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The World's Biggest Plones Brief History


of the World's
Smollest Plqnes
There ore only five world's smollest plones built
ATRBUS 4380 ,l948.
since Young Roy Stits built two midgei
plones: Stits Junior of wing spon B ft I O inch in
I 948 qnd 4 yeors loter he built the bi-plone the
Sky Boby, 7 ft 2 inch to beot his own record.
Both plones were test piloted by Bob Stqrr, his
close friend. The Pilot's weight hod to be 160 Lb.
H 7 Hercules 2 "Spruce Goose

ln l9B0 Bob Storr broke off from Roy Stits qnd


To this dqte, the world's biggest possenger plone is the AIRBUS 4380. built his own world's smollest plone, the Bumble
Everyone knows obout it, Bee (6ft 6inch) ond flew it himself to clinch the
Likewise, the world's biggest corgo plone is the Russion title. Thus long time friends becqme rivols
AN 225 MRIYA ond the Americon H-4 Hercules 2 "Spruce Goose" in the
l93Os. Some know obout them. ln l9B7 Roy's son Don Stits built the Boby Bird
(6ft 3inch), thus beot Bob's record. Thot moiden
When mentioned the world's smollest plone - very very few oviotors con , flight is in the Guinness Book of Records.
nome it or know obout it. ln foct, there ore five of them beoting eoch other to
cloim the World's Smollest Plqne since 1948, ie 60 yeors ogo in Americo. ln I 9BB Bob Stqrr constructed the Bumble Bee
"o
'"' (wing spon 5ft 6inch) with the hope of getting
Turn to next poge to find out more of eoch of them.
bock into the Records. During the flight the
oircroft croshed qnd Bob Storr wos neorly killed.
The World's Smollest Plones dote, Don Stits still holds the title in the
To this
Guinness Book of Record with his Boby Bird.
STITS JR.
These world's smollest plones ore not production
plones. Only one of eqch built wos to clinch
the title os the World's Smollest Plone wiih the
shortest wing spon.
STITS JUNIOR 1948 It moy be the tiniest on existence, but no little time ond
effort went into its mokeup. lts creotor, Roymond Stits,
The three Stits oircroft, nomely: ")uniot", "SkyBoby" ond olwoys wonted to build o midget rocing plone. When
"Boby Bird" ore title holders of World's Smollest Plones won he finolly got oround to storting one lwo yeors ogo, he
,l952
respectively in 1948, ond 1987 by designer-builder decided he would moke it the world's smqllest. For more
Roy Stits ond his son Don Stits of Americo. thqn 360 hours, Stits sweqted qnd lobored over his
The humble write-up of the World's Smollest Aircrqft brqinchild qnd now it hqs been completed...qnd it flies.
is to commemorote STITS AIRCRAFT 60th ANNIVERSARY Totol investment: US$5,500.
11948 - 2008) ond their greotest ochievements in the lost Jr.'s wing spon is Bft. lOin. ond it hqs o length of I lft.
60 yeors of midget oviotion history. 4in. lts cockpit is only l6 in. wide, q bit nqrrow for Stits
Pleose reqd on the humour os well os the serious who weighs 185 pounds ond is 6ft. toll. Therefore most
flying side of the "Pigmy" plones. of the test flying is done by 25 yeor-old Bob Storr who is
smoller but hos plenty of flying experience... over 40OO
hours in the post nine yeors. He's flown everything from
Culver Codet to o Joponese Zero, but he likes Jr. best.
Stits hopes to morket it some doy. He soys it should cosi
US$ I 600 moss-produced.
Aeriol Holf-Pint by Joseph srocker
Amid ieers of hls friends, oviotion here ore some of the dimensions of
mechonic Roy Stits designed ond built the Stits Jr.:
the smollest oirplone in the world in ,l0"
1948. Wingspreod - B' (iust o little Bononza pilot: "Egod, mon, but
over the spon of o mon's outstretched those radio<ontrolled models sure do

