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Historia BKB

 

The BKB was an experimental design inspired by the Horten sailplane, and was created to serve a specific need in Canadian gliding in the 50's, It was a high performance, tailless aircraft with a glide ratio of 29:1, despite having a low aspect ratio of 10:1. Dave Webb, several time Canadian gliding champion was one of the test pilots who flew it. On one occasion, he was able to compare its performance directly to that of his own Skylark 2B. Dave was flying the BKB at the same time as a friend was flying the Skylark. The BKB outperformed the other aircraft between thermals with a flatter glide angle in the 50-75 knots region. (The documentation presented to TWITT includes a comparison of its performance to that of the Fauvel.)

 

It was most famous for its alleged ability to perform controlled tumbles and recover; not exactly what it was designed for, but perhaps, if true, a serendipitous quirk (an aero-isoclinic wing perhaps?) that bears further investigation. At the end of this presentation, you'll see a very short film clip of the BKB in flight and you may judge for yourself whether it is truly performing the fabled tumbles. (Note: Since this presentation I have located two people who claim to have seen it tumble, one of them being a pilot who flew the BKB and performed the tumbles in it.).

At this point, it's worth it to recount a brief overview of events in the development and testing of the sailplane BKB-1:

 

The BKB-1 Story

The BKB design concept began with Stefan Brochocki's interest in gliding in his native country of Poland in pre-war days. He had become inspired by the silhouette of the Horten glider and, over time, he came to realize aspects of the Horten that could be improved upon. But it was not until 1953 that he began to put his ideas on paper in the form of a design.

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