The race was on….
The start of the World Smallest Piloted Airplane competition began around 1952. Mr. Robert H. Starr, of Phoenix, Arizona, had been involved with the both world’s previous title holding smallest airplanes since 1949. He was the pilot of JR, the first world’s smallest title holder at the time. Mr. Starr was the only pilot able to fly the little plane successfully without cracking it up like his predecessors had done. Mr. Starr was also a co-builder and pilot of the second world’s smallest airplane, Sky Baby, around 1954. However, Mr. Starr had difficulty getting credit for his contributions on projects from his partner Stits. So one fine day, Mr. Starr said to Stits, “You can build all you want to Stits, but if it doesn’t fly, there’s no record to be had, and you certainly can’t fly it”. That was the end of the partnership and the beginning of the race. Mr. Starr knew that a smaller and aerodynamically superior plane could be built. Consequently, Mr. Starr decided to build a smaller airplane and establish a new world record on his own. So, 30 years later, Mr. Starr, at the age of 65, designed, built and flew The Bumble Bee I and Bumble Bee II to recapture the Guinness Book World Record. To Read more about Mr. Starr, go to the Bumble Bee Plans Page .