The weird and wacky names that aircraft have don’t usually include those of insects, particularly parasitic ones but there is no accounting for taste!  From Gnats to Fleas, June Bugs to Crickets, aviation has them all and in this tale we find out about many of them.


The dainty but impressive Folland Gnat which was only slightly larger than the single seat version, the Midge.



The BE2, one of which was unsuccessfully launched from beneath a blimp.


The parasitic Sparrowhawk fighter suspended under the Airship USS Macron.


Another parasite, an F-84 is launched from underneath a modified B-36 Peacemaker.


Two parasites at once… the unlikely combination of a pair of F-84s being towed by the wingtips of a B-29.


The tiny Starr Bumblebee II which was, at the time, the world’s smallest piloted aircraft.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Nick-D, H M Benner, the Royal Navy, Afcrna and the USAF.