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The Flying Flea is a light aircraft that was designed by french furniture maker Henri Mignet in 1933. It was a home built aircraft which meant that that purchaser of the aircraft would build that craft itself from the design provided. thedesign was banned in the UK after only three years due to a number of fatalities.

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Flea med-res

The Blue Finch which is on display in M Shed.

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Design Flaws Edit

The fatalities of the plane were caused by an inability to recover from a shallow dive. the lack of elevators and the overlapping wings meant that elevation had to be controlled by the throttle which did little good once in a shallow dive.

The Blue Finch Edit

The example of a flying flea on display in the M Shed was built by Harry Dolman, a Bristol Aeroplane Company engineer. The blue finch was operated without incident until the type was banned in 1936. The wings are wood and canvas and the engine is a yet unspecified Douglas motorcycle engine.

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Anecdote Edit

-One visitor claimed that there had been a mistake in the plans when translating the French Metric designs to the English Imperial used at the time. the claim is that the body should be roughly two feet longer and that would solve the problem of the wing overlap allowing the plane to fly safely.

According to another visitor, the flying flea was later remodelled with the larger main wing higher up so that there would be a larger gap between wings. How far this went to correct the shallow dive /stall problem is uncertain.

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