Survey - New designs from JDT Mini-Max

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KevinThorp

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As some of you know, JDT Mini-Max produces wood & fabric ultralight & LSA kits & plans. I've been helping them a bit by making 3D models of their potential new designs, to gauge customer interest. We posted a collection of those images here.

Please have a look, then take the survey at the end, to help them focus their R&D efforts on the types of aircraft YOU want to build & fly. Thanks!
 

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cluttonfred

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Wow, I am back to this group after a long hiatus and shocked to see that no one has replied to this thread. Wayne Ison and TEAM were a great company that contributed an enormous amount to aircraft homebuilding and helped a lot of people get in the air for very little money. What happened to them with a bogus lawsuit and the loss of the rights to the AirBike was a real shame.

I am pleased to see that the folks at JDT Mini-Max are still in business and interested in creating new designs (though them might want to make the clearer on their web site). I have looked over the slide show in the link above (lovely artwork, by the way). The news that all the designs will be CNC laser-cut and -labeled quick-build kits is great as long as the price remains modest in the spirit of the original TEAM designs.

Here are my two cents following the descriptions from the slide show:

Mini-Max Lite - FAR 103 ultralight, 24" wide cockpit, mid wing, 28 HP single cylinder engine, tricycle gear or tail-dragger
What's not to like about an updated classic Part 103 Mini-Max with a wider cockpit and optional trigear? Personally, I am only interested in experimenal, amateur-built status so I can log the time, there's always the chance of medical issues, then it would be Part 103 or nothing.

SuperMax - heavy-duty construction, low wing, enclosed cockpit, 28" wide, (easier to climb into/out of), 4-cycle VW engine, 90 mph
Seems to be an update of the old high-powered Eros model combined with the VW model, much better for the, ahem, bigger pilots including me.

AeroMax - Fun, high wing, narrow fuselage, "wide open" cockpit (similar to motorcycle, jetski or AirBike), seating like 50 HP engine, extreme STOL performance
It's too bad about the AirBike rights, as this is clearly an AirBike in spirit but without the simplicity of the original open truss fuselage. Plus, I tend to fly in places that might be a bit chilly for the propwash-up-your-pants-leg routine, but I am sure a lot of people would love it.

Tri-gear version of the AeroMax
A tri-gear option is a great addition to any of the models.

Tundra gear option for the AeroMax ("Runway Not Required!")
Ditto the fat tires and rugged gear.

AeroMax on floats We plan to offer standard and amphibious float kits
Double ditto for the float option.

AeroMax 1+1 - stretched version of the AeroMax, close tandem seating, similar to motorcycle or jetski
Clearly a successor to the two-seat AirBike, the only two-seater that TEAM ever offered if I remember correctly, this would appeal to a lot of people, though perhaps not to me for the reasons I mentioned above.

AeroMax WB - wide body version of the AeroMax, 24" wide fully enclosed cabin, similar to Hi-Max, but easier ingress/egress, bubble lift-up doors
Echoing my first comment, what's not to like about an updated Hi-Max?

HiMax II - 2-seats, 44" wide cabin, bubble lift-up doors, 65 HP engine
Now you're talking. The one thing that kept me hesitating on whether or not to buy a Hi-Max or Mini-Max kit was the lack of a second seat. With a wife and three kids, it's hard for me to justify the time and expense of a homebuilt aircraft that I can't even give them a ride in once in a while.

MiniMax Tandem - mid wing, 2 cockpits, 65 HP engine
Honestly, I think this is a bad idea. The very few tandem, open-cockpit monoplane plans out there makes me think there really isn't that much interest. Plus, the visibility from the rear cockpit would be especially poor in takeoff and landing. In France, Michel Barry's single-seat shoulder-wing Souricette, almost a motorglider, is a very popular microlight. The tandem-seat Souris-Bi, designed as a way an inexpensive way to get troubled kids excited about aviation, was only a prototype because of the terrible visibility from the rear. Another French design much like a tandem Mini-Max, the Alain Leger Pataplume (.pdf file), was later followed by the Pataplume 2 (another .pdf file), partly because of visibility and access issues.

AeroMax Lite - FAR 103 ultralight, open cockpit, high wing, 28 HP single cylinder engine
Of all the AeroMax variations, I think the Part 103 one makes the most sense.

AeroMax Lite WB - "Wide Body" version of the AeroMax Lite, FAR 103 ultralight, 24" wide cockpit, high wing, 28 HP single cylinder engine
So a Part 103 updated Hi Max.

