BOB BANKA COLLECTION
No. 9906. Brokaw-Jones BJ-520 Bullet (N520BJ c/n 1)
Photographed by Bob Banka

Brokaw-Jones BJ-520 Bullet

06/30/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Dr. Bergon 'Doc' F. Brokaw, a former US Navy pilot and a physician from Leesburg, Florida, and Dr. Ernest R. Jones, an aeronautical engineer, from Orlando, Florida, combined their talents to design and build a low-wing monoplane which was claimed to be the world's fastest two-seat homebuilt. Basic intention was to develop a high-speed all-weather two-seat homebuilt suitable for cross-country flying. Aerobatic potential was of secondary consideration, but the BJ-520 was stressed to 6g for aerobatics and 9g ultimate, with a claimed 20 to 30 per cent safety margin.

Design began in August 1966 and construction of the prototype started six months later, Brokaw was concerned primarily with overall design and construction, Jones with stress analysis and structural design. Powered by a 285 hp Continental TSIO-520-B turbocharged flat-six engine, the aircraft first flew on November 18, 1972, and during the Summer of 1973 work was carried out to clean up the airframe to take better advantage of the design potential. This included the provision of wheel-well doors, and reduction of the drag of the engine cooling system, achieved by the use of baffles, ducts and direct ram-air cooling.

Major redesign and modification were undertaken in 1976, and the prototype resumed flying in 1977 as the Bullet. Subsequent refinements included changes to the wing span and section. The Bullet exceeded 1,000 flying hours in early 1985 and had been flown in all weather conditions, including light ice. Further modifications were undertaken, including the installation of a 380 hp Avco Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 flat-six engine and changes to the engine cowling, cockpit arrangement and canopy. During the 1990s Brokaw re-engined the Bullet with a 475 shp Garrett AiResearch TPE 331-25AA turboprop.

Brokaw formed Brokaw Aviation Inc. to market plans of the Bullet and a construction manual to amateur constructors. Although full kits were not available, it was intended also to supply certain components such as the canopy, cowling and, possibly, bulkheads and ribs, to simplify the task of the homebuilder. Reportedly hundreds set of plans were sold and more than 20 Bullets would have been under construction, including two with tail-wheel landing gears.

Brokaw passed away early in this decade and the Bullet was donated to the Florida Air Museum at SUN 'n FUN, Lakeland, Florida in 2008. The following data relate to the Avco Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 powered aircraft:

Created June 30, 2010