Folland Gnat


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.


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.


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


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

The BD5J is NOT a fighter…


shoot, my bad… :blush:


It’s certainly not the worst mistake made here.


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.


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.


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


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




Can we have a poll on that? :slight_smile:


Great reply, Pika


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)


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…


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


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

Juan Jimenez
Owner, BD-5J N3038V
Current holder, Guiness record, World’s Smallest Jet
Director, The BD-5 Network (


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

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.



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:



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.