As I said, my dad was building a BD-5A. He was 80% done, with meticulous craftsmanship when (as I remember it) the German engine maker suffered a bankruptcy. (Zenith? ISTR they’re still building engines.) Dad had paid for the engine and driveshaft, but never received them.
Dad had a friend who had access to a small turbojet engine (off of a drone or something). He offered to provide a jet engine to my dad in exchange for 50% ownership of the completed aircraft. Dad contacted Jim Bede and asked whether the BD-5 could accept a turbine. Bede told him unequivocally, ‘No. Can’t be done.’ So dad declined his friend’s offer. A couple of years later, Jim Bede introduced the BD-5J. :dubious:
In the mid-'70s dad was transferred. He paid for extra insurance on his uncompleted BD-5. The moving company had a couple of trucks. One driver needed the long ramp from the truck carrying dad’s stuff, so they took it – and tossed their 200-pound short ramp on the flat spot in dad’s trailer; the flat spot where the disassembled airframe was. Crushed it. Dad didn’t want to start over, and he got an estimate of how much it would cost for someone else to get him back to an 80%-complete airframe with the same quality of workmanship dad put into it. $10,200. The insurance company paid off, and dad took the settlement and bought a six-year-old Cessna 172K for cash. He said he had the only flying four-seat BD-5 in the world.