Jeanneau, the parent company of Microcar, began as a builder of fiberglass pleasure boats, but soon turned to the production of sans permis microcars – cars small enough to not require many of the legalities of full-sized cars.
The culmination of the Flying Flea design came in 1996 with their introduction of this model, the HM.1100 “Cordouan”, named for a famous French lighthouse. The HM.1100 is equipped with ailerons on the rear wing, so that it can be controlled in three axes (yaw, pitch, and roll).
In November of 1934, Mignet published Le Sport de l'Air which included all the dimensions, plans, and tools needed for readers to build their own HM.14, the first of the Flying Fleas, or Pou du Ciel (literally translated as “Louse of the Sky” in French).
Weight- and space-saving was the goal of Henri Mignet when designing the HM.16, itself a derivative of the earlier HM.14. Even though Mignet did fly the HM.16, he himself did not feel it was very safe. He never sold the plans and therefore never authorized anyone else to fly this model.
The HM.280-290 series marked the beginning of the distinctive folding-wing design. This added weight, yet it satisfied Mignet’s intent for homebuilt planes to be stored in garages and to be able to be towed to an airfield.
Colonel Albert Eon, head of the French resistance in Brittany, approached Henri Mignet in 1944 with a set of criteria for a small military plane. Devastated by his wife’s death during the design phase, Mignet was only able to complete the prototype, designated the HM.280 “Pou Maquis” (maquis was the name given to French Resistance Fighters).
In 1928, Henri Mignet wrote a series of articles in the French aviation magazine Les Ailes (“Wings” in English) about the development of his new plane, the HM.8 Avionette. He described how, with little money and limited know-how, the average person could build an airplane themselves.
Mikrus (pronounced Meekroos, meaning: “little tyke” or “midget”) is a Microcar built in Poland between 1958 and 1960. The design brief titled “4 x 4” called for a 4-wheeled car,able to carry 4 people (2 adults and 2 children) while achieving 4 liters/100kilometers (59 mpg) and weighing 400 kilograms (882 lbs).
In 1994 BMW purchased Rover Group which included the Mini brand. In 1995 BMW began working on a replacement for the legendary Mini which had been in production since 1959. Rover continued to produce an updated original Mini during this transition period.
Victor Bouffort was a brilliant French engineer whose designs included the Lohr Fardier, a small utility four-wheel drive vehicle used by the French military, and the Valmobile folding scooter. By the late 1960s, Bouffort had become increasingly aware of traffic congestion in cities such as Paris, and decided to do something about it.