Colomban Cri Cri

This aircraft was designed by the French aeronautical engineer, Michel Colomban in the early 1970's. It first flew on July 19, 1973 with two 9 hp Rowena engines.

The engines for the Cri Cri have always been it's weakness. Since the first Rowena 9hp chain saw engines were attached better engines have been sought after. Quickly, the designer, needed larger engines and found the Valmet and then the JPX PUL 212.

The 1998 version of the Cri Cri, the "MC 15 S", has a pair of 15hp single cylinder Solo 210 engines. Even with this hopefully better engine, builders seem to be continually searching for more horsepower, more reliability and less weight while balancing this with cost. The eternal struggle in picking aircraft engines is the quintessential problem for the Cri Cri.

Since the design was first released in the early 80's more engine choices have become available from many areas. Industrial engines, go-karts, motorcycles, parasailing, radio control, drones, chain saws and turbine applications. Even though many of these engines have many redeeming qualities one must never forget that the environment of flight does put unique demands on engines. Many of these engines are designed to be land based, stationary engines and therefore have not anticipated the rigors of flight. The quality of these engines should become evident when you look at durability and reliability. Simply put, they were not designed for the job.

wing span
wing area
empty weight
useful load
gross weight
fuel capacity
2 x 15 Hp
Fixed pitch propellers
12 ft 10 in
16 ft
34 sq ft
160 lbs

380 lbs
6 US gals, 35 lbs
345 miles


takeoff distance, ground roll
rate of climb
max speed
cruise speed
landing distance, ground roll
service ceiling
400 ft
1200 fpm
127 mph
115 mph
16,000 ft+

limiting and recommended speeds

design manoeuvring speed (Va)
never exceed speed (Vne)
stall, power off (Vsl)
landing approach speed
160 mph
42 mph

All specifications are based on manufacturer's calculations