Roymond Stits is o young oviotion orms). Overoll length - I l' 4". look reolistic! Looko thot figure in the
cockpit, looks olmost reol."
mechqnic o nd self+oug ht oeronouticol Weight - 398 pounds. Height -
designer who loves lo confound the 4' 4" loboul os high os o mon's ribs).
skeptics. And he's been doing iust
thot for the post couple of yeors or lf stotistics still don't quite convey the ceiling becouse it corries only 4 1/z speed by 5 mph.
more. ideq, consider the foct thot the pilot gollons of fuel - enough for no more
of the Stits Jr. con reqch out to either thon qn hour of flying time. The rodio is on AirboyJr., for receiving
When he let it be known ot Kellogg side from his cockpit ond touch the only. lt's holf the size of o cigor box
Field in Bottle Creek, Michigon, thot oilerons. Or he con reoch bockword Although the plone is sturdily built (two ond is clomped neor the floorboord,
he wos going to build the world's ond touch the toil surfoces. Given men con stond on eoch tiny wing to between the rudder pedols. The
smqllest oirplone, the skeptics colled extro-long orms, he might even be demonstrote its stress), the foctors of instrument ponel is simplicity itself
it "Rqy Stits' folly." But the plone got oble to reqch down from the cockpit weight ond bolonce ore exceedingly - nothing more thon o temperoture
built. Then the wise guys soid it would ond touch the ground. delicote. The pilot corries no chute. A gouge, oirspeed indicotor, oil
never fly. lt flew. Well, O.K. soid the But the performonce of the Stits Jr. chute weighs 25 pounds, ond thot's pressure, oltimeter ond tochometer.
know-it-olls, but it won't fly very high. wholly belies its holf-pint dimensions. iust 25 pounds too much. When the
Whereupon Roy's pilot wriggled into As Roy puts it, os though he himself ship is porked in the honger, Roy Why wos the midget built in the first
the cockpit ond took the mite up to must morvel o little ot whot he hos keeps o bog of rocks in the cockpit. ploce? No porticulor reoson, except
3,300 feet. wrought, "lt isn't supposed to fly but This is becouse she hos o tendency thot Roy Stits, besides being the kind
it does." And, on B5-horsepower to be nose-heovy on the ground ond of guy who loves to confound the
Life hos been full of such delights ond Continentol engine-clips off o top someone leoning thoughtlessly on the skeptics, is olso the kind of guy who
sotisfoctions since Roy ond his pilot, speed of 17O miles per hour. lt prop could couse her to kneel over loves to toke o dore.
Bob Storr, begon to corve o thin cruises ot 150, lqnds ond tokes off ond kiss the cement.
ot 60. "Thot's whot ostounds people "Everybody wos cloiming to hove
swoth ocross the country - from oir
show to oir show - with the Lillipution the most," soys Roy. "lt stolls out ot The elfin wings hove no tips. They're built the world's smollest oirplone,"
85 insteod of 12O. lt comes in like chopped off squore. With wing tips, he soys. "So I decided l'd reolly built
oircroft which Roy colls the "Stits Jr."
o rock." soys Roy, "there would be extro drog the smollest. I decided l'd show them
There seems to be no doubt ot oll ond no extro lift, ond with this thing how smoll o plone could be ond
you need oll the lift you con get." To srill fly."
thot it is indeed the world's smollest The plone tokes off in 500 feet, londs
oirplone. Roy hos checked in 800 ond hqs on 85OJeet-o-minute provide more lift, Roy ottoched tip
every possible source ond found none rote of climb. Roy cloims o service plotes to the wing-ends. They prevent ln 1948, while he wos working ot
other even to compore with it. Just to ceiling of 12,000 feet for his pygmy, the flow of oir off the wing-ends ond Kellogg Field, Roy storted building
give you on ideo of its minuteness, but the ship hos never tried for the the effect hos been to cut londing the Stits Jr. in his spore time. He used
old cost-off fuseloge moteriol. For Then he heord obout Bob Storr. Bob ontenno thinks thot's the missing piece Soys Bob. "lf the locol sheriff stepped
the londing geor, he got two BT-13 wos o young crop duster ot Lonsing in the puzzle. "Shucks" he soys, "l'll up iust before I toke off ot on oir
toilwheels, l0 inches in diometer. - o P-5.l veteron of the Chino-Burmo- bet it's rodio-controlled." Roy's reply show, he could get the fingerprints of
He converted o bicycle broke into o lndio Theoter, He'd ioined the is stroight-foced: Yes, but we hove everybody in the country."
toil brqke, controlled from o level on Coterpillor Club over the Chino coqst to send o mon olong to control the
