While some manufacturers are busy building planes to rival the Titanic (in size alone, of course), others have their hearts set on creating the tiniest of metal birds. Who knows, we could soon be making transcontinental flights in private pods. Sure, that’s not great news for panicky flyers who need to pop a xany just to get on a 787. On the other hand, if zipping through the atmosphere in a pocket-sized vessel is on your bucket list: This here list of small planes will have you whipping out your credit card in no time.
What is one to do when a fellow aviator dares him to create the world’s smallest pilotable plane? He builds that plane, calls it the Sky Baby, and then skips down Main Street high-fiving strangers (ok, we’re just guessing on that last part). In 1952, Ray Stits sent the Sky Baby into the air with Robert H. Starr at the wheel, and earned the Guinness World Record for creating the “World’s Smallest Plane,” a record that would stand until 1984 when Starr himself built the Bumble Bee II and usurped Stits.
Want to be environmentally friendly while you get your flying kicks? Hop into the one-seater Cri-Cri, which happens to be the smallest electric plane in the world. In July 2015, a French pilot became the first person to cross the English Channel in an electric plane while at the helm of this bad boy. You might say he went cray-cray for the Cri-Cri (we immediately regret that joke, but we’re leaving it in anyway.) There is no room for a passenger, or much of anything else, in the diminutive Cri-Cri—but that shouldn’t stop a skilled pilot from giving it a go!
Fans of James Bond may recognize an earlier model of the BD-5J from “Octopussy,” in which 007 flew the BD-5 through an airport hanger. The updated model is also one of the world’s smallest planes. In fact, it’s often called a microjet, seating just one person and featuring a wing span of no more than 21 feet. If you want to get your hands on one, you just need a mere $180,000 or so and some elbow grease.
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