Max has built several other light aircraft including a twin
engine Lazair from a kit, and a Zenair 701 from plans. While these were
well designed aircraft Max decided after nearly twenty years of coming to
Airventure that if he was going to build another plane it would have good
design but also be "designed for looks."
"People are always trying to build ultralights that are
inexpensive, or efficient, I don't care about efficiency or inexpensive, I
really want is a plane that looks good!"
So by using a very light weight Kawasaki engine, and a
variety of curved fibreglass surfaces Max was able to give the Grand Spree
a classic shape like reminiscent of the 1930's era.
Max built his craft in a 15 foot by 15 foot square area,
using a four foot brake, simple hand tools, riveters, and other tools
acquired from his other projects.
The fuselage is a "stressed skin" over bulkheads and
doublers which run the full length of the craft. The only welding is a few
parts in the landing gear, and some of the control stick base. The rest of
the plane is riveted together using Avex pop rivets.
While Max had designed the fuselage, landing gear, tail
section, and engine area he decided that to purchase a set of plans for the
Hummel Ultracruiser and use that wing design because he knew that the
Ultracruiser wing was built to carry the same weight and fly a the same
speeds as the Grand Spree.
The control system is standard three axis, stick and
rudder control with three quarter span ailerons.
Max is powering the Grand Spree with a Kawasaki 340 of
approximately 32 horsepower, using a Manta 2.5 to 1 belt reduction drive.
Max expects this will give him a cruise speed in the 60 to 65 mph range, a
stall in the 25 mph range and a climb rate of around 500 feet per minute.
With the BRS ballistic parachute system that he has built
into the plane the Grand Spree comes in right in the area of a legal part
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