD-4 with an O-360 and CS prop weighs in at about 1265 lbs. First weigh-ins usually are about 1200 lbs

Wanted or For Sale -

Reg Lukasik wants pictures of stretched BD-4's. Cash reward, send to: 11 Deschamps Court, St. Albert, Alb., Canada T8N 5V7

John Hall (BD Homebuilt Sales, 2255 Orkla Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55427 PH: 612-593-0341) is looking for a partially completed BD-4.

Paul Breed (15 Sunshine Dr, Kinstron, NH 03848, PH: 603-642-5144) is looking for any 80% BD projects. Paul is in the engine management system field and is thin" about experimental aircraft related products.

If you are looking BD-4 related materials that have been published, you might contact John Roby, 3703 Nassau Dr., San Diego, CA 92115. I bought all of his "How To Build Your Own Airplane" books up a couple of years ago but he has a long list of BD material.

Bill Boys (732 N. Highland Ave., Aurora, IL 60506, PH: 708-844-5072) is selling his BD-4 project. The fuselage is 90 % complete, is stretched 20 inches, is strengthened to accept a heavier than normal engine, no instrument panel, has all controls. The wings are fiberglass with fuel in the leading edge. Has curved windshield and all plans.

Aileron/Flap gap seal material. In Newsletter 18-3, I showed how to seal the aileron and flap gaps with plastic material. I have found just the width needed at Boeing Surplus and will send you 24 ft for $5.00, boxed and postage paid. Roger Mellema

Gordon Weldon (Box 1339, Grande Prairie, Alb, Canada, T8VOX9, PH: 403-538-1585) is selling a Ford 3.8 L V-6. No crank, low compression pistons, 1.6:1 Javelin reduction drive, oil cooler, carburetor, distributor, and reground cam. $2400

Robert Bollinger (Ph. 515-472-0598) has the following for sale: 500 cfm Honey carb (with electronic leaning) to a Ford V-6. it was used 2 hours - $100.00. BD-4 landing gear legs -$100.00. BD-4 Ford V-6 engine mount - $100.00. BD-4 plans, new from Bode - $200.00.

Rodny Sebby (3246 N. 100 th St., Kansas City, KS 66109) has purchased Jim Murphy's BD-4. He is looking for a complete set of plans.

Klaus Heddergott (PO Box 2125, Mariposa, CA 95338, PH: 209-742-6170) has the following for sale: BD-4 original exhaust system (180 hp) used 15 minutes, $450. Genave Alpha 600 with separate OBS (360 channel, new), $375. Bendix electric artificial horizon with solid state Inverter (yellow tag), $250. Standard Parts SP5400 12 volt electric Turn and Bank (needs ball slip indicator), $90.

Michelle Mellema (17605 SE 288 PL, Kent, WA, 98042, PH: 206-631-5324) has extended wing tips available. 21 inch extension + wing tip + wing tip door. Includes 0.032" thick spar, top and bottom skins, and honeycomb a foam ribs. Assembled except for hinging wingtip door and 10 inches of fiberglassing on leading and trailing edge of airfoil so that you can make it fit your wing. You do a little filling and sanding, pin holes, paint, and attach to your wing and spar. I build the box, you pay for shipping. $550.00
Also, cowlings available. A little larger than the original Bede so that It fits over tile O-360 better. Will fit under the carburetor air box if it is built properly. Split horizontally and has a little larger inlet holes (an exact Bede inlet also available). Top and sides stiffened with foam/fiberglass We box, you as the oil door and fit top to bottom (no fiberglass flange). $450.00

R Mellema (206-631-5324) has a 3.8 Liter Ford V-6 and reduction drive for sale. Modified for aircraft use (8.7:1 compression, needs new flywheel), homebuilt PSRU (bent some), starter, altenator, and after market ignition. $600.00
Javelin 1.6:1 PSRU with 35 hours on it. Lightened 10%, aligned, built-in 3 inch prop shalt extension, balanced upper pulley, in prime paint. $2000.00

VDO engine tachometer, used 3 hours (I decided to go with the Rocky Mountain Instruments engine monitor). Perfect for use with Ford V-6. The range is from 0 to 6000 rpm. it is 3.25 inches in diameter, has a black background, is well damped. $80 shipped

Walter Scheibe (PO Box 7301, Warwick, RI 02887, PH: 401-737-2939) has many of the steel parts for the BD-4 control system that he would like to sell. They were made by a professional tool maker and are all cadmium plated. Walter sent me pictures of the items available - write and ask I interested. He will sell them all for $150.00.

David Holm (114 S. River Rd, McHenry, IL 60050, PH: 815-3444740) has a BD-4lilt for sale.

