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
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 103