Bede BD-2 Love One


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Bede BD-2 Love One

The BD-2 was a specially built airplane to demonstrate and establish world distance records. It was developed by having a Schweizer 2 32 airplane modified in specific manner. The wings were completely sealed to hold a large quantity of fuel. Special wing tip were developed and two main fuselage tanks permitted a total fuel capacity of 2100 litres. The BD-2 set numerous distance records and one for maximum close course record beating a B-29. This aircraft was flown on the record flight for 70 hours solo by Jim Bede.

Bede BD-2 Love One

 ENGINE1 x Cont. IO-360C, 155kW
  Take-off weight2400 kg5291 lb
  Empty weight885 kg1951 lb
  Wingspan19.2 m63 ft 0 in
  Length8.4 m28 ft 7 in
  Wing area17.8 m2191.60 sq ft
  Max. speed312 km/h194 mph
  Range w/max.fuel45800 km28460 miles

Larry Mathay, e-mail, 19.01.2018 07:39

Whatever happened to the BD-2?


Jerry Mullens, e-mail, 31.12.2014 22:01

specifications of BD-2 "Phoenix" as last flown in 1981

Span 63 ft. (19.2m)
Length 27.6 ft. (8.4m)
Empty wt. 1,800 lb. (816.5kg)
Max T.O wt 5,500 lb. (2,495kg)
Cruise (heavy) 169 kt (195 mph) (313 km /hr)
Cruise (light). 110 kt (127 mph) (204 km /hr)

Speed was varied on max efficiency flight, beginning at high speed and decreasing as fuel was burned and the plane became lighter. The idea was to maintain as near as possible a zero degree stabilator angle to minimize trim drag. In answer to sam Johnson about horsepower. The reason a lot more horsepower is needed for airplanes beginning a long flight is so the plane can get off the ground. The last time I flew the Phoenix it took me well over a mile to accelerate to flying speed. Believe me, every effort was taken to reduce the drag on the plane, including inflating the tires until they had the least footprint possible. The Continental IO 360 c had been modified to put out a bit more than the 210 hp a stock motor produces to it's 2 blade constant speed full feathering prop. Every one of those horses were needed to lift the close to 3 times it's empty weight into the sky. Once in it's element I had to greatly reduce power to keep it from exceeding it's programmed initial cruising best economy speed of nearly 200 mph. Jon Kunkel is correct in his comments about the similar designations of the 2 different BD-2s.


Tim Zukas, e-mail, 07.05.2022 Jerry Mullens

On his 1981 flight, Mullens made five round trips, Oklahoma City to Jacksonville and back? Anyone know the official locations of the endpoints?


Jerry Mullens, e-mail, 31.12.2014 19:57

Some of the information and comments on this web site are a little mixed up. Jim Bede decided it was about time somebody flew around the world non-stop, non-refueled. He then created a design that could. He had Dave Blanton modify the 2-32 to his specifications. The resulting plane was called BD-2 and Love 1, (Low Orbit Very Efficiently). During testing for an around the world flight in 1969 he flew 8,973 Miles in 70 hr 15 min setting a closed course distance record. Later due to legal problems the plane was put up for sale, and purchsed by Al Hundere. For several years it hung from the ceiling of a hangar in San Antonio. I purchased it in late 1980. During 1981, With the help of Blanton and many others, the plane was restored and modified in order to accomplish the globe circling flight that Jim Bede had designed the plane to do. I then flew the aircraft 10,070 miles (the FAI said 10,007, but they made a decimal error) and exceded the record that Bede had set. The take off run for that flight was close to 7,000 ft. After lift off the plane climbed like a homesick angel, with a climb rate approaching 1400 fpm with the gear still attached. The gear was then dropped on down wind before turning out of the pattern on the record flight. I had fuel on board for 12,000+ miles, but an autopilot problem caused me to cut the flight short at ~ 10,000. That was the longest distance solo non-refueled flight ever, and the absolute closed couse distance record in a piston engined airplane (class c-1, group 1). I'll post the actual specifications of the aircraft as it last flew in another comment.


Richard Weiland, e-mail, 25.02.2012 02:36

Re: Sam Johnson's comment. I believe that he was referring to the BD-3 of which I have seen only 1 picture and no other references.


Doenetz, 07.11.2010 20:25

2100 litres fuel = 1533 kg.
Take-off weight 2400 kg,
Empty weight 885 kg
2400 - 885 = 1515

Pilot = -18 kg :)


sam johnson, e-mail, 24.01.2010 23:50

I have come up with a demented rule that states that all record distance flights could have been done with half as much fuel. This certainly seems to be the case for the BD-2 flight, since he had plenty of fuel when it landed because of the lectric failure.


sam johnson, e-mail, 24.01.2010 23:28

thanks Jon. I wonder why Bede used a 200 hp engine if he only needed 30 hp for cruising and if he had 2 or 3 blade prop for this plane.


Jon Kunkel, e-mail, 05.12.2009 01:18

Sam Johnson, you are mixing up the XBD-2 with the BD-2. These are two completely different aircraft.


Sam Johnson, e-mail, 15.07.2009 05:52

The BD-2 love has a 3 bladed, ducted pusher propeller, very different from the illustration. This was the best design in the history of record setting planes, much better than Rutanīs Voyager of Global explorer. The flight was aborted by an electrical failure, with planty of fuel left.

reply, 27.01.2007 04:27

I was living in Columbus at the time of the first flight. I remember seeing a scary film of the takeoff. I seem to recall a liftoff, a jarring settling, another lift and a quick jettison of the undercarriage that seemed to make the slight difference that allowed it to stay airborne. It looked like he was weaving through the trees as he departed the area. Has that film been preserved?


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