World's smallest twin engine aircraft - I am
building one, along with a handful of other builders around the world.
AOPA Pilot January 2011 has a
on David and Ronald Smith's CriCri.
Because of a lawsuit, Michel Colomban the
will no longer support North America.
This has left a number of us to fend for
ourselves. I am one of several builders who are taking on that support role.
The aircraft is a brilliant design,
but a number of issues
arise since it is metric based and in North America our stock supplies are
primarily imperial based.
And having been severed from the information base of supported
builders, we the 'outcast' builders are having to support each
A majority of the design issues have been addressed, but as issues
come up and new builders enter
we have a support structure of experienced builders and engineers
who can answer questions.
One of the most asked questions is, where can I get plans. Outside
of North America, you can get plans directly from Michel Colomban.
Printed Plans are available in North America
here. But be sure and
review all the information on this page..
AOPA Video featuring C-FPTJ (below)
The AOPA article entitled 'Big fun in a small
I reach out my hand, and touch—the wing tip!' is available
I recommend watching the video in full-screen mode, by
clicking on the little double arrows at the lower right of the
video, and when completed you can click on the arrows again to
return to windowed mode and see this page again (there is a brief
commercial preceding the CriCri video). Notice their aircraft does
not have wheel pants, and has a custom release built into the tail.
If you are interested in building your own CriCri,
For builders interested in
obtaining plans, Contact
me regarding obtaining a set.
While they are available electronically elsewhere, I can print, in their native
a set of 42 sheets for $250 to cover my time and printing
costs, including shipping.
I accept wires, PayPal or personal checks (pending funds clearing) or cash.
your shipping information. I reserve the right to select request (prefer USA
only). Allow 5-7 days for receipt.
I have added a page for directly
acquiring printed documents.
I asked my boss for permission to build a
state of the art aircraft we are designing in an 'ultralight' version. He
refused, so I decided to build a Cri-Cri. I contacted the designer Michel
Colomban and requested plans, now available here. Since he does not support North America, I
acquired a set of plans and am studying the design and building the aircraft in
3-D in SolidWorks, prior to building physical parts, to make sure there are no
faults, and to understand the process, develop parts lists, order parts and
order tools. It is my goal to create the entire aircraft as a solid model, for
the use of others to benefit from my study. Later, we will be offering a kit,
which will have sub-kits consisting of component sub-assemblies, like the
horizontal stabilizer, Probably in 6 months.
I will be uploading eDrawings of my solid
models for your evaluation and comments, along with photos of the project. So
far I have purchased:
the nose wheel, horizontal stabilizer spar
and skin, adhesive, riveting tools. Available as an eDrawing, the
MC15-307 Horizontal Tail Assy has the spar completed, and available for
download. Currently I am in the process of adding the HT ribs. Eventually, there will be a complete database with each part detailed
as a solid model and a dimensioned 'drawing'. The hyperlinked .pdf plans, a
printed copy, the manuals (re-written with improved understandability, and
without colloquialisms), photos and narrative of my project will make this a
'simplified' build for any mechanical person. The safety record of the original
MC15 is outstanding, and the design is exceptional. My plans will be unaltered
from the originals apart from the modern solid modeling updating, to maintain
the integrity of the design.
There are many great websites that you can
grab details about the Cri-Cri, but it is world's smallest twin engine aircraft.
I highly recommend the Yahoo group 'cricridrawings' where a number of folks in
North America, and worldwide are faithfully constructing MC15's, apart from
Michel Colomban's support, by his own choice. It has an empty weight of 172 pounds. You can fit 15, up to 30 hp engines each
for a combined 30hp up to 60hp. The limiting factor is CG and engine mount
strength, and Vne which is 160 mph to avoid flutter. The aircraft is ultimate
load rated to 9 G's positive and 4.5 G's negative, so it is fully aerobatic! Many parts are available
from various suppliers, including custom machined parts, from quality supply
manufacturers. I will detail my construction as the build continues.
