John indicates the AeroMax is now up and
flying, and he is just finishing off the flight testing
program, and has found that the planes performance is very
similar to that of the Hi-Max, and in fact replicates the
performance of the original AirBike. With of course the
difference between the two aircraft being that the AirBike
used a steel fuselage, while the AeroMax uses all wood
construction. Another advantage of the wood construction is
that it gives another 14 inches of wing area because of the
additional width of the fuselage where the wings attach.
The wing used on the prototype AeroMax also
has an extra wing bay, the reason for this is that the wings
were originally designed to fit on a Mini-Max that was being
used by Larry Israel to demonstrate the Citroen automotive
aircraft engine conversion that he was looking at offering
to the public as an economical replacement for the Rotax
line of two-stroke aircraft engines.
The prototype AeroMax is being powered by
the Hirth F-33, twin cylinder opposed, two stroke, 50 hp
engine, with electric start, using a belt drive reduction
system. John reports that the engine smoothly at cruise but
runs a little rough at idle. He also reports that it
economical to operate, compared to the Rotax 503. John is
using a three blade Kiev or Hot Prop, and has found it to be
quiet and efficient.
Cruise speed on the AeroMax at 5000 RPM
comes in at around 60 mph. The plane climbs out between 700
and 900 ft./m, with the stall coming in at around 28 mph.
The AeroMax uses standard stick and rudder taildragger
controls, with a center mounted stick. The pilot can enter
the cockpit from either side, and when seated straddles the
fuselage with his legs located on the rudder pedals which
are outside and forward of the cock pit.
John indicates that while this is a little breezy, it is
very comfortable and gives a sense not unlike that of a
motorbike. But for those pilots flying in colder weather a
set of optional fairings for the rudder pedals will be
offered, as well as a set of lexan wind deflectors located
on the sides of the windshield.
The brakes are operated via a single brake
lever located on the joystick. The prototype AeroMax is
equipped with an EIS engine monitoring system, airspeed
indicator, altimeter and compass.
The plane is equipped with two wing tanks,
and comes with a site meter for a fuel gauge. The pilot
flies on both tanks all of the time. The throttle is located
on the left-hand side of the airplane right beside the
pilot's knee. A seatbelt and shoulder harness are used for
pilot restraint. John says "the AeroMax is designed for any
size pilot, the bigger pilots just have a little more
hanging out in the wind."
Another thing that shorter pilots will
find attractive about the AeroMax is that even at 5 foot six
I was still able to see clearly over the nose, and
visibility on either side of the plane was exceptional. The
AeroMax can also easily accommodate pilots of over 6 feet
with still plenty of headroom.
John reports that the plane has very good
ground handling characteristics for a tail dragger, but does
require a little more pilot experience when landing in a
cross wind, because of the enclosed fuselage and large tail.
The AeroMax also comes with a set of
drooped wingtips which contribute to its docile stall
characteristics, and John indicates that with a little power
on and nose up attitude he can fly the airplane comfortably
down to 22 mph indicated.
JDT Mini-Max LLC
For more information on the JDT Mini-Max line of aircraft
PO Box 308
Nappanee IN 46550