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.
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!