The BD-Micro Technologies (BMT) FLS Microjet completed Phase I flight testing May 5. All performance expectations were either met or exceeded, according to company officials, who say the jet is better known as the “James Bond jet.”
For the first time, the BD-5J is available as a complete, ready to assemble, integrated airframe, avionics, and powerplant systems package. BMT is currently taking orders for a limited production run of the FLS Microjet kit.
The design was originally developed in the 1970s by Bede Aircraft and designated as the BD-5J. In 1992, BMT began re-engineering the BD-5J and designated its design features in an aircraft line-up called the “FLIGHTLINE Series” or “FLS” kits. The FLS Microjet is the first aircraft to incorporate all the BMT upgrades, according to company officials.
Several safety improvements include a wing design that improves stall characteristics, a fuselage stretch that isolates vital safety equipment from the cockpit, a strengthened wing spar to reduce airframe fatigue, and modern technology integration focused on increasing systems reliability while reducing pilot workload. Other systems upgrades include an all-digital dual display instrument panel, solid-state triple bus redundant electrical system and HOTAS controls.
According to company officials, the most significant FLS Microjet development is the Quantum Turbine Powerplant System featuring the TJ100 jet engine. The TJ100 turbojet uses FADEC technology common on jet airliners and was developed for use in experimental jet aircraft.
The owner of the first FLS Microjet, Justin Lewis of Lewis & Clark Performance, conducted flight testing in Newport, Oregon. He reported the jet was easy to fly despite the high performance characteristics.
The following specifications were noted:
- Standard Empty Weight 416 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity 30/46 gal.
- Max Useful Load 444 lbs.
- Max Rated Thrust 265 lbs.
- Sea Level Climb 2,750 fpm.
- Climb at 12,500 ft. 1,400 fpm.
- Takeoff roll 1,500 ft.
- Landing roll 1,000 ft.
- Flight Time 1.5 to 2.5 hrs. (no reserve)
- Max Speed Vne 250 KIAS.
- 85% N1 Speed 159 KIAS.
In order to legally pilot the FLS Microjet, the FAA requires a BD-5J Experimental Type Rating (ETR). To receive the required ETR, each pilot will need to complete ground and flight training with an authorized BD-5J flight instructor, hold a temporary FAA issued Letter of Authorization (LOA) to conduct flight training, and eventually receive a “check flight” examination by an FAA Experimental Aircraft Examiner. To receive an LOA, it is recommended that pilots have at least 1,000 hours of flight time, including 100 hours in turbojet aircraft. BD-Micro is introducing a program for the qualification and training of FLS Microjet pilots.
Homebuilders will be required to build the FLS Microjet under professional supervision in a builder assistance program at BD-Micro Technologies, Inc. in Siletz, Oregon. The FLS Microjet Builder Assistance Program ensures that this complex, high performance aircraft is assembled correctly and efficiently, company officials said. It will also allow the owner to register it as an experimental aircraft under the FAA 51% amateur-built guidelines.
For more information: BD-Micro.com