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Historia BKB

 

In 1956, negotiations with the Canadian Department of Transport began for inspection and certification of airworthiness. The prototype BKB-1 was completed in October of 1957 and revisions to the type record were made. With negotiations continuing through that year, the new wing was ready for testing. It received its temporary Certificate of Registration (CF-ZDK-X) and flight permit in September of 1959. (Note: Though considerable testing and modification was done in Canada it was never considered by my father to be complete and consequently, a permanent certificate was never issued.)

 

Kasprzyk had moved to Seattle in 1958 before the construction was completed and a new location had to be found to complete the work. The two remaining partners carried on with the work and the testing. Although short hops piloted by Stan Rys and Stefan were made with a car tow in the fall of '58, the BKB-1 did not make its official first flight until the fall of 1959 piloted by Dave Marsden of the National Research Council. Tragically, Stefan never flew the BKB again due to financial reasons and insurance costs. A slight injury sustained on one of those first "car hops" made an impact- he had a young family to support. He could not afford to have something happen to him.

 

Further testing was carried on by Marsden. Modifications and adjustments were made on an on-going basis, all of which are described in the Fight Test Reports section of this compilation. Bodek also flew the wing and said it was beautiful to fly. Dave Webb, Canadian gliding champion, was among the pilots who took it to the air. He completed a number of test flights, many of them lengthy. He was impressed with its potential and its amazing capabilities for such a low aspect ratio. But, he said, it was not a craft for beginners and suggested modifications, subsequently carried out, to the skid and towing arrangement which were needed to improve take-off and landing, and to prevent "porpoising" on rough terrain. (I believe there were further modifications made to the skid later.) Years later, he was to commission Stefan to design an aluminum version to be flown in competition. This design exists but Dave was not able to continue with his plans, so the design sits, not quite finalized, in Stefan's possession. Other pilots flying the BKB included George Adams, Gordon Hicks, and Hillier Kurlents.

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