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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
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!.
P.S. My children seem to like my plane too!
Specifications provided by Team Aircraft
|mod.||1500 R||max speed Vne||Km/h 160 - 100 mph|| address
|wing design||wing design strut braced||cruise speed Vc||Km/h 104 - 65 mph ||TEAM Aircraft|
Tennesee Engineering and Manufacturing
10790 Ivy Bluff Road
tel. 615 765-5397 - fax 615 765-7234
|materials||wood||stall speed (flaps)Vs0||km/h 45 - 28 mph
|engine||Rotax 447||stall speed Vs1||Km/h 53 - 33 mph
|empty weight||Kg 122 - lbs 313||rate of climb||m/sec 5 - 1000 fpm
|gross weight||Kg 253 - lbs 560||takeoff roll||30 mt - 100'
|height||cm 152 - 60"||landing roll||64 mt - 250'
|wing span||cm 762 - 25'||plans||$ 125.00
|lenght||cm 487 - 16'||Kit price|| $ 3.295
|wing area||mq 10,45 -112.5 s.f.'||dealer||---