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.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/471466

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Page 20 of 36

EAA Experimenter 21 TEAM Inc.'s designs included the Mini-Max 103 ultra- light, a mid-wing airplane with the lift struts connected to the landing gear. This aircraft became the prototype for the 1100R sold today. The high-wing version evolved into the 1700R Hi-Max and eventually the AeroMax. The AeroMax is an all-wood replacement for the Airbike. Let's review a little more of the company history. In 1986 a new design adapted the simple, wooden wing construction of the Mini-Max to a high-wing configuration incorporating a narrow, sit-astride, open steel-tube fuselage framework. This unique aircraft, known as the Airbike, was popular and well liked by builders and pilots alike. One Airbike was involved in a fatal accident that resulted in several lawsuits by one individual. That individual lost the court battles as TEAM Inc. succeeded in defending the com- pany. However, the cost of litigation forced a reorganization of the company and removed the Airbike from the TEAM product line. TEAM Incorporated became JDT Mini-Max of Nappanee, Indiana, and eventually Team Mini-Max LLC of today. As a result of the lawsuit, John Graber, David Trump, and Thinus Debeer bought the TEAM Inc. company assets in 2003 and started JDT Mini-Max; JDT being the fi rst initial of each person's name and indicating the down-to-earth fi rst-name friendliness of the organization. Thinus Debeer went on to other business interests while John Graber, the Nappanee, Indiana, connection, retired nine years later, leaving David Trump of Tasmania, Australia, as the sole remaining partner. David Trump retained his ownership interest in the com- pany and, along with fellow Australian David Kyle, continued to provide international product support, including research and development. David Trump has expanded and streamlined the company and has renamed the organization Team Mini-Max LLC in honor of the original TEAM Inc. workers. The expanded team includes David Cooper of Niles, Michi- gan, who represents the restructured company in the United States and is in charge of material receiving, cutting, and shipping. He is supported by Phil Knox and Lowell Farrand in Indiana, who provide metal cutting, fabrication, and CNC laser services, while longtime test pilot Larry Israel of Ohio con- tinues to provide builder support. On the international scene, David Trump's brother, Frank Trump, operates a sales of ce in New Zealand while Kerry-Lee in South Africa assists with marketing. In China, Team Mini-Max LLC is represented by David's relative, Byron Trump, and local James Yan. WHAT ABOUT TEAM'S CUSTOMERS? Team customers must accept three basic premises: First, wood and fabric, the traditional aircraft building materials, are a superior method of aircraft construction. Second, the balance wheel, aka tail wheel,* belongs on the back of the airplane. Third, pilots of experimental aircraft have more fun than "Spam can" pilots, and owners of experimental amateur-built planes should have some time invested in knowing the airplane. The Hi-Max was TEAM's fi rst effort at providing a high-wing aircraft for its customers. The all-wood TEAM product line offered builders the opportunity to work with a material with which many were familiar and comfortable. A later model TEAM Eros with tundra tires skims along a beach. Photography courtesy of EAA and Team Mini-Max

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