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472307 Thumbnail400Australia’s Bayside Bulletin has a story about a fellow who built his own jet – “MT Cotton’s John Gross has flown into the history books in his homemade jet plane. After seven years building the three-quarter-scale Grumann Panther in his backyard shed, John took to the skies this month at the Kingaroy Aerodrome. It is Australia’s first home-build jet and the first light jet plane built by an individual in the world. “ [via] – Link.

Hopefully we can get a hold of him and cook up a how to for MAKE.


  • Kneeslider

    The first in the world? What about the BD5-J, the small jet built from Jim Bede’s plans years ago? It’s the little jet used in an early James Bond (Roger Moore?) movie shown flying through an airplane hanger. There was also an early jet built by a fellow, somewhere around Seattle if I remember correctly, the engine was mounted above the fuselage and the plane had the long wing configuration that looked something like a mini U2.

    • Derek Beath

      With no aeronautical training whatsoever, using a sketch pad, pencil, ruler and Kmart calculator, no outside advice or assistance with a support team, he designed and built this plane by himself, including blowing the canopy etc, etc, and modifying the GET58 engine, fantastic effort for an electrician by trade.

  • JoeyBob

    I am with Kneeslider, the BD5-J was around years ago.
    My brother saw the thing at an airshow, and got to check out the plane in person.
    He is a pilot and A&P mechanic, and was impressed at how tiny the thing was/is.

  • A.W.

    Ah, thankfully someone else has remembered the BD5-J. Looks like Bede is back in business under the name BedeCorp for those interested in making their own.

  • A.W.

    Ah, thankfully someone else has remembered the BD5-J. Looks like Bede is back in business under the name BedeCorp for those interested in making their own.

  • Dan_Kok

    There’s also the Jet Cri Cri:
    http://www.amtjets.com/gallery_real_plain.html
    though I thnk the BD5-J predates that.

    First? No. Third, at best.

  • Petestrash

    It’s certainly not the first home built jet to fly.

    But it may the first designed and built by someone without any aeronutical qualifications, A true homebuilder.

    Anyway there’s more info here for those interested.
    http://www.saaa.com/chapter/fifteen/current_month/Newsletter.htm

    Peter