Experimenter

MAR 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

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20 Vol.4 No.3 / March 2015 TEAM MINI-MA X TEAM MINI-MAX LLC is a relatively new company with old roots. Since August 2012, the director of operations for the United States has been David Cooper of Niles, Michigan. The com- pany's current business plan is centered on offering homebuilders no less than nine airplane models. Team Mini- Max is also a full-service aircraft supply house offering products ranging from downloadable aircraft plans to tradi- tional pilot supplies. Team Mini-Max can supply most products typically ordered from suppliers, such as Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., Sporty's Pilot Shop, or Wicks Aircraft Supply, at a savings, as well as raw materials such as aircraft quality wood and fabric covering materials. Mini-Max air- craft kits can be purchased as precut material packages or the AeroMax CNC laser-etched rapid-build kit. Think Minimum cost and Maximum enjoyment, and you have the concept of the Team Mini-Max line of small, simple, easy-to-construct homebuilt airplanes. If you read various Internet blogs, you may get the impression that true light flight is unobtainable for the average or limited-income person, and that ultralight flight is dead in the United States. But a dedicated international group of individuals, working together as a team, have been doing a fine job of keeping the dream and the reality of personal flight at a reasonable cost alive and well. You are able to join in those activities, thanks to the dedi- cation and efforts of individuals such as the late EAA Ultra- light Hall of Famer Wayne Ison, who in the early 1980s had the concept of building a simple, inexpensive airplane that was quick and easy to build. Many people believe that Ison's designs are more fun to fly than the bigger, faster, more com- plicated, and expensive aircraft of traditional aircraft manu- facturers. The adoption of the light-sport aircraft (LSA) regulations in place of the ultralight training exemptions has made this trend more predominant. But, many new LSA cost more than $100,000 U.S. and are beyond the reach of typical wage earners. Not so for builders of the Team Mini-Max designs. In exchange for 300 to 500 hours of building time and reduced performance expectations, one can easily take one of the zeros off the otherwise typical aircraft price tag. A little scrounging, more do-it-yourself ingenuity, and elimi- nating frills can scrape even more dollars from the final cost. In the early 1980s, prior to the adoption of FAR 103 ul- tralight regulations, Ison built the PDQ and later the PDQ2, both very minimal and basic single-seat aircraft with fabric covering over a wood wing and aluminum frame, and an over-the-wing, strut-mounted pusher engine. Ison went on to design airplanes and sell plans by founding Ison Aircraft in Bradyville, Tennessee. He worked with Fisher Aircraft to develop the FAR 103-compliant FP-103 and other high- wing, tractor engine configurations using similar light- weight, easy-to-build, all-wood construction. When Ison and his associates began selling plans and kits, they formed TEAM Incorporated, an acronym for Tennessee Engineer- ing And Manufacturing. Wayne Ison shows off the PDQ-1 at an early 1980's EAA Oshkosh Fly-In. The shoulder-wing PDQ was Ison's attempt at a low-cost, easy-to-fl y machine. It pre-dated the establishment of the Part 103 ultralight rules. Skip Little frequently demonstrated the capabilities of the TEAM Mini-Max at fl y-ins around the country. Photography by EAA and Dick Stouffer

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