The Latest From Jim Bede: An LSA

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Exosphere Aircraft of Seattle on Tuesday threw its hat into the light sport aircraft market, offering the BD-22 created by storied aircraft designer Jim Bede. The company's initial offering will be the BD-22 signature edition, which will be limited to 22 aircraft, each serialized with a special numbered placard signed by Mr. Bede and sold with a suite of limited-edition accessories. "The signature edition BD-22's will incorporate state of the art equipment and are intended to redefine the top end of light sport aircraft," according to Exosphere. Regular versions of the LSA will be available starting with S/N 23. Bede, Exosphere's director of aeronautical design, told AVweb that the BD-22 is an all-metal, low-wing airplane with a wide cabin and a roomy baggage compartment that can accommodate up to two sets of golf clubs. The fuselage will be of metal honeycomb construction, while the wings are to be mostly metal bonded, "with rivets used as necessary," notes Bede. Exosphere is considering the Continental IO-240 engine for its LSA, according to Bede. Right now, tooling is being built for the BD-22, after which a prototype will be constructed and flown. Price and certification estimates have not yet been determined, though Bede said he expects these details to be announced at AirVenture in July.