The following people would like to purchase a BD-4:
R. Cook, 31800 S Goodtime Rd, Molalla, OR 97038, PH: 503-233-4491
Mark McAfee, 2917 Pheasant. Gasper, WY 82604
Ed Lows, 501 Dogwood Ln, Wilmington, NC 28405, PH: 919-452-2434
Atsushi Omae, 1825 S Woodward Ave, Suite 170, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Kurt Rieppel, 214 S Lincoln St, Kent, OH 44240, PH: 216-673-3544
David McGuire, 6439 S 82 nd E. Ave. Apt 915, Tulsa, OK, 74133, 918-250-6444

"Homebuilt" tachometer -

BD-4 owner George Wittet (766 West Lake Dr., Canandaigua, NY 14424, PH: 716-394-5732) is now selling plans and/or materials for a liquid crystal display tachometer. This unit is Wit for the Ford V-6 engines but can be programmed for any engine. This unit does not connect into the ignition system for its rpm source but instead uses a device to "count" the ring gear teeth on the flex-plate (flywheel).

This tack can be built for about $120 and also has annunciator lights to indicate safe rpm ranges. A plans pack and builder's manual sell for only $18.00.

The New BD-4B -

I received some correspondence from John Hall who is now (again) heading up new business for the BD4. He sent an updated information pack on the "B" model which includes history, performance figures, and 3-views. It is desired to get the BD-4 back in business but financing has to wait a little as the BD-10 takes precedence. Jim Hall is handling the BD-4 business out of Minneapolis for now (BD Homebuilt Sales, 2255 Orkla Dr. Minneapolis, MN 55427 PH: 612-593-0341). John was working on a BD-4 in the past but it was sold before it was finished. He is now looking for another BD-4 to finish.

Propeller News -

There have been rumors about Ivo Prop working on a 200+ hp variable pitch prop. They have some good experience with making props so this might be a good future source.

I made a call to Vari-prop International, Inc. (PH: 206-921-4888 or 681-3826 in Washington or 916-347-4010 in California) recently as they were mentioned in Sport Aviation. This prop development was started in England in 1978 and they spent $1.5 million on it. A US company then bought the rights and has continued development. The VP-2 is good to maybe 250 hp. The hub is aluminum, the blades are birch (by Sensenich) with rain proof leading edges. The cost is supposed to stay below $5000 and the total weight is 27 lbs. The propeller is controlled by oil pressure from a hand operated piston.

Alan Watkiss has been experimenting with a 68", 3 Blade ground adjustable Warp Drive prop on his O-320 A2B Lycoming. His original prop was 74" x 60" and allowed less than 2300 rpm at takeoff on hot days. The Warp prop set at 14° gave superior performance on take-off but lost 10 mph at on cruise at 2450 rpm (140 rather than 150 mph). The rpm would now go up to 2700 rpm in cruise. Alan tried 15° but found a decrease to the original takeof performance.

Alan is happy with the prop as it is 15 lbs lighter and runs smoother and quieter. These props are easily ground adjustable and cost lass than $800.

Spoilers -

Charles Oliver (2664 Country Club Dr, Glendora, CA 91740, PH 818-335-0941) has sold his BD-4. it was sold to Brent Sanchez, 1141 N Poplar Ave, Fresno. CA 93728. Ph. 209-485-0808. Brent sent me a short video tape showing the unique features. It is very unusual as it is equipped with spoilers rather than ailerons. They are actuated with the torque tube just as the ailerons would be. They normally lie flat along the top of the aluminum that now fairs in the back of the wing and lift up one at a time to spoil the lit and add drag to the wing that you want to go down. In this way, you have roll and drag so that rudder input is not as important. He has done some in-Flight experiments in which he unhooked one aileron and did various tests to determine how well the system would work. He was convinced enough to build the wings with just spoilers. It is too bad it was never flown. The spoilers were the same length as the ailerons and about 2.5 inches wide. They were made of 1/16" aluminum from what I could tell.

Charles also had done experiments with having total differential movement of the ailerons to get rid of adverse yaw. He had a pushrod system for actuating the ailerons that had a spring loaded sliding section so that neither of the ailerons would go down much when the other aileron moved up the normal amount. It sounds like a good idea as long as there is enough aileron effectiveness. This was not flight tested either.

The Art of Controlling Your Doors -

As many of you experienced BD pilots have found, it pays to always park your BD-4 with the nose into the wind. Not because it is less likely to blow away or anything so as important as that - but to save your door hinges. You have not had the complete BD-4 experience unless you have had a hinge ripped off at some airport 1500 miles from home. The doors are light and large and many of us have not engineered a way to keep the doors from opening all the way and slamming against the cowling. Some people have used a metal link that connects to the door and slides in a groove cut in the top of the side channels.. This does work but is very frustrating when you are trying to get your old sfiff legs around it to get out of the airplane.

