Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By Tom Lymburn
Minnesota Flyer 

Mystery Airplane: February 2015

Hannaford Bee (Rose Parrakeet)


Tom Lymburn

Hannaford Bee (Rose Parrakeet)

This month's winner Dave Gunderson of Mora wrote, "This little beauty is a Hannaford Bee-model D-1, completed in 1981 by homebuilder John Bright." Joe Connell of Stewartville wasn't fooled either, "I have a Kitfox and used to share a hangar at the Rochester Airport with John Hanson who built a Parakeet." Barry Taylor of Ottumwa, Iowa, called it, "One of my favorite airplanes." Graydon Carlson found the answer in a 1955-1956 issue of Air Progress magazine! Did you note the two different spellings, Parakeet and Parrakeet?

Produced under Group 2 Approval #2-514 of 28 August 1935, by the Jack Rose Aeroplane & Motor Company of Chicago, the Parrakeet has been powered by a Henderson motorcycle engine and Continental, Franklin, Menasco, Poyer, and Scott aircraft engines. The Parrakeet/Bee is of mixed construction with fabric-covered wooden wings, and a steel tube fuselage also with fabric covering. When powered by a 65 hp Continental A65, the 740 pound single seater has a top speed of 127 mph with a range of 300 miles. Wing span is only 20 feet and length is 16 feet, 4 inches. Its agile flight characteristics make it ideal for aerobatics.

It is said that Jack Rose spent around a quarter million dollars developing the Parrakeet, but he sold production models for only $1,475! Foster Hannaford of Mundelein, Illinois, began licensed manufacture and producing kits for the Parrakeet in 1948, later marketing plans as the Hannaford Bee Model D-1 in the 1950's. The plans sold for $85. It has proved a popular homebuilding project.

I photographed John Bright's Hannaford Bee (N9001H) at the Kalamazoo, Michigan, air show back in June 1984. It was powered by a Continental A-65 and was parked in a line of beautifully restored vintage and home built aircraft. N9001H is currently registered to Henry Oshant of Hamilton, Montana. Be patient. Spring isn't far away! Blue skies and tail winds.


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