Be-550 BIBI

Be-550 "BIBI" Czech tourist plane

The former Choceň company Beneš - Mráz was structurally very agile. After a year and a half since its establishment, it already participated in the Paris Aerosalon - in the fall of 1936 - with another new type, which attracted well-deserved attention and admiration. It was a tourist two-seater Be - 550 with side-by-side seats, which is still considered the best solution for this type of aircraft. The shapes of the "BIBI" were aerodynamically well developed, so that even with a relatively weak engine, the "Mikron" reached a speed of up to 190 km/h with a crew of two.

The prototype had several peculiarities, but they were not introduced into the series. The chassis still had pant-shaped covers (common to all Be series predecessors), which were replaced for the series with drop-shaped wheel covers and profiled chassis legs. The tail surfaces of the "Bibi" prototype were also atypical compared to the Be series, namely that the elevator was not split and the rudder was superimposed over the elevator. The later "Sokol" had a similar arrangement. However, the Be-550 production aircraft had tail surfaces of an older type, as with the entire Be series.

In 1937 "Bibi" became the absolute winner of the National Flight at a speed of 186.8 km/h and in May 1938 she won the international speed record in her class on the 100 km course at a speed of 174.064 km/h.
A total of 20 pieces of "Bibin" were produced in Chocna, larger serial production was thwarted by the occupation. The production license was sold to France.

Be-550 BIBI plans

The Be - 550 "BIBI" was a two-seater low-wing aircraft of all-wood construction. The seats were next to each other in a closed cabin, the chassis was solid, hooded.

The wing was three-part, the center plane was firmly built into the fuselage, the outer parts were removable. The truss structure consisted of a main box beam, an auxiliary beam and ribs. The entire wing except the ailerons was veneered, the ailerons had a canvas cover. The airfoil profile designed by the aircraft designer Eng. It was aerodynamically crossed by P. Beneš.

The hull was also all-wooden, latticed and covered with veneer. It was built as a whole with a centerplane and a stabilizer. The side-by-side covered cabin had doors on both sides. Steering was simple, with a control lever in the middle between the seats that split at the top. Foot pedal control was dual. The dashboard, located in the middle, had one set of instruments. The gas lever was on the left side of the dashboard up to the glass of the cabin, the other was on the right side of the dashboard.
Tail surfaces with symmetrical profiles were also lattice structures. The keel surface and stabilizer were veneered, the rudders were covered with canvas.

The landing gear consisted of a fixed hooded undercarriage and a leaf shoe spur. The wheels were equipped with brakes.
Engine group. An inverted four-cylinder Walter Mikron II engine with a starting power of 62 к at 2800 rpm drove a wooden left-hand propeller. The sheet metal hood of the engine was five parts. The oil tank was in the engine compartment, the fuel tank in the leading part of the centerplane.

Coloring. The entire aircraft was white, the leading edge of the wing, tail surfaces, propeller cone, cabin frame and the line along the fuselage were red, sometimes a different color. The back of the wheel covers was also colorful. On the left side of the fuselage in front of the cabin was the type designation and serial number of the product. On the keel surface there was an oblique inscription BIBI, on the rudder: Be 550, engine Walter Mikron 62 pcs, Ing. P. Beneš and Ing. J. Mráz, Choceň.
Technical data and performance: span 11.5, length 7.15, height 2.15 m; bearing area 14m2; empty weight 340, take-off weight 560 kg. Maximum speed 195, cruising 170 km/h; access 4000 m; range of 700 km.

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