the stick. when he ron into Joponese ground rodio. To cosuol on lookers such os these,
fire ond boiled out 400 miles south the Stits Jr. is doubtless o freqk.
The prop wos o problem. lt hod to of Shonghoi. Since the wqr he hod The Stits Jr.'s oir show routine is But to its designer ond builder it is
be iust so. Roy osked the Hortzell been doing q lot of oir show work sweet, quick ond simple - o few turns for more thon thot. He believes the
Propeller Co. of Piquo, Ohio, to besides his crop dusting. He hod qround the field, some stroight ond trend in privote oviqtion is towqrd
design one speciolly for the Stits Jr. 5,000 hours of flying time ond - of level flying ondbuzz the crowd. Bob smoller ships. And he is convinced
The Hortzell people weren't quite no less importonce - he weighed stoys up no more thon o holf-hour ot thot his mighty midget incorporotes
sure whqt it wqs oll obout, but they only 160 pounds. o time, keeping o holf-hour of fuel in innovotions of design ond structure
filled the bill. The prop - ground reserve. And no oerobotics, becouse, which point the woy to o new type of
odiustoble for pitch - is only 60 When their boby wos well shoken of course, no chute. smoll, fost sports pone - in o word,
inches in diometer. down, Roy ond Bob took her on the the qeriol hot rod of tomorrow.
oir show circuit, corting her oround The ship is so sensitive thot Bob flies
It took l4
months to design ond built on o troiler. Recently they tronsferred her literolly with two fingers - his Thot Roy Stits isn't olone in this ideo
the Stits Jr. ond it costs Roy $5,500, their bose of operotions from Bottle thumb ond index - brocing his wrist moy be deduced from the foct thot
counting his lobor. When it wos Creek to Phoenix, Arizono, which on one knee. "ln ony other plone o compony expressed on inlerest in
finished, his trouble still hod only is Roy's hometown. Phoenix, with you con sit up there, trim her up ond moss-producing the Stits Jr. But Roy
begun. Now come the iob of getting its yeor round flying weother, gives fly olong thinking obout your girl or intends to go it solo. He hos olreody
it into the oir, which involved - first them o chonce to put the Stits Jr. in something," he soys. "With this ;ob stqrted construction of onother ship
of oll -, the iob of finding someone to the oir ony time they feel like it. you think obout flying it oll the iime." - not quite os smoll os the Stits Jr. but
fly it. Roy wos o licensed pilot but too still smoller thon o Club - which he
heovy (180) for the Stits Jr. He tried Roy's oeriol smidgin, licensed But the Stits Jr. is still sturdy enough intends os the prototype of o speedy
to toke off ond couldn't even get the now os on experimentol ship ond not to require perfect flying little sports plone to be monufoctured
toil wheel up. restricted only ogoinst operotions conditions. At the Miomi (Flo.) All- by his own firm. The test pilot for the
over congested oreos, is the stor of Americon Moneuvers the wind wos firm? Bob Storr, of course.
Bononzo pilot: "Egod, mon, but every show it enters. lt's usuolly the hot ond gusly, ond severol octs hod
those rodio-controlled models sure do lost item on the bill, by which time to be cqnceled. But the little iob come The vision of oirports oll over the
look reolistic! Looko thot figure in the the crowd, hoving exomined the through without foltering. On onother country o-sworm with these oeriol
cockpit, looks olmost reol." sprite, is rother evenly divided on the occosion it flew with wings iced over. gnots moy seem for-fetched. But don't
burning question of the doy: Will it Only once hos Bob Storr hod to moke bet your money thqt it won't hoppen.
He finolly found o pilot. The pilot took fly or won't it? o forced londing. At o Michigon Roy Stits, if you'll remember, is o guy
the Stits Jr. off the ground five times show his engine conked. He deod- who loves to put the skeptics in their
- ond crocked up three. He wolked Most people, soys Roy, "wont to sticked in without mishop. ploce.
owoy from eoch crock-up, but Roy see it fly before they'll believe it."
hod to rebuild the ship. "l'll give him Mony demond to know where the Not unnqturolly, the Stits Jr. holds Junior Sensotion
credit for hoving the guts to try it, "rest of the wing" is. An occosionol boundless fqscinoiion for curiosity- The Stits Junior wos his first born. A
though," soys Roy. disbeliever, spying the Stits Jr.'s rodio seekers. "Everybody hos to touch it." low wing monoplone with on B' I0"
sTrTS SKY BABY l19s2l

