BD-5J Palas

BD-5J équippé d’un Palas par Gary Lyon

The BD-5j Palas is an original construction designed and built by Gary Lyon from Tennessee. It utilizes a BD-5B airframe with a 20 ft wing instead of the standard 17 ft wing, and is equipped with a Turbomeca Palas jet engine. Turbomeca Palas. The engine is number 97, which was previously installed on Sipa 200 number 5. Gary acquired it from Asher Ward.

The BD-5J N505BD with Palas turbojet engine.

The N505BD obtained its FAA airworthiness certificate in March 2006. In that same year, it underwent about ten hours of taxi testing, including some at high speeds. Unfortunately, Gary was unable to perform the first flight of his aircraft and, due to health reasons, had to resort to putting it up for sale.

In terms of instrumentation, the equipment is of VFR type. It uses a MICRO AIR 760 VHF radio and a transponder with an encoder. For engine equipment, a new tachometer and gauge from Westack Company have been installed. Starting is done using a 24-volt battery, which also supplies power to the instruments as there is no generator.

As can be seen in one of the photos provided by Gary, the oil tank was specially designed to fit onto the air intake of the Palas.

BD-5J Palas
BD-5J Palas. Source : Avec la courtoisie de Gary Lyon.
BD-5J Palas
Réservoir d’huile du BD-5J Palas. Source : avec la courtoisie de Gary Lyon.

Installing the Palas engine in the BD-5J.

In addition to the installation of the new oil tank, installing the Palas engine required some significant modifications. The exhaust no longer ejects above the horizontal stabilizer, but below it. As the Palas engine's exhaust nozzle is shorter (using the short nozzle from the Sipa 200), a notch was made at the rear, at the bottom of the fuselage, to allow the exhaust gases to escape. During testing, it was observed that the hot gases rose into the rear of the fuselage and damaged the paint. This problem was solved by installing a stainless steel sheet that isolates the engine from the upper part of the fuselage.

A rear stand gear was installed under the horizontal stabilizer to prevent the aircraft from resting on its tail when the pilot is not on board. It also serves as an airbrake.

Flight commands

The cable-operated trim was replaced with an electric trim that can be activated using a switch on the control stick. The throttle lever was replaced with a lever from a video game. A 12-24 volt relay was installed on this lever, which activates the fuel pump, ignition, smoke generation system, and radio. This solution offers "hands-on throttle and stick" (HOTAS) capabilities.

BD-5J Palas
L’installation du Palas sur le BD-5J. Source : Avec la courtoisie de Gary Lyon.
BD-5J Palas
BD-5J Palas, béquille arrière. Source : Avec la courtoisie de Gary Lyon.
BD-5J Palas
Réacteur Palas N°97. Source : Avec la courtoisie de Gary Lyon.