I still don't have a solution but Fred Hinsch has a clever way to fix the problem after the wind does it's damage. Once a weldment is broken, the door skin usually has to be removed to allow the welding needed to fix the problem. Fred's solution allows you to build the replacement parts in the comfort of your home and then install them at the airport with only a hacksaw and a battery powered drill. The hacksaw is used to get rid of the old hinge. Fred recommends replacing the top hinge first as that will keep the door in correct alignment.


Fred has also made a new axle for his nose wheel which allows him to use a low bar. Wag-aero carries one for a Cherokee ($28.50) that has hollow ends on it that fit over the nuts on the nosegear axle.

New Prop Reduction Drive -

There is a new reduction drive out that really looks good. It is in the Javelin style and uses the same belt. It weighs about 61 lbs. and is beautifully finished right down to the blue anodizing. The drive pulleys are milled from aluminum billets and are pre-balanced at the factory. AN hardware is used throughout, The heavy duty shaft bearings are permanently lubricated and sealed for years of smooth, low friction operation. These units are made by: Northwest Aero Products, 4203 "B" St Northwest, Auburn, WA 98001, Phone: 206-852-4614. The pricing of these units is comparable to others on the market.

Radiator/Cooling -

Gerald Redman (1416 Daphne Dr, Willits, CA 95490. PH 707-459-9012) wrote b say that an experienced chapter member recommended that 5 to 6 inches of water differential pressure (0.22 lb/in2) across the radiator is about optimum for cooling flow.

Gerald recommends using a pare-synthetic oil like AMSOIL 15W40 rather than a pure synthetic like Mobil 1. This oil will avoid ring seating problems as was discussed in the last newsletter. Gerald has used AMSOIL for many miles and found it to be excellent.

In testing the radiator on my V-6, there was pressure equal to 18 inches of water across my radiator and it still didn't cool. This is definitely due to my having too many cores behind each other and too many fins per inch. I haven't checked the differential pressure across the new radiator.

Fuel Flow in the BD-4 Super Sport -

Ray Ward is now getting around to fine tuning his 470 hp BD-4. He monitored fuel flow and found it to be 14 gal/hr at 175 mph (12.5 mph). This is as lean as his electronically leaned Holley would go. Dave Blanton led him onto Tom McNeilly who is building a device to mechanically lean the Holleys. It has not worked well on the V-6's but Ray discovered what is wrong and now it works fine with his engine. He recently got 20 mpg while going 220 mph TAS. Ray feels that the V-8 burns a lot less fuel than the IO-540 did at about the same speed.

The highest exhaust gas temperature he was able to get at 8000 ft. was 1100°F, now he can get up to 1350°F.

The mechanical leaning device is an aluminum plate that fits between the lost bowl and the carburetor body. Turning a lever at the top of the plate allows more or less fuel to the jets.

You can contact Tom McNeilly at: 14001 E. Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234, PH: 602-899-7613. The price for the latest version is $75.

Ray is now flying with a complete exhaust system rather than the "short stacks". He said the heat buildup in the cowling is something to be very careful about. It tends to char oil lines and other necessities.

Ray recommends "System 1" oil filters - you can inspect the screen which is good for down to 30 micron particles.

Final Fuel Filter -

The Holley carburetor installed on my V-6 does not have a fine mesh final fuel filter. I looked around and found that Purolator has a "Pro-Fuel" filter that you can visually inspect. It comes with input nipple sizes from 3/16" to 3/8". Do not use where the fuel pressure is over 10 lb/in2. I have found these available at many local auto parts stores.

Deja Vu -

Chip Cotton has just discovered that he now owns the remains of my first BD-4. The last word I had heard of it was when my ex-partner sold it to a Dentist in Santa Barbara. Chip has extended the fuselage by 20 inches and is installing a Continental O-470J, 225 hp engine and constant speed prop. He is changing the main landing gear box to accept legs from a Cessna 182 flat spring gear. The box is a riveted assembly made from 0.080 inch thick 7075-T6 sheet. The gear attachments are also machined from 7075-T6,

The Fish Carburetor -

Robert Bollinger talked to a fellow from Oregon who flew his homebuilt to Oshkosh with and old/new carburetor on it. It works more like at Ellison (or the other way around) than most carburetors. It is very simple and automatically leans with altitude. The company that now makes them guarantees at least 20% increase in mileage on trucks and motorhomes. Dan Milltenberger, Albany, OR Ph. 503-926-9477 is the pilot who has flown one, Mike Brown, PO Box 25, Pleasant Hope, MO, 65725, Ph. 417-467-2114 sells them.

