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Team MINIMAX 1500R


A few years ago, when I was at flying school, I saw what seemed to be a big model aircraft landing in a airfield. After a closer inspection I found out that it had in fact all the features of a real plane. The writing on its side said Team Minimax. Since then I have seen a huge number of ultralight models: many of them changed according to fashion, but Minimax has always been there, in various versions, each one more beautiful and up-to-date than the one before.
I think that the reasons of such a big success are that Minimax is extremely simple to build, reliable and cheap.
A few months ago Team, the American company marketing it, sold Kit N 1000!
For all these reasons a couple of years ago I decided to build myself a Minimax and I am really satisfied with the result.I chose model 1500 R (R is for Rotax) equipped with a 40 hp Rotax 447; the cabin has a lexan shelter and is open in the upper part.
The fuselage has a wooden lattice frame (spruce timber) and is closed by sheets of mahogany plywood in the front part. The wings have two spars with ribs and anti-drag diagonals, again in spruce timber. The leading edge is made of birch plywood, as most of the various gussets.
The metal parts are only the wing struts (aluminium 6061), the axle of the main landing gear (steel 4130) and the various stirrups, bushes and control levers. The bolts and nuts provided with the kit are all of aeronautic AN kind. The wing tanks (optional) are in plastic material. The engine cowlings and the wing tips are in fiberglass, the propeller nose cone is in Kevlar.
I am not going to expatiate upon the building details, which maybe I will explain in a separate article in the future. The building plans are really good. The building workbook gives the essential information, though some imagination is necessary for finishing some parts (e.g. installation of the engine, fuel supply lines) which are not very well explained.
A very useful help came from the newsletters of the British Minimax Club by John Hamer. The beauty of Minimax is obvious to anybody when it is on the ground, but it is in flight that one can appreciate the qualities which made it deservedly famous.
The take-off is as short as one can wish. My I-4426 takes 40-50 meters to take the wheels off the ground, and without forcing! After the ascent at 45 mph, the cruising speed can be regulated at 60 mph at 5000 rpm. At this speed I could calculate a consumption of 13 lt/h (in summer), which is not low for this kind of aircraft. However, the fact that the cabin is open and that, despite appearances, Minimax is not extremely aerodynamic, are two factors which must be taken into account. With a closed cabin and frapperons reflex (which I did not assemble) the consumption can be fairly easily reduced to less than 11 lt/h. Controls are pretty sensitive in flight; controls with rigid rods instead of push-pull cables would give a better result. The adversed yaw is very scarce due to the differentiated movements of the ailerons.
When landing, after the approach at 50 mph it becomes clear that Minimax is a rather friendly 'taildragger', which is also due to its low speed and light weight (142 kg, 313 lbs). After touching the ground with the stick fully back, most of the times it is necessary to throttle and taxi for 4/5 of the strip to reach the parking place! It is a plane that I recommend to everybody, also because it offers good quality at a moderate price. A finished Minimax costs no more than about 15 millions liras, apart from assemblage!.
Flavio Giacosa
P.S. My children seem to like my plane too!

Specifications provided by Team Aircraft

mod.1500 Rmax speed VneKm/h 160 - 100 mph address
wing designwing design strut bracedcruise speed VcKm/h 104 - 65 mph TEAM Aircraft
Tennesee Engineering and Manufacturing
10790 Ivy Bluff Road
Bradyville, TN
tel. 615 765-5397 - fax 615 765-7234
materialswoodstall speed (flaps)Vs0km/h 45 - 28 mph
engineRotax 447stall speed Vs1Km/h 53 - 33 mph
empty weightKg 122 - lbs 313rate of climbm/sec 5 - 1000 fpm
gross weightKg 253 - lbs 560takeoff roll30 mt - 100'
heightcm 152 - 60"landing roll64 mt - 250'
wing spancm 762 - 25'plans$ 125.00
lenghtcm 487 - 16'Kit price $ 3.295
wing areamq 10,45 -112.5 s.f.'dealer---


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