wingspon it coused quite o sensotion The portners moved to.l950s


Colifornio
in 1949. He hod to rebuild it neorly from Michigon in eorly ond
every time it flew until he looked up took iobs os flight line inspectors ot
Storr qnd tolked him into flying it. Pocific Airmotive Corp., Chino. They
work on DC-4's ot night ond on Sky
Storr flew Musiongs ond P-4Os in Boby during the doy.
Burmo during the Wor ond loter built
up o lot of Cub hours dusting oround Asked how Mrs. Storr likes holding
Moson, Michigon. Stits chose him their yeor-old son in her orms,
for his combinqtion of light plone wotching her husbond fly Sky Boby,
ond high power, high wing looding Storr soys, "Oh, she oll right, she hos
experience ond exploined corefully o lot of foith in my flying." "And o lot
to him thot chopping off the power of foith in my design," odds Stits. "l
ot low speed hod the sqme effect on corry o lot of insuronce," continues Slr's tlr sna/ltst
Stits Junior os chopping off the wings. Storr. "Of course," Stits points out rrtrd tlt ttltst-
With Storr, the "every londing is o eornestly, "she wouldn't wont him to Ab.v., Piint li6il 9.t. aucl SllL l l-ll:,5!
crqsh lqnding" ended. fly onything dongerousl" ,!id.off t.cm h!,ii*.id
t..r.oid ron. Ar riqht .
photogr,pier .nich.r !
io.fl.p, {1r.. poill i,Dd.
iir. Fl"pr .r. o^ urF:,
*h9,.il.roi' o' tr,.r.
5ly B.by i!1.!
tl.po, D.:;9ne,5ritt
.ptii.t m.riirg t.pc in
p..p.r.lion f.r 3! c..t
.1 h..d.,!bbrd p.jit.

