by Elco B
Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:28:38 PM EST
This is the smallest bi-motor plane ever build, a serious candidate to become our first ET-community plane. One person fits in but what counts is what is between his ears, we are a think-thing, aren't we?
Small is beautiful.
As most of us know, to fly was dreamed of since Greek mythology told us the story of Icaros.
Leaving the ground, seeing everthing from another perspective,....all problems left behind, feeling free: never got that feeling when staring through the window of the plane ?
Leaving the ground also impresses other people, you gain 'importance'. A pilot has status (and gets well paid).
Some people buy big cars to sit higher.
Others climb on a horse.
To get 'high' , one can do it with Belgian booze, Dutch hash, Afghan coke, French brie or a good mix of them. Leaving the earth happens to be done also virtualy, as Barbara describes so marvellous in her diary.
But now about the dream of a French student.
It was in 1971, when CriCri's aircraft designer Michel Colomban started work on this small aircraft with two engines. His target was to build small, economis plane with two engines, which would be able to flying also some aerobatic maneuvers. Price of this plane shouldn't exceed 1000 USD, including two engines - these prises are from 1970, of course:-). Constructional works took around 1500 working hours, and than was Cri-Cri plane, which name is after nickname of Michel's daughter, prepared for it's first flight.It was in 1973, 19th July on airport 'Guyancourt Airport', only a few kilometers from Paris when his first model, powered by 2 adapted chainsawmotors took of for a succesfull flight. It took another 10 years of ameliorations before he was satisfied.
Michel Colomban only sold plans and some parts of the plane to homebuilders who he trusted. He refused to build for others and refused the plans to people he didn't like. He especially opposed selling to the US.( I couldn't find out why exactly).
More than 200 of his model 'Columban cricri mc15' have been build. The winspan is 4,9m, plane is 3,9+m long and can reech 240km/h and flys 400km. It has acrobatics capebilities : 1 roll in 1 second. One home-builder even mounted two mini-jet motors as you can see on the photo below.
This is a jetplane!
The Cri-Cri next to an engine of a Jumbo-boeing 747.