Kitplane Designer Jim Bede Dies

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Jim Bede, who for more than 50 years designed airplanes, aircraft components and homebuilding kits, died Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio, after suffering an aneurysm. His company in Medina, Bedecorp, sells plans and kits for a series of aircraft including the BD-4B and BD-17. His early design, the BD-1 from the early 1960s, evolved into the Grumman American line of light airplanes. He was also known for the BD-5, which in recent years gained attention as it claimed the title of the world’s smallest jet.

Bedecorp is currently run by his son, Jim Bede Jr., while Bede had continued to work on airplane designs and new upcoming models, according to the company’s website. The Lorain County Regional Airport in Ohio will host a memorial fly-in on Aug. 1.