The sport aviation world has changed quite a bit since TEAM's big successes in the 1980s and early 1990s (Sport Pilot, LSAs moving into the niches once occupied by fat ultralights and light homebuilts but often quite expensive, today, worldwide economic downturn). If it were my business and I was trying to focus my efforts by choosing among the designs above, I'd go this way:

  • The AeroMax Lite for the Part 103 crowd with a small two-stroke as a legal ultralight.
  • The AeroMax (open) and AeroMax WB enclosed) for large two-stroke and VW engines as an experimental.
  • The Hi-Max II (perhaps better presented as the AeroMax 2) as a two-seat option. Given the market, though, I think it would make sense to strengthen the design to accommodate the 80 HP AeroVee or 80 HP Rotax 912 engines.

I hope this goes well for you...I'd buy one!

Cheers,

Matthew
 

cluttonfred

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PS--Perhaps instead of the Hi-Max II, there could simple be an AeroMax 1+1 (open) and AeroMax 1+1 WB (enclosed), both with the tandem seating. The Buddy Baby Lakes used that arrangement, solo from the rear with an S-shaped stick. To carry a passenger, the pilot pulled a pin and reversed the stick and moved to the front seat. Only a second set of rudder pedals was needed, no other dual controls.
 

erkki67

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The Website of JDT-minimax would need a serious update and the folks from TAZ do have a hard time giving some kind of news!

A Blog would be a perfect platform to start with for them, as easy to maintain.

bst rgds Erkki
 

Cy V

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Has anyone heard from the JDT guys recently? They haven't posted anything on the Lonesome Buzzards board in months.
 

ecarson

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Northeren Indiana
I love the yellow Super Max. It was in the hanger when I was there. Kinda how I leaned towards the yellow for mine when Im ready. Neat color.
 

lake_harley

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No comment about new designs from MiniMax, but I'm pleased to say I started construction on a MiniMax 21 days ago, with 62 Hrs. of construction so far. I hardly ever did woodworking before, always a metal guy, but I'm finding it quite enjoyable.

Lynn
 

cluttonfred

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I have heard a rumor that they have a new two-seater in the works, I suspect a two-seat Aeromax to replace the old Tandem Airbike. If so, I think that would be a great low-cost addition to the two-seaters on offer.
 

jessfarms

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I think it would be cool if they made an acrobatic mini-max and called it the acromax
I would buy it.
 

Nev25

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Victoria Australia
Wow I missed this thread

. I've been helping them a bit by making 3D models !
Wondeing what software you did it in as Im looking for a (preferably sketchup) 3d Model of the HiMax as Im trying to convert to metric
to make it easier for us Aussies to buy materials

I think a 2 seater anything in the range would be popular and have read there is one in the pipeline but has been for some time
 

Dakota Westin

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Longmont, Colorado
They have the design for the 2 seat Himax but Team says they don't "have a market". Meaning that not enough people have shown them the money. If they were to receive several kit orders they might introduce the airplane. They took the idea to a show and had not one order. The story is on the Lonesome Buzzard forum somewhere.

Good luck on your conversion.
 

PTAirco

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The whole laser cut and labelled parts idea is great, it should keep cost down and make the kits so much more consistent. I think all the designs have some appeal to one particular group of pilots or another, there seems to be something for everyone. At that end of the market, I mean.

I really wish them well. They are a great example of a company that produced successful airplanes that were well-like and then got put out of business by stupid lawsuits. I believe it was a typical case of not the pilot, but his relatives suing the company.
 

theecoop

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Niles,Mi/USA
For those that have not heard, JDT Mini-Max is Now Team Mini-Max which their website is Team Mini-Max Home Page - Team Mini-Max, the worlds best ultralight and light plane kits and plans. their office number is (269) 262-0866 Cell phone (574) 214-3660 for David Cooper Director of Operations- USA Niles,Mi
Many New things are coming to pass, We are working hard to get a Tandem AeroMax, Epic(side - side) High wing, Tandem Mini-max out to the market. you ca also check out our Facebook page http://facebook.com/teamminimax
 

cluttonfred

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Hi, David. We do have a special section for manufacturers' announcements but I am sure folks here would love to see some art and learn more about the new types in development.

The side-by-side high-wing is something folks have wanted for a long time, is it based on the Aeromax?

I'm also interested to see how you manage CG issues in such light tandem designs. Are we talking about 1+1 motorcycle-style seating or tandem cockpits with dual controls?

Cheers,

Matthew
 
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