The World's Smallest Piloted Airplane


Designed, Built and Flown by Robert H. Starr  

The Bumble Bee and Bumble Bee II were designed and built specifically to acquire the title  of The World's Smallest Piloted Airplane.  Mr. Robert H. Starr, of Phoenix, Arizona, has been involved  with  the both world's previous title holding smallest airplanes.  He was the only pilot of JR in 1949 who was able to fly it without cracking it up, unlike his predecessors. He was the co-builder and pilot for Sky Baby in 1954. He gained considerable  experience and knowledge on these first projects and knew that a smaller, superior plane could  be built. Mr. Starr had difficulty getting credit for his contributions on the first projects.  Consequently, he decided to build a smaller machine and establish a new world record on his own. 30 years later, The Bumble Bee and Bumble Bee II, were the result.

Why did he name them Bumble Bee?  Rumor has it that the real bumble bee does not have enough wing area to fly. At first glance, most engineers and professional pilots made the same statement about The Bumble Bee's.  The bumble bee and The Bumble Bee's have never heard this  rumor, so they fly anyway.  Mr. Starr flew Bumble Bee II several times and captured the world record in April 1988 at age 64. On the last flight of the Bumble Bee II, the engine quit on the downwind leg of the flight.  The impact totally destroyed the Bumble Bee II.  Mr. Starr sustained extremely serious injuries.  He has since recovered.  The Bumble Bee I is on permanent display at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson,  Arizona.

Mr. Starr has logged over 15,000 air hours in everything from Piper Cubs to the F-86 Sabre Jet.   He was a fighter pilot in World War II and flew P-40's & 51's with the 14th Air Force Flying Tigers in China.  He has participated in most of the largest Air Shows in the United States.  He has also been test pilot for many experimental aircraft.

 Main specifications of the World's Smallest Piloted Airplane - Bumble Bee II:

                           WING SPAN: 5' 6"         LENGTH: 8' 10"       CRUISING SPEED: 150 mph           TOP SPEED: 190 mph            STALL SPEED: 75 kts          EMPTY WEIGHT: 396 lbs           ENGINE: C-85          FUEL CAPACITY: 3 gals 

  Model Plans & 25 minute video of the building and testing phases are available for the Bumble Bee II.   

 Please send inquiries to the address below. 

4390 S. Jumbo Way, Carson City, NV  89704    (602) 617-4321  E-mail:

Watch Videos of the Bumble Bee's out on YOUTUBE, just click on the YOUTUBE Bumblebee LOGO link here:     

The Permanent Home of the Bumble Bee, Pima Air Museum: 

Flying the Story of My Life:  In The Beginning

Chasing UFO's with the California National Guard in F-86's: Chasing UFO's

Bumble Bee II                                                                                                                          Bumble Bee I



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