Daredevil pilot is captured on camera flying the world’s smallest twin-jet aircraft at 5,000ft

A daredevil retired pilot has been captured on camera performing loops, rolls and a dramatic dive while flying the ‘world’s smallest’ twin-jet aircraft.

Bob Grimstead, 70, flew at an altitude of 5,000ft (1,524m) in the diminutive plane which has been described as a ‘bubble car with wings’. 

At just 13ft (4m) long, 4ft (1.2m) wide and weighing a mere 180lbs, Mr Grimstead, from West Sussex, was able to reach speeds of 140mph (225kmh).

The former British Airways airline pilot used to fly 400 tonne jumbo jets and said he had no fear taking to the skies in the micro plane and said it was ‘superb fun’.

 

Bob Grimstead, 70, (pictured) flew the diminutive jet at 5,000ft (1,524m). The plane has which has been described as a ‘bubble car with wings’

The jet measures just 13ft (4m) long, 4ft (1.2m) wide and weighs a mere 180lbs. Mr Grimstead, from West Sussex, was able to reach speeds of 140mph (225kmh) and perform myriad tricks in the plane, including going upside down (pictured)

The jet measures just 13ft (4m) long, 4ft (1.2m) wide and weighs a mere 180lbs. Mr Grimstead, from West Sussex, was able to reach speeds of 140mph (225kmh) and perform myriad tricks in the plane, including going upside down (pictured)

Disorientating views of the world above Australia, where the plane was flown, reveal what it was like for Mr Grimstead as he tested out the plane, the 150th plane model of his career

Disorientating views of the world above Australia, where the plane was flown, reveal what it was like for Mr Grimstead as he tested out the plane, the 150th plane model of his career 

WHAT IS THE COLOMBON JET CRI-CRI?  

The jet was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes.

It cost £17,000 ($21,000) to make and took two years. 

It is made of almost entirely aluminium. 

The plane has a wingspan of 17ft (5.1m).

it is just 13ft (4m) long, 4ft (1.2m) wide and weighs a mere 180lb.

it has also been recorded flying at altitudes of 5,000ft (1,524m) and reaching speeds of 140mph (225kmh).  

His wife Karen, 62, was in a regular sized light Piper Aztec aircraft next to him taking stunning pictures of her husband in the custom-made Colombon Jet Cri-Cri.

The jet was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes, who spent £17,000 ($21,000) on the two year project. 

The lightweight aircraft is almost entirely made of aluminium and has a wingspan of 17ft (5.1m).

Mr Grimstead, a pilot with 50 years experience, travelled to Western Australia to take the controls of the tiny jet for three 40 minute flights.

He was there to carry out a ‘flight test’ review of the Cri-Cri for Pilot Magazine, a milestone occasion in itself as it was the 250th type of plane he had flown. 

He said: ‘I’ve flown for 50 years, working as a commercial pilot in Boeing 747s, so you can say I’ve flown the largest planes and now the smallest.

‘I have known Davie and Saakie for many years, knew they were building it and asked if I could fly it when they had finished.’ 

The jet (pictured) was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes, who spent £17,000 ($21,000) on the two year project

The jet (pictured) was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes, who spent £17,000 ($21,000) on the two year project

Mr Grimstead, pictured here when he was a pilot for BA in the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400, has more than 50 years experience and travelled to Western Australia to take the controls of the tiny jet for three 40 minute flights

Mr Grimstead, pictured here when he was a pilot for BA in the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400, has more than 50 years experience and travelled to Western Australia to take the controls of the tiny jet for three 40 minute flights

Mr Grimstead (pictured in front of a jumbo jet, was in Australia there to carry out a 'flight test' review of the Cri-Cri for Pilot Magazine, a milestone occasion in itself as it was the 250th type of plane he had flown

Mr Grimstead (pictured in front of a jumbo jet, was in Australia there to carry out a ‘flight test’ review of the Cri-Cri for Pilot Magazine, a milestone occasion in itself as it was the 250th type of plane he had flown

Mr Grimstead's normal plane, the Beoing 747-400, weighs 377.8 tons, generates 237,800 pounds of thrust in total - 2,530 times more power than the Cri-Cri and costs around £200 million

Mr Grimstead’s normal plane, the Beoing 747-400, weighs 377.8 tons, generates 237,800 pounds of thrust in total – 2,530 times more power than the Cri-Cri and costs around £200 million

Mr Grimstead, pictured squeezing into the tiny plane, said: 'I've flown for fifty years, working as a commercial pilot in Boeing 747s, so you can say I've flown the largest planes and now the smallest'

Mr Grimstead, pictured squeezing into the tiny plane, said: ‘I’ve flown for fifty years, working as a commercial pilot in Boeing 747s, so you can say I’ve flown the largest planes and now the smallest’

BOEING 747-400 VS COLOMBON JET CR-CRI

Wingspan: 211ft

Power: Four Rolls Royce RB211-524H turbofans engines – combined total of 237,800 pounds of thrust in total 

Cost: £200 million

Top speed: 614mph

Weight: 377.8 tons 

Cruising altitude: 40,000ft 

Capacity: 345 passengers plus crew  

Wingspan: 17ft

Power: Two PbS TJ20A turbojets – combined 94 pounds of static thrust

Cost: £17,000

Top speed: 140mph

Weight: 180lbs

Cruising altitude: 5,000ft 

Capacity: Pilot only   

Mr Grimstead said that there was no apprehension because he knew it was designed by proper aircraft designers and Sakkie and Davie have done a ‘really good job’.

‘The smaller the aircraft the more responsive it is so it was a lot of fun to fly. 

‘I went up for three 40 minute runs and when I was doing the acrobatics I was at full speed.

‘It was superb fun. I could have flown it all day. I can’t wait to return to Western Australia to do aerobatic displays in it.’

The Cri-Cri’s two PbS TJ20A turbojets each generate 47 pounds of static thrust, while a Boeing 747-400 has four Rolls Royce RB211-524H turbofans engines that can generate 237,800 pounds of thrust in total – a staggering 2,530 times more power.

A 747 is 230ft long, has a 210ft wingspan and a can carry 400 passengers. 

Mr Grimstead said that there was no apprehension for him when he got in the Cri-Cri jet (pictured) because he knew it was designed by proper aircraft designers and said that Sakkie and Davie did a 'really good job'

Mr Grimstead said that there was no apprehension for him when he got in the Cri-Cri jet (pictured) because he knew it was designed by proper aircraft designers and said that Sakkie and Davie did a ‘really good job’

Mr Grimstead was propelled through the skies (pictured) by the Cri-Cri's two PbS TJ20A turbojets each generate 47 pounds of static thrust, while a Boeing 747-400 has four Rolls Royce RB211-524H turbofans engines that can generate 237,800 pounds of thrust in total - a staggering 2,530 times more power

Mr Grimstead was propelled through the skies (pictured) by the Cri-Cri’s two PbS TJ20A turbojets each generate 47 pounds of static thrust, while a Boeing 747-400 has four Rolls Royce RB211-524H turbofans engines that can generate 237,800 pounds of thrust in total – a staggering 2,530 times more power

The jet has permanently deployed wheels and landing gear and was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes, who spent £17,000 ($21,000) on the two year project

The jet has permanently deployed wheels and landing gear and was built by South African engineers Sakkie Van Heerden and Davie Botes, who spent £17,000 ($21,000) on the two year project


Use these tags to read more related posts and reviews: