Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bede BD-4

As an aside, I wonder what happened to NZ's only BD4. Heralded as the aircraft that started the kit plane industry, and remarkably popular worldwide, only one of these aircraft has made it into the air here - ZK-RDH owned by Russell D Harris, Opua, Bay of Islands. The project was started by Trevor Snell in 1975 who built the fuselage, and then bought by Harris 1992. First flight was in December 1996 and the aircraft is seen here at Kerikeri in 1998.
CAA have it logged as cancelled 2June2004, anyone know why?


  1. Ah ! This raises the question. I assume this is the same aircraft allocated ZK-DYG with c/n of 285 (which was not taken up 1974) listed with Trevor J Ancell (or Ansell: or is this a corruption of your Snell?)of Wellington.

    ZK-RDH standing for Russell Dixon Harris purchased his project in 1992. He powered it with a Lycoming O-320-H2AD onto a three bladed Ivoprop

    As a useless aside, one T J Ancell owned the Victa A/T ZK-COW 1989-1993.

  2. Yes, it was started by Trevor Ancell who was a member of the Wellington chapter of the AACA in the early 1970's. I seem to recall that Trevor Ancell was a pilot for Air New Zealand

  3. Hi there,

    I'd like to ask you for permission to use the photo here: . I'm trying to put together a comprehensive list of BD-4s with photos. I hope you're not upset that I already put the photo there. I'll take it off immediately if you want me to. Thanks for tracking the only (?) BD-4 in NZ. Oh, nothing commercial on

  4. Hi All, my name is OB Wilson, and I have 3 BD-5 Kits in various states of assembly and a BD-4 still in boxes. My BD-4 Kit came from Martin Steel, formally of Safe Air Woodbourne, and now living in Rangiora.
    I also have a Lycoming O-320-H2AD ready to go in my plane, but would really like to get a Honda Accord Euro 2.2L Turbo Diesel at a later date. Very light, 340Nm of Torque from 2200rpm up to 5000rpm ! I had heard rumours that the very same BD4 you have been discussing was based near Thames and had been playing with a diesel also

  5. Hello, I still have the BD4, RDH. I lost the nosehwel at Waiheke in 2002 and havent flown it since. I converted it to a tail wheel type using the Bede plans. If interested further my email is

  6. Hello again. Further to my previous comment, I wonder if "Owen" has the 3ngine cowls for his BD4. I need the lower or both. Cheers, Russell Harris.