August 18, 2022


The world of science and technology

Kit Planes & Experimental Aircraft

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You don’t always need a fighter plane to pull extreme manoeuvres in the sky.

Homebuilt aircraft, also known as amateur-built aircraft or kit planes, are constructed by persons for whom this is not a professional activity. These aircraft may be constructed from scratch from plans, or from assembly kits.


The Colomban Cri-Cri is the smallest twin-engined manned aircraft in the world, designed in the early 1970s by French aeronautical engineer Michel Colomban.


Leeon Davis was an American aircraft designer, noted for his homebuilt aircraft. The DA-11 is Leeon’s gift to the backyard flyer, powered buy, believe it or not, a lawnmower engine.


The Rutan Model 61 Long-EZ is a homebuilt aircraft with a canard layout designed by Burt Rutan’s Rutan Aircraft Factory. It is derived from the VariEze, which was first offered to homebuilders in 1976.


The Rutan Model 76 Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refuelling. In December 1986 Voyager took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California at the start of a historic 9 day flight.


The Rutan Model 202 design was intended to be a multi-engine aircraft that in the event of failure of a single engine would not become dangerously difficult to control due to asymmetric thrust.


Burt Rutan built his ARES fighter just to prove that a high performance military jet could be developed cheaply. The ARES is a demonstrator aircraft built by Scaled Composites, ARES is an acronym for Agile Responsive Effective Support.

Gossamer Albatross

In 1979 the Gossamer Albatross flew its way into the record books with an incredible human-powered flight. Built by American aeronautical engineer Paul MacCready’s company AeroVironment, in 1979 it completed a successful crossing of the English Channel.

NASA Pathfinder

Two decades later design concepts from the Gossamer Albatross inspired another experimental aircraft, NASA’s Pathfinder. The first aircraft developed as part of an evolutionary series of solar and fuel cell system powered unmanned aerial vehicles.

Clip from the documentary “Extreme Machines – Flight Power”.

Watch it here – Coming soon!

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