In what was undoubtedly a very Japanese presentation, for better and worse, Nintendo’s President Tatsumi Kimishima, Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, and a few others shared more details on Nintendo’s latest hardware.
The BD-5 series of unbelievably-tiny, high-performance airplanes is a study in stark contrasts. Originally conceived by entrepreneurial engineer Jim Bede during the homebuilt airplane craze of the late 1960’s, the BD-5 was intended to be easy to afford, easy to build, and easy to fly. The product that Bede ultimately delivered checked none of those boxes. The original propeller-driven BD-5 was among the best-selling aircraft kits ever produced, yet only a small percentage has ever been completed and flown. Thanks to appearances in the movie Octopussy, and numerous high-profile marketing campaigns, the jet-powered BD-5J was a wildly-popular cultural icon during the 1980’s. The airplane’s fame, however, could almost be considered posthumous. Bede Aircraft Company had already gone belly-up and most BD-5 kits languished in dark corners of hangars, garages, and barns…abandoned by owners who were unable to build them or too scared to fly them.