Courtesy of Roy Stits


Sky Bobywos constructed ot Riverside, Riverside, Colifornio oirport. Although she will toke off in obout 600 his own broinchild, ond, with only
CA over o period of j 3 monihs in feet, Storr held her on the ground until 500 pilot hours, he soys he hosn't
19 51 -52, os on experimentql oircroft Some people questioned whether he got to the photogrophers woiting enough experience to try it onywoy.
to cloim the title of the world's smollest their former "world's smollest," the ot the intersection for o close-up of the Stqrr flies Sky Boby without o
oirplone ond no further development Stits Junior, wos reolly the smollest. first tqke-off. They neorly got o shot porochute to sove thot 30 pounds oft
or reproduction wos plonned. Rother thot orgue, Stits, on A & E but of the crosh Storr thinks they were of the center of grovity.
not on engineer, expecting becouse o little roughness
li is now owed by designed Sky in the runwoy olmost skittered Sky From deod stop, Sky Boby tokes
the Notionol Air Boby. Boby out of control. off ond climbs to '1,000 feet in 35
Museum Division l seconds; ot 3,20O rpm stroight
of the Smithsonion She meosures Z' Rudder trovel is only three inches from qnd level her old BT-1 3oir speed
lnstitute ond 2" tip-to-tip, 9' ,l80
neutrol to full ond the mechonicol toe- indicotor reods with her present
is on loon to I O" hub-to-flipper brqkes qre extremely sensitives; Sky butter poddle test prop. Storr hos
qnd disployed ond stonds 60" Boby hos o shorter wheelbose thon o brought her over the runwoy for the
ot the FAA high. the power Jeep. Anyone who hos iried driving photogrophers ot 2l O ofter o shollow
Aviotion Museum plont is q second- o Jeep 60 mph over o rough rood dive. She should do 2OO eosily ot
ot Oshkosh, hond 85 horse with his feet con reqlize Storr hos his 3,800 rpm ond perform still better
Wisconsin. Continentol, originolly out of on honds - or rother his feet - full. with q speciol prop.
Ercoupe. A good overhoul, o nitroted Once oirborne, while extremely
Totol flying time wos opproximotely crqnkshoft ond the oddition of o sensitive on the controls, especiolly Storr climbs ond mokes his turn onto
t hours, with 5 to 15 minute flights third volve spring converted it to o the oilerons, she feels very much like finol ot obout 125 indicotes ond
over o period of 6 months ending in stondord rocing engine. With woter on oirplone. However, she needs 5* figures to come over the end of the
October 1952. in jection it will develop 1 12 hp ot of flops to keep her from being toil- runwoy ot 80. Sky Boby touches
3,800 rpm, giving Sky Boby o power heovy ot low speeds. As in o Mustong down ot 55. He doesn't cut the throttle
Spend l0 minutes oround Sky Boby, looding comporoble to World Wor ll with full fuseloge tonk, Storr hos to until qfter touch down the oirplone
smollest oirplone in the world, ond fighters. use forword pressure in turns. Above is so close-coupled thot oll controls
,l40
invoriobly you'll heor I O people osk she trims out very nicely. ond most of the wing ore directly in
the some question. "You meon thot Sky Boby weighs 666 pounds fully the prop blost. Sky Boby probobly
thing flies?" Midget rocer pilots, DC- looded, including five gollons of gos Center of grovity is o tough problem would drop like o rock without ihe
4 test pilots, mechonics ond cosuol ond 160-pound Bob Storr with o holf- in on oirplone designed, like Sky prop blost unless Storr brought her in
possers-by qsk it with the some dollor qnd o commerciol ticket in his Boby, strictly to be smoll. The pilot much foster. So for he hosn't used full
omozement. When they see her pocket. Dry weight is 452 pounds. must necessorily sit behind the c/g flops except for slowing down on the
sitting on the ground, looking os if Her 36 7z squore feet of octuol wing I for the simple reoson thot o pilot hos runwqy becouse they might spoil the
someone hod cut off her wings ot the give Sky Boby o wing looding of legs. oirflow over the elevotor.
elbows, it doesn't seem possible; but obout I 9 pounds. l
fly she does, ond over 200 miles per At full rudder, the pilot's foot is pressed
hour. On the mqiden flight ot Polm Springs, ogoinst ihe cowl - within three or four
'1952,
Moy 26 Storr hod to use inches of the propeller. The engine is Quick Fit
Designer Roy Stits qnd Pilot Bob Storr everything he hod leorned in 6,000 obove his legs with the oil tonk ond All these things o shorp pilot con
built the tiny wood, fobric ond steel hours ofpiloting everything from corburetor between his knees. fhe c/ get used to. Despite the limitotions
tubing biplone in on old T-honger midgets to Mustongs to get sofely g is iust oft of the engine. Weighing imposed by the close-coupling for
ocross the streel from the West qirborne with Sky Boby in one piece. 190 pounds, Stits could never iockey tininess she is o well-engineered
oirplone. The negotive ports on Sky Boby.
stogger ond one- Otherwise, she is hond
piece windshield give built from scrotch.
excellent visibility. The
cockpit orrongement is Stoee ond Stits plon to
comfortoble if spore. recover their $2,500
Toilored to Stqrr like out-of-pocket (includ i ng
o suit of clothes, the honger rent) ond I 3
20" cockpit give months' spore time
him elbow room lobor by exhibiting
to operote throttle her qt oir shows. Stits
ond woter jection
in hos o bornstorming
button simultoneously broinstorm for the
with his left hqnd flying oct. He wonts
ond to operote the to sei up two poles 10
mechonicolly feet oport with o cross
connected flops. No bor l0 feei off the
chonging of the stick ground ond hove Storr
is required. Spoce fly her through without
ond plocement ore knocking down the
corefully plonned poles - or teoring off
so thqt Storr cqn the wings. Storr isn't so
get full trovel of oll sure thqt stunt is going
controls under oll in the oct. He thinks q
circumstonces. Sky foot qnd q holf loterol
Boby boosts shoulder ond two feet verticol
strops, emergency cleoronce either woy
door releqse qnd is isn't quite enough ot
study enough to hold together in o 2l O mph. d
forced londing.
Ever since '47, when he helped to
ri
i{**
Stits hos respect for corburelor ice ond build o midget rocer, Stits hos hqd
Sky Boby hos goi only o corburetor the midget bug. He decided building #ffi
heqter but on old Lunkenheimer midgets wos so eosy he would lry for
tl .'*\" :f"
primer hooked up to squirt olcohol
into oir intoke below the corburetor
for emergency deicing.
the smollest in the world ond begon
reoding everything he could get his
honds on obout qerodynomics ond
theory of flight. Denying thqt his home '
h,
"f."
,{r
Thqt old primer, the instruments ond study quolifies him os on engineer,
the BT-l 3 tqil wheels ground out for he will odmit io being o "dorn good .&h
the brqke drums ore the only stondord mechon ic". *r**k
AI RCRAFT SPECI FICATIONS
STARR BUMBLE BEE I9BO
ST|TS"JUNIOR" - Former "World's Smollest Airplone" - I g4B .l955,
Wing Spon 8' 10" (end plotes instolled) ln I moved my fomily to Tempe, Chqnnel Ten here in Phoenix, flew
Length 11',4', Arizonq, where I mei q mon nqmed down to Morono, Arizonq, where
Height 50" Orviile Lloyd. He wos designing with the help of my son Bob, I hod
Net weight 393 lbs.
ond storting to build experimentol been testing the Bumble Bee. Len
Power looding 6.86 lbs / H.P.
iwo-ploce biplone. He cqlled it Liberty ond his crew shot some iope of me
Power C-85 Continentol
Wing Areo 35 sq. ft. Sport. I helped him build it ond did the flying the little mochine. l've got lots
Wing Looding 15.3 lbs / sq.ft. flight testing on it. I enioyed working of greot footoge on VCR tope of
Moximum pilot weight 150 lbs on thqt proiect with me flying the
Top speed IZ5 MPH him. Orville lived Bumble Bee.
Cruise I50 MPH Mesq, Arizonq, but
Londing speed 5B MPH eventuolly moved The originol
Rote of climb Over 8OO FPM to Solt Loke Utoh. Bumble Bee
Fuel 4 lz gols. I understond thot hqd on empty
CONSTRUCI'ON he built qnother weight of
Fuseloge ond Toil Chromoly tubing, fobric covered bi-plone ofter 520 pounds. I

