Mignet Flying Flea
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This aircraft was designed by Henri Mignet in the early 1930s to be built at home. It is of tandem wing design and could use a variety of engines. This example is powered by an AJS twin cylinder motor-cycle engine. Details of its construction were published in Newnes Practical Mechanics during 1935 and the estimated building cost was 75. One estimate is that five-hundred of these aircraft were under construction in Britain in 1936.
GAEEH was built over a period of approximately twelve months starting in the spring of 1935 in a garage in Bath. It made several flights at Whitchurch Airfield near Bristol in 1936 and its last recorded flight was on 16 May 1937. The owner commented that the Scott Squirrel engine originally fitted seemed somewhat under powered as the aircraft required firm ground and a fair breeze to get airborne.
Following a series of fatal accidents involving this type the French authorities banned its use in 1936 and wind tunnel tests revealed an aerodynamic flaw that could result in an uncontrollable and ever steeper dive. The Air Ministry subsequently issued a ban in the summer of 1937 and GAEEH was dismantled and stored in the owner's garage.
The aircraft on display is on loan from Mr M. Davis of Bath and has been renovated by members of the Aerospace Museum Society.