Stits SA-2A Sky Baby

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    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby

    Wingspan: 2.2 m (7 ft 2 in) Length: 3.0 m (9 ft 10in) Height: 1.5 m (5 ft) Weights: Empty, 205.5 kg (452 lb) Gross, 302.7 kg (666 lb) Engine: Continental four-cylinder, four-cycle, 85 horsepower

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby Nose

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage. Highlighted in this image is the nose of the Stits SA-2A Sky Baby.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage.

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    Air and Space Photo

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage. Highlighted in this image is the nose of the Stits SA-2A Sky Baby.

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    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby Nose

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage. Highlighted in this image is the nose of the Stits SA-2A Sky Baby.

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    Stits SA-2A Sky Baby

    On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage.

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

On a dare from another pilot, Ray Stits designed and built the Sky Baby at his home in Riverside, California, to prove that he could build the world's smallest man-carrying airplane. To test fly the tiny aircraft, Stits hired Robert H. Starr who took off on the first flight in April 1952. During the spring and summer, Starr flew the SA-2A at air shows around the nation before Stits retired the airplane in November. Starr reported that the Sky Baby could top 299 kph (185 mph) at full speed and touched down for landing at about 129 kph (80 mph).

To keep the overall dimensions of the SA-2A as small as possible, Stits chose a biplane layout with negative-stagger, full-cantilever wings, and a conventional, cruciform empennage. No one disputed Stits's claim until the 1980s when Starr, the man who flew the SA-2A, announced that he had built an aircraft that was smaller than the Sky Baby. Ray's son, Donald, responded by designing the world's smallest monoplane. September 2002, the "Guiness Book of Records" acknowledged the "Bumble Bee II," built by Starr, as the world's smallest biplane, and the "Baby Bird," designed by Donald Stits, as the smallest monoplane.