In Junior High, Richard met a kid named Jim Bede, who was also very interested in aviation, Richard said Bede was experimenting with little rocket and jet engines when they first met. “He wasn’t having much success with his little rocket motor, it kept blowing up on him,” Richard said. The two became very close friends and it was a friendship that would last through all the highs and lows in both men’s lives.
A pilot since 1987, Zemon’s desire for a new airplane to replace his 1968 Piper Arrow began in 2006. “Stuff was wearing out [and] I wanted to replace all the mechanical stuff with modern non-electric doodads. “Arrow-compatibility glass “cost well into five figures, and I was simply unwilling to put that kind of money in a 40-year old airplane. That started me noodling on the problem of what I would rather have and how I could get it.”
The BD-17 strikes one very much to be a flying a jet ski. Yes, there are many larger boats available to the fisherman or pleasure boater, but if you just want to go fast and have fun on the water, it is hard to beat a single-seat jet ski. The BD-17 is much the same, a single-seat airplane that you strap on and–burning just a couple gallons an hour–go and explore the neighborhood from the air.