The cricri was designed by Michel Colomban. The prototype flew for the first time, on the airfield of Guyancourt, on 19 July 1973. He was flown by Robert Buisson. This plane was built only according to the plans distributed by its designer. It was designed for experimental aircraft builders.
It was originally equipped with 2 piston engines of 15 hp each. It was the smallest twin-engine in the world. It flew more than 200 km/h for a consumption around 10 l/h. It has undergone different developments in its motorisation, especially the one presented here with small turbojets engines .
The MC15J cricri jet made its first flight from Rennes Saint-Jacques Airport (LFRN) on Thursday 31 July 1997, piloted by Yves Duval.
Originally, it was planned to mount 4 JPX T240 turbojets instead of the 2 JPX PUL 212 of 15cv each. Due to the low thrust of the T240s, and the complexity of such an installation, work was undertaken with JPX to produce a new turbojet engine with 15 Kg of thrust. With the engine late in coming, it was finally decided to look for another solution.
After multiple searches, the choice of the team finally reaches the J.E.T Cobra of 14 kgp. As originally planned, the two turbojets were mounted in place of the 2 JPX PUL 212.
MC-15J Technical data
|Type||Twin light jet aircraft|
|First flight||31 juillet 1997|
|Max. ratings||15 kg||33 lbs|
|Span||4,90 m||13.12 ft|
|Length||9,91 m||9.84 ft|
|Height||1,20 m||3.28 ft|
|Empty||74 kg||163 lb|
|Fuel & Oil||kg||lb|
|Max. permissible||375 kg||827 lb|
|Vne - Max speed||220 km/h||137 mph|
|Vno - Max.crus. speed||km/h||mph|
|Max. rate of climb||150 m/min||500 ft/min|
|Range||17 min||17 '|
|T.O distance to 50 ft||600 m||656 yds|
|Landing distance from 50 ft||400 m||437 yds|
They did not work with Jet-A1, but with LPG. This solution allowed a substantial gain in weight (taking into account the specific mass of LPG compared to that of kerosene). The maximum range was 17 minutes.
While the MC15J retains the overall dimensions of the original cricri, it is subject to some modifications: its front is modified to accommodate the larger oil tanks and the connecting arms carrying the turbojets. Finally, the LPG tank, structural, is installed under the seat of the pilot. It is filled by plugging it into a traditional gas cylinder.
Starting was carried out using an air compressor. Throttle was gradually opened until the idling speed of 22000 rpm was reached.