Wings Spruce ond plywood, fobric covered Liberty Sport. knew I would
Designed ond built by Roy Stits of Bottle Creek, Michigon, for development, reseorch be oble to
ond exhibition. I hod olreody improve on my
decided to build o smoller oirplone first record, so in I 9BB, I built ond
STITS "SKY BABY" - "World's Smallest Airplone" - 1952
thon the record holder, Sky Boby. successfully flew on even smoller
Wing Spon7'2"
Length g', 10" After oll, I wos the co-builder ond ond lighter (only 396 pounds)
Height 5', the only one thot ever flew Sky Boby, oirplone nomed the Bumble Bee
Net weight 45216s. I
consequently knew whqt hqd to ll. lt holds "The World's Smollest"
Power C-85 Continentol "rocing" engine be done to creote o lighter, more record in the Guinness World Book
Power looding /
6.6 lbs H.P {@ 100 H.P} dynomic oirfrome. of Records.
Wing oreo 36.5 sq. ft.
Wing looding 18.3 lbs / sq. ft
So, in I980, I begon building the The Bumble Bee is on permonent
Flops Upper wing
Slots Both wings world's smollest, After numerous disploy ot the Pimo Air Museum in
Top speed I85 MPH test flights, I flew it for the record in Tucson, Arizono..
.l984.
Cruise I65 MPH lt wos quite o chollenge to fly,
Londing speed 80 MPH but even ot the oge of 60, I still hod At present, I hove over fifteen
Rote of climb Over 500 FPM the edge. I
nomed it Bumble Bee. thousond hours of stick time.
Fuel 5 gols. Appropriotely so, for noture's bumble Thousonds o[ this wos done crop
CONSTRUCilON bee doesn't hove enough wing oreq dusting. lhqve flown everything
Fuseloge Chromoly tubing, fobric covered to fly, but it hos never been told this, from the smollest plone to the F-86
Wings qnd Toil Spruce, fobric covered so it proceeds to fly onywoy. At lost, Sobor Jet.
"SKY BABY" wos designed ond built by Roy Stits ol Riverside, Colifornia, ihe record wqs minel
in Life hqs been full ond interesting for
1952 os o research proiect ond to clqim the title of "World's Smo//est
Airplone." ln 1986, Len Clements, who is o me. And mostly, becouse of my love

No b/ueprinfs distributed on either oircroft.