Exhaust Augmenter -

John Karalukas wrote to give some information on augmenters that was published in 1955. .It was in "Flight" magazine from England and concerned the DeHavilland Doves. It was said to improve the Dove's cruising speed by 8 to 16 mph. Its principle effect was to smooth out the airflow around the standard exhaust stacks which were close to the wing leading edge. It also lowed by half the back-pressure in line exhaust system and is worth 3 to 4 inches of manifold pressure at 8000 ft.

John also states that augmenters have been used on British light aircraft for many years. They are about 6 inches in diameter and 30 inches long.

it is hard to tell how much of this is marketeering. I find it hard to believe that driving an augmenter with the exhaust will lower the exhaust back pressure. All the documentation I have read says the opposite.

Aileron Adjustment -

it has been noted by many builders that there is no way the ailerons can achieve the proper differential movement using the Bode supplied belcrank dimensions. Several builders have revised things so they work better.

First of all ft is important that the holes in the torque tubes be drilled correctly. This is done by raising the aileron to the +25° deflection point, turning the torque tube belcrank (CS20) down till it hits the bottom of the slot in the rear door frame, and then drilling. The other thing that is necessary is to change the bottom belcrank so that the angle between the arms is 120°. The vertical rod in the door post may now hit the inside walls of the rear door post when you are at maximum aileron deflection.

Few builders get the ideal 25° up and 17° down deflection of the ailerons.

Aileron/Flap Skins - William Brew

Bill Brew and his wife Ann were up to Seattle recently and gave me some good information to pass on to you. Bill said that he found the ultimate place to get aileron and flap skins made. When he got them, the rear edges actually touched! This makes a very nice finished surface as there will be no bulging between the ribs. Union Aircraft, Burbank, CA. Bill supplied his own aluminum and the cost of bending it was about $150. ft would be a good bit cheaper it several sets were done at once.

BD-4 25 th Anniversary Party at Oshkosh -

Our 25th anniversary party came off very well. Hugo Schneider did a great job of finding facilities, planning a great feast, and organizing entertainment. We even got to hear a first hand report of the BD-10 flight tests from their chief test pilot. The BD-10 flew many times at Oshkosh. It looked good, sounded good, and performed beautifully.

Alternate Engine Newsletter -

Tim McGinnis put out the first copy of a new newsletter that will allow all alternate engine builders to tell what they have discovered and also ask questions of other builders. Tim is very busy getting his Super Charged BD flying and will turn over the newsletter to Bruce Singer (620613 East 154th Terrace, Grand View, MO 64030, PH: 816-322-6236). Bruce's father, Bill, is building a BD-4 and will be installing a Ford V-6 in it. Bruce has excellent computer equipment and will be able to take data by modem, fax, or mail. The object of the newsletter is a clearing house for all information concerning engine conversions. Bruce will need lots of letters containing questions and answers pertaining to the V-6.

Correction on Rudder Pedals - Steve Craigle

There were some errors on the article in the last newsletter. See the attached drawing for the correct rudder pedal dimensions.

Better Seats for the BD-4: Design by: James Huber

In the last newsletter, I talked about the clever, individually adjustable, for all sized humans, sort of light weight seats that Jim Huber designed. The nice thing about these seats is that they not only move a reasonable amount fore and aft, but they also change height and seat angle. They are designed to accommodate the Air Force standard "large and small" human. Jim is using the basic seat from another airplane and just added an of the lower structure.
In the upper figure note that the lower seat position is shown in tighter lines and I did not show the telescoping adjuster tube.
The lower figures show the front and rear support tubes as viewed from the rear. Ail tubing sizes and some approximate lengths are shown to get you started. Changes can be made to fit the spare 4130 you might have lying around and also to better fit your physique.

The two 4130 tubes (0.875" and 1.5") that the seat "posts" rotate about go all the way across the cabin. The seats adjust independently but must be adjusted while on the ground. A screw jack arrangement could be fitted for adjustment while flying.

All steel parts are 4130. Flat pieces are 0.125" thick. Hardware is all AN-4. The most difficult part of fabrication is welding the end of the 0.5" pieces to the larger tubes. The welding distorts the tubes and causes slag to form on the inside. This slag has to be removed so that the tube will slide over the large tubes that reach across the cockpit. If you want to lubricate (motion is negligible), do it with something that is waxy. You don't want it getting over upholstery and clothes.