Mini-IMP Aircraft Company
The canopy is a shaded or clear, Plexiglasä unit with excellent optical characteristics so that there is a minimum of distortion to forward vision despite the very acute vision angle through it in the forward direction. Two side “opera” type windows permit the pilot to observe the main gear in the extended position. The Plexiglasä canopy can be fitted precisely to the fuselage through the use of patterns which are included in the drawing set. The canopy on the prototype opens to the left on a sealing piano hinge and is restrained from opening too far with a restraint cable. A low-drag installation is obtained by using a removable hex “T” wrench through a hole in the canopy for the outside access handle. The inside handle