reporter ond o helicopter pilot for of flying.
The flighr of ...
BABY BIRD 1987
The Bumble Bees
Designed, built ond flown by Robert H. Storr
Don Stits of Newbury, CA hqs heod of the Aviqtion Requirements
At first glonce, most engineers qnd professionol pilots moke ihe stotement, clqimed the record of the "World's Brqnch qt the Novy's Point Mugu
"l don't believe it con fly." Both Bumble Bees flew well, olthough ihey were smollesi oirplone" with his Boby Bird, supply Deportment.
chollenging for Mr. Storr to pilot, they were both oerodynomicolly sound. o tiny tri-geor, high wing monoplone
with q spon of only 6 feet 3 inches.
4,b', Weighing ivst 252 pounds, it hos

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I been flown 35 times by retired Novy
commonder Horold Nemer... who
Sfits "Baby Bird"
(tike Fofher Like son)
quolified both in flying experience
j
qnd in physicol size. The Boby Bird Woy bock in 1952, well
wos designed for o 5 ft.7 in., known EAAer, Roy stits
lr i rt:1r., l40 pound pilot, which of Riverside, Cqliforniq,
eliminoted its designer proceeded to build
-#w'"- il qnd builder, Don Stits, who
-cD
M'
0
f is both toller ond heovier. All
whot wqs then known
os the "world's Smollest
the flights hove been stroight Airplone". This tiny, single-
down the Comorillo, CA Airport ploce, negotive stogger biplone,
I,q.
/ta? I
runwo, to oltitudes of l5 to 25 feet. qffectionotely colled "Sky Boby", hod
Since the qircrqft is intended for no o wingspon of 7 feel, 2 inches qnd
other purpose thon to be "the world's wqs powered with o Contineniol C-
smollest". Don sees no need for it to 85 engine. lt wqs flown on numerous
fly more extensively - so it hos now occqsions by pilot, Bob Storr, who
been retired ond will only be on stotic 'l85
reported o top speed of mph ond
disploy in the future. on opprooch speed of 1 I O mphl The
Courtesv of Bob Storr
tiny oirplone wos feqtured in Zqck
Powered by o 55hp 2-cycle Mosley's "Smith Jock" comic strip on
SPECIFICATIONS: snowmobile engine, the Boby Jonuory 4, 1953 ond qlso mqde the
Bumble Bee I Bumble Bee ll Bird hos o length of I 1 ft. the fuel front cover of FLYING mogozine in
Wing Spon: 6 ft. 6 in. Wing Spon: 5 ft. 6 in. copocity is just 1-172 gollons. A long November 1952.
Length: 9ft.4in. Length: B ft. lO in. time EAA member. Don Stits is the
,l50 .l50 son of Roy Stits who once held the Once Sky Boby hod occomplished its
Cruising Speed: MPH Cruising Speed: MPH
.l90 "world's smqllest" tiile with his Sky gool, it wqs donoted to the Nqtionol
Top Speed: I B0 MPH Top Speed: MPH
Boby, whlch is on disploy in the EAA Air qnd spoce Museum which, in
Stqlling Speed: Z5 KTS Stolllng Speed: Z5 KTS Museum. The record wos broken q turn, ploced the tiny oirplone on long
Gross Weight: 256 Obl. Empry Weighr: 396 Obl. couple of yeors ogo by bob Storr in term loon to the EAA Air Adventure
Engine: C-85 Engine: C-85 his bumblebee -but now the Boby Museum where it hos been viewed
Fuel Copocity: 3 gol. Fuel Copocity: 3 gol. Bird holds the title. Don Stits is the by mony thousonds of visitors.
remember the Boby Bird con be ln 1987, the Boby Bird wos registered
troilered os is, with no dismontling, os in the Guinness book of world os the
it is 6' 3" wide.) Following extensive "Smollest Airplone in the World". lt
toxi tests by pilot Horold Nemer, o hos now been donoted to the EAA
retired Novy pilot of oppropriote Aviotion foundotion by Don qnd Lori
stoture, the Boby Bird wos deemed Stits of Newbury Pork, Coliforniq ond
reody for flight. ln August of 1984, token its rightful ploce on the floor of
Hqrold Nemer took to the oir with the EAA Air Adventure Museum, right
the tiny oirplone ond proceeded to next to the Sky Boby built by Roy Stits,
discover o neot flying little bird (pun Don's fother.
intended). Top speed wos registered
ot I l0 mph ond over the course of As I soid in the beginning, "Like
time, some 35 flights were mode by fother, like son!"
pilot Horold Nemer. - Articles contribuled by Roy Stits

