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Thread: Need advice, considering buying a nearly complete project from canadian builder/owner

  1. #11
    Thank you everyone for the responses.

    So far the owner had not been able to find a Bill of sale from when he purchased the kit. This is a Bede BD-5 aircraft. The current owner said he purchased the untouched kit from an American who bought it directly from Bede.

    He has sent me a lot of pictures of the aircraft and of the pictures of the build process. I dont know how many pictures are sufficient, but I can tell you from the pictures I have that there are shots of almost every major stage of build being done. They are quite old pictures as this project was started in the late 70's.

    The owner was indeed building it for himself, although he was a professional aircraft builder specializing in sheet metal work (he is 94 years old and worked on the F-104 starfighter!)

    I can obviously acquire a bill of sale from him, and even a written statement that he was building it for his own personal recreation/education.

    It sounds like from what I have heard here that absence of a BOS from Bede to the original kit purchaser and a BOS from him to the current owner is going to be a showstopper. Have I misunderstood? Are there any other options?

    I really like this aircraft and he is selling it for a song... but ultimately I want something I can make legally airworthy.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    You might get an affidavit (statement of fact) from the seller stating the chain of custody.
    EAA staff may be able to help.
    EAA sells a certification kit of documents needed for this, about $20.
    I attended a staff forum presentation last year at Airventure. It takes about an hour to go through it.
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 05-01-2018 at 04:37 PM.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Douglas Flat, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    ... ultimately I want something I can make legally airworthy.
    Oh, a BD-5.

    Two relatively minor, but often important, points:

    * I know we toss it around rather casually here, but the word "airworthy" has a very specific meaning to the FAA. To them it means "in compliance with type certificate data." And by that definition, no BD-5, nor any amateur-built experimental aircraft, will ever truly be airworthy. Yes, an operational example carries an "airworthiness certificate," but when you look closely you see that it is actually a "Special Airworthiness Certificate" issued to permit the operation of an aircraft that is not airworthy according to the definition in the FARs. The best we ever get is "of a condition for safe operation."

    * With a BD-5, I would not be too inclined to sweat the paperwork. My reasoning is that by the time you've made something capable of safe operation, you're probably only using about half of what was in the kit. At issue is that the BD-5 exists within the intersection of an engine with good power to weight, a lightweight yet very low-drag airframe, a simple yet robust propeller drive, and all these things delivered at an affordable price. And to the degree all those things came into being, we might as well have thrown in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. Because the propeller drive wound up being heavy, complicated, and tender, the airframes came in at the expected weight only if built to a scrupulous minimalism, and even today a reliable engine with the requisite power to weight ratio remains elusive. Which is to say that the BD-5 as Jim Bede envisioned it is just barely technically feasible, cannot be achieved using only parts and technologies delivered in the BD-5 kit, and will never be the kind of affordable that was originally promised.

    --Bob K.
    Bob Kuykendall
    HP-24 kit sailplane project

    HP-24 Project Facebook Page
    EAA Technical Counselor

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Clarklake, MI
    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    I really like this aircraft and he is selling it for a song... but ultimately I want something I can make legally airworthy.
    I don't think you'll have any trouble showing the plane meets major portion rule. No trouble at all. If necessary, call it a BaD-5.

  5. #15
    Thanks everyone for the advice... I called the EAA and was PROMPTLY helped (I am seriously impressed!) It appears there is a pretty strait forward way around the absence of bills of sale prior to my purchase. They are dealings I am willing to undertake so I am pushing forward with the purchase.

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