Wayne Butts from New Zealand-first flight after 6 year construction: 12/26/08
I would love to know how everyone 'stumbles' upon my site? I also
would like to know where are you located and your age.. I will try to answer
your questions as best I can. I have been a pilot for a long time. My greatest
experience is as a hang glider pilot, but I also fly ultralights, airplanes and
helicopters. The Cri-Cri is an amazing little aircraft. The cost will run you
somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000USD. But the good thing is you can
incrementally build the plane. Build one segment at a time as funds allow. The
greatest cost is the 2-cycle engines which are about $2000USD or more each. I
believe anyone can build a cri-cri, but having metal working experience is a
plus. There are five manuals of instructions for building the aircraft. There is
a Yahoo group cricridrawings which I recommend you join. There is a second Yahoo
group called cricri which is of limited value as there are apparently few
builders. I would recommend studying the construction manuals. I would also
recommend joining the cricridrawings group and going to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cricridrawings/files/
One of the manuals will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to build the plane
is Cri-Cri Part 1 - General Operations. Any questions can be answered by the
cricridrawings group or myself.
Perhaps you are aware of how to eat a whole elephant... one bite at a time.
Generally speaking the machine is primarily made from 2024-T3 aluminum and 4130
chrome-moly steel. Our US continental supplier is Aircraft Spruce (http://www.aircraftspruce.com/)
There is much good information on their site, like aluminum info. Generally
people start by building the horizontal stabilizer, because it is similar in
fabrication to the wing. There are currently about 10 cri-cri's under
construction worldwide that I am aware of. You can put a shout-out on the
cricridrawings group to see if there is anyone nearby to your location. The
plans are not that complicated, but they do require a significant bit of study.
I can explain them to you as you go. A good start is to take the .pdf to your
local CAD or Architectural printers which is fairly expensive, and print them out on 'E'-sized paper which
is 36"x48" but you will find they only use a portion of the page
vertically(24"), but the whole page horizontally. I also printed a set for reference at A-size (8.5"x11")
and another at B-size (11"x17") which I use primarily unless studying details. I
have never flown one, and I think few people have, unless they have built one. I
somehow do not think I would trust one I had built in very many people's hands.
I won't be loaning mine out. It is rumored that it takes about 1500-2000 hours
to complete a construction, which is pretty typical for a homebuilt. Wayne Butts
in NZ took six years and just test flew his Dec 26 of 2008 (last year) (http://www.cricri.zoomshare.com/0.html)
(see photos/vids)(His website has been recently updated). You will need a rivet gun, bucking bar, drill, drill press, bandsaw, and a bunch of other metal working tools. Most importantly you will
need the commitment of time, money, desire to learn new things. If you do not
have the previous sentence, you may as well quit now and build something else.
Notice I did not say HAVE the money or the time or the knowledge, just the
desire and the follow-thru to see completion. That applies to everything in
life. It is not a beginner's project, but I think any beginner could build it
since there is sufficient information to allow education and no one part is that
difficult. Start with the horizontal stabilizer, sheet MC15-307 Horizontal
Tail-Assembly and Details and study it. Also download the eDrawings Viewer from
install it. I will be issueing updated drawings of parts as I create them which
will give you the ability to visualize parts in 3-D. See the attached files of
the yet to be completed horizontal stabilizer and the MC15-307-04
Tail,horizontal,pivot fitting. The little music symbol on the plans indicates
adhesive. Look down on the lower right side box, the 'Title Block', and there is
a numeric listing of all the parts required on the sheet and the materials it is
The downfall of the Cri-Cri is it is a one-seater, it is very weight conscious,
and it is VERY center of gravity critical. It's empty weight is 172 pounds. Even
though you are tempted, you cannot put anything behind the seat. I would study
the manual entitled
"CriCri Part 1 - General Operations (Construction Techniques).pdf" which will
teach you about reading the plans, tools required and how to use them and
general aircraft building information. You can skip the part about how to build
your own bandsaw as you can now get them off eBay for a song. That should get
you started in the right direction..
Wayne Butts of New Zealand finally after
6 years, successfully test flew his Cri-Cri on December 26,