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 claustrophobics or 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: Welcome to your happy place. This here list of small planes will have you whipping out your credit card in no time—your limit is about $3 mill, right?
Stits SA-2A Sky BabyWhat 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. These days, you can’t ride in the Sky Baby, but you can visit it at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Cri-CriWant 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!
BD-5JFans 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. The plane comes in a kit that you can assemble yourself (duct tape not included, nor recommended to keep the wings in place).
Cessna Citation Mustang
If you’re seeking small passenger planes of the luxury variety (which we applaud you for, BTW), try out the Cessna Citation Mustang. With two cockpit seats and four passenger seats, this small lightweight jet is just under 41 feet long. The single-pilot aircraft has leather interiors and there is even a loo on board. Best of all, if you have 2 million bucks lying around, the fancy jet can be all yours!
Adventurous aviators and upscale travelers alike can enjoy some of the tiniest aircrafts out there. Hey, if you’re really up for the challenge, you can even endeavor to build the smallest plane in the world yourself. Guinness Book, here you come!