Courtesy of Don Stits

Now comes the interesting port. Roy envelope. With on empty weight of
Stits hqd o son, Donold who grew 252 lbs. And o gross of 425 16s.,
up with oirplone "stuff" oll over the only 123 lbs. wos qvoiloble for fuel
house ond the smell of oirplone ond pilot.
dope tintilloting his nostrils. Like his Boby Bird Dofo Sheef
fother before him, Don liked things With the help of his wife, Lori, ond
oeronouticol ond promptly begon their two children, the little tri-geor
studying the theories of light oircrqft monoplone begon to toke shope, the
in flight. Often thinking of the tiny one-piece wing with its neorly flot- Designer / Builder Don Sttits of Newbury Pork, Colifornio (USA)
Sky Boby, Don developed his own bottomed oirfoil, corefully instolled Construction Crew Lori Stits, son Roy Stits, ond doughter Jennie Stits.
ideos on how smoll oircroft should be obove the tiny cobin. (The wing
Pilot Horold Nemer of Riverside, Colifornio (USA)
constructed. The die wos cost. cobin juncture uses only eight inches
of lifting oreo) Aircrqft Nome Boby Bird
ln I9BO, the first plons were drown
Wing Type Monoplone
for "Boby Bird", o tiny (very) single- The engine is o twin-cyclinder, oir-
ploce, high-wing oircroft ihot cooled, two-stroke thot feotures duol
Wing Spon 6 feet 3 inches (25 inches)
employed o tricycle londing geor ond corburettors ond duol ignition to Length I I feet
o lighweight Germon-mode Hirth produce 55 horsepower. lt swings ErpV Weight 252 pounds
engine of 55hp on the front end of on o ground - odiustoble wooden
I I foot fuseloge. Constructed of steel propeller of 44 inches in length.
Gross Weight 425 pounds
tubing in the fuseloge ond o wooden Engine 55 HP Mirth 2 Cylinder
wing of only 6 feet, 3 inches in totol By the summer of 1984, the "Boby I IO MPH
Top speed
wingspon, the "Boby Bird" required Bird" wos reody for toxi tests, so it wos
o pilot of smoll stoture to fit in the tiny tronsported to the Comorillo oirporl Point Scheme Miomi Blue with Silver trim
cobin ond remoin inside the weight ot Comorillo, Colifornio. (Pleose Designed by Lori stits
Flying Scole Model Plones
Obsess With The World's Smollest Plones. Compliments from Roy ond Don Stits
To Construction The Scole Model Plones of Them
Hoving supports from Mr. Roy Stits ond his son Don Stits, I begon to enlorge
3 view drowings of their plones Stits Junior, Sky Boby ond Boby Bird, ond
'construci
}ItrMO 2"*''{b&
them into scole models of 1/4. 1/2 ond full sizes for the post seven "tt'tt'*'.,t
yeors qs shown in the phoios below.
.t/t,,, .\t; t.,
-s
| /4 Scole Boby Bird W,f Match 6,
2OOO

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i'',"''t e:entn CoDgratulatioh-
| /2 Scale Boby Bird, Sky Boby & Sfits Junior
' "il '
o{ ll'( / Bulrdins
*;;,"""
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v:ur very successfur
lrodel
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"no'rq "krlr*,-, ""0 enrhu. ra6o ,o ou'"tnt on
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to be rravinJ
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Full Size Scole Stits Junior with Powerplont sponsored by \ ;
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My Ultimote possion is to build oll the World's Smqllest Plones in Full Sizes ISBN: 978-98I -08-0043-Z
ond fly them; ond perhops to cloim in them os the biggest model plones in
All rights reserved. No port of this orticle moy be reproduced including photocopying, recording
the Guinness Book of Records. without lhe prior consent of the writers.
Pleose fox/phone (65) 6386 7568 or emoil: leo.yewchiot@yohoo.com for further informotion.

Viva Creative Lithographers . Tel:6273 8032 . Fax:6273 0385 ' Email: vivircrc(r(l;rl,r {!nIil