We all know Burt Rutan is a wizard of aerodynamics who embraces the unconventional.
But when tasked with creating a flight simulator for the single-seat BD-5, I think he took it to another level entirely by building said simulator out of a Dodge pickup truck, connecting it to an aircraft, and enabling the pilot to learn how to takeoff and land while tethered to the pickup.
Back in the 1970s, Bede sold over 5,000 kits or plans for the diminutive, 355lb (161kg) aircraft. Many people wanted to build and fly one.
The problem was, no two-seat trainer version existed. So the only way to learn how to fly one was to strap it on, fire it up, and hope things work out.
As the most challenging part of learning to fly the BD-5 was the flare and landing, Bede asked Rutan to help come up with a solution to this problem.
Rutan's solution was to strip a BD-5 down to just the airframe and mount it to a spring-loaded arm that was itself mounted to the front of a Dodge pickup.
With a driver in the pickup steering the contraption, the pilot of the airplane was given control of the truck's throttle. In fact, the pilot could spin the tires of the pickup with a brisk application of gas via the throttle lever in the cockpit.
By controlling the speed from the cockpit, the pilot could effectively perform tethered takeoffs and landings, learning both the flying characteristics of the BD-5 as well as the sight picture during takeoff and landing. ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #aviationmaintenance #flightsafety #pilot #aircraftmaintenance #cessnateur #planes #instapilot #flighttraining #avpic #fabrication #plane #instaplane #eaa #aircraft #rutan #bd5 #airplane #flying #dodgeram #avgeek #instagramaviation #aircraftrecognition #instaaviation #aopa #aviation #dodgetrucks #flight #avpics