Folland Gnat


#1

I spotted a civilian-owned Folland Gnat, N533XP, on the RiderJet ramp at Hagerstown, MD, airport in October.

The Gnat is one of the smallest jet fighters ever built, if not THE smallest. British-designed and built but the RAF didn’t want it, and quite a few were used to great effect by Pakistan in wars with India.


#2

I just sold my Bonanza to a neat older guy whoo restores them in AZ. Says they only have enough fuel for less than 2 hrs of flight and he cruises at Mach .85.


#3

sorry dude, but it’s not THE smallest… the BD5J is the smallest jet… its damn small and neat looking, google it.


#4

Sorry, Dude. Read the OP’s quote very carefully…

The BD5J is NOT a fighter…


#5

shoot, my bad… :blush:


#6

It’s certainly not the worst mistake made here.


#7

The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was the smallest jet fighter built and flown, the Gnat has the distinction of being the smallest jet fighter to enter production and actually serve in combat.


#8

Reminds me of an old satirical model I built called the “Flapjack”. It had a motor in it which made the propeller spin, the wings flap and the guns move.


#9

I dunno, I think the french Cri-Cri is the smallest, and being a homebuilt, lots of owners retrofit theirs with model aircraft turbines.
amtjets.com/gallery_real_plain.html


#10

Yeah… but it’s FRENCH! :angry:
…and it’s NOT a FIGHTER either.


#11

YEAH, it’s a SURRENDERER.


#12

Can we have a poll on that? :slight_smile:


#13

Great reply, Pika


#14

How could I not pass that one up? How can ANYONE not pass that up? I mean, come on, they surrendered to themselves!! (possibly twice, my history is a little fuzzy)


#15

I must say, as one who is quite fond of french culture, I think that it is one sweet little airplane (perfect for my commute to work- shove the laptop iunder the seat and I’m all set).

And those little turbofans look great too. If if one shuts down, you can still make 100mph. I guess you could say that put under pressure, it still runs great…


#16

Yeah - that’s a good one, Pika! What’s the name of their “fighters”…? The “Mirage” - as in a figment of one’s imagination!


#17

The Cri-Cri is not smaller than the BD-5J. It is slightly longer, by a few inches.

Regards,
Juan Jimenez
Owner, BD-5J N3038V
Current holder, Guiness record, World’s Smallest Jet
Director, The BD-5 Network (www.bd5.com)


#18

BD5J
Height 5’7"
Length 12’6"
Wingspan 17’
Empty Wt. 432 lbs
Max Wt. 860 lbs

Cri-Cri
Height Maybe 4 feet?
Length 12’9"
Wingspan 16’5"
Empty Wt. 138 lbs
Max Wt. 374 lbs

Ok, so the cri-cri is 3 inches longer than the BD5J, but I don’t think anyone would say that the Bd5J is “smaller” than the cri-cri.
I understand that the Guiness record says “world’s smallest jet”, but that’s because the cri-cri was never intended to have turbine engines on it.


#19

[quote=“cfijames”]

No, that’s not the explanation. The reason is that in order to challenge the record you have to be smaller in all three axes; length, height and wingspan. My aircraft is 12 ft long, the Cri-Cri jet is 9 inches longer.

Or, if your measurements match, you must be significantly lighter. In my case, I gained the record by producing an aircraft 80 lbs lighter than the previous holder of the record, another BD-5J.

Whether or not the aircraft was intended to have turbines makes no difference. That was the case with the BD-5 as well. It was originally designed as a prop-driven aircraft, the creation of the jet was a marketing idea, not intended for any kind of serious production.

Keep in mind that if someone wants to chop 9 inches from a Cri-Cri and install turbines to challenge and win the record, I think that’s a fantastic idea, the more the merrier! I’ve already gained and held the record, nothing will ever take that away from me. I think others should also strive to experience the same accomplishment, and I would support such efforts wholeheartedly! :slight_smile:

Regards,
Juan


#20

BTW, these are generic specs. My aircraft’s empty weight is 358.8 lbs, length is 12 ft + a fraction of an inch, and I’ve set max gross at 850 lbs.

Regards,
Juan