Experimenter

April 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

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12 Vol.3 No.4 / April 2014 BRUCE KING'S BRILLIANT BK FLIER 1.3 SUNLIGHT SPARKLED ALONG THE wings and fuselage of the BK Flier 1.3 N88BK during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. Tied down near the famed Brown Arch, this almost pocket-sized, sport pilot–eligible homebuilt aircraft gained numerous admirers and accolades. Owner/designer/ builder Bruce King has fl own his self- designed homebuilts from San Antonio, Texas, to Oshkosh three times, as well as to Lakeland, Florida—a testament to the tiny planes' functional and comfortable design. In fact, his 2003 trip to Oshkosh in the prototype BK Flier 1 only cost $600, and he was able to carry 30 pounds of camping gear and clothing behind the seat. Powered by a 65-hp VW engine, the BK 1.3 is truly a cross- country fl ier; it can easily cruise at 130 mph while burning 3.5 gph, with a 400-mile range (with reserve). Or if you really want to savor the scenery and save fuel, you can enjoy its economy cruise of 100 mph while burning 2.5 gph, with a 500- mile range (with reserve). The BK 1.3's tapered wings span 19 feet 4 inches and are gracefully faired into the fuselage. The fuselage measures 15 feet 4 inches from the tip of its spinner to its tail. Its relatively roomy cockpit is 26 inches wide by 40 inches tall, with 52 inches of horizontal legroom. Bruce designed the cockpit to hold a 250-pound, 6-foot 4-inch pilot (with size 14 feet). Combined with a full 15 gallons of fuel (90 pounds) in the nose's integral fuel tank, the BK 1.3 still has a 30-pound baggage allowance (behind the seat). The BK 1.3's gross weight is 850 pounds. Bruce hails from an aviation background. His father worked as an air traf c controller and taught him to fl y in a Cessna 150 in the late 1960s. His mother was employed during World War II as a "Rosie the Riveter" and later became a tech- nical illustrator for U.S. Air Force fl ying manuals. Bruce built numerous radio-controlled airplanes, worked as an airframe and powerplant mechanic in an aircraft factory for nine years, was a technical writer for several years, and was a computer engineer in the healthcare industry from 1988 through 2003. From this varied background, perhaps it's no surprise that he catapulted himself into the fl ying, designing, and building of Though small in size, the BK1.3 can carry 30 pounds of baggage aft of the seat. It cruises at 130 mph while burning 3.5 gph, making it a usable cross-country machine. The BK1.3 is powered by a VW conversion with a fl ywheel-mounted propeller hub. It has an 'integrated' 15-gallon fuel tank in the nose. E A A E X P _ A p r 1 4 . i n d d 1 2 EAAEXP_Apr14.indd 12 3 / 3 1 / 1 4 9 : 4 1 A M 3/31/14 9:41 AM

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