Beecraft Wee Bee

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Beecraft Wee Bee
Beecraft Wee Bee in flight.jpg
The Wee Bee in flight
Role Experimental sports ultralight aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bee Aviation Associates, Inc.
First flight 1948
Number built 1

The Beecraft Wee Bee was an American ultralight monoplane designed and built by Beecraft.[1] It was described as the world's smallest plane.[1]

Development[edit]

The Wee Bee was designed by William "Bill" Chana, Kenneth Coward, and Karl Montijo. They described it as big enough to carry a man and small enough to be carried by a man.[1]

It was an all-metal cantilever mid-wing monoplane powered by a Kiekhaefer O-45-35 flat-twin piston engine.[1] It had a conventional tail and fixed tricycle landing gear.[1] The unusual feature was that the aircraft lacked any internal room for a pilot who had to fly it lying prone atop the fuselage.[1][2]

Only a prototype registration NX90840 was built, and the type did not enter production. The prototype was destroyed when the original San Diego Air and Space Museum burned down in 1978.[2] After the fire, a replica was built and is now on display at the new San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park.

Specifications[edit]

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 14 ft 2 in (4.32 m)
  • Wingspan: 18 ft 0 in (5.49 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 0 in (1.52 m)
  • Wing area: 44 sq ft (4.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 410 lb (186 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Kiekhaefer O-45-35 flat-two piston engine, 30 hp (22 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 82 mph (132 km/h; 71 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 75 mph (121 km/h; 65 kn)
  • Range: 50 mi (43 nmi; 80 km)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,000 m)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Orbis 1985, p. 555
  2. ^ a b "American airplanes:Ba - Bll". www.aerofiles.com. 11 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-23.
Bibliography
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.

External links[edit]