Bumble Bee II was the world’s smallest piloted airplane. It was built by Robert H. Starr. Its first flight was on 8 May 1988.The Bumble Bee crashed on the same day due to engine failure. Robert Starr was seriously injured in the crash, but he fully recovered from his injuries.
image: Space Museum in Tuscon, AZ
It was 2.69 m (8 ft 10 in) long, with a wing span of 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in), and weighed 179.6 kg (396 lb)empty. It was capable of carrying one person.The highest speed attained was 306 km/h (190 mph).In an attempt to break his own record, Robert Starr had built the Bumble Bee II. It was a follow up to the original Bumble Bee, with which Starr locked down the Guinness smallest biplane record.
On Starr’s attempt to break that record, the airplane’s engine cut out mid-flight, causing a crash that left Starr severely injured and the almost nine-foot long airplane nearly destroyed.The Bumble Bee may be a difficult Airplane to fly because it is relatively short coupled.
The Guiness Book of World Records credits the Bumble Bee II as the world’s smallest biplane.Starr named the aircraft “Bumble Bee II” because it is said that natures’ bumble bee does not have sufficient wing area to fly. At first, some engineers and pilots said the same about Starr’s Bumble Bee.
Nature’s bumble bee and the Starr Bumble Bee II have never heard this rumor, so they fly anyway.Although the Bumble Bee II was lost, the original Bumble Bee is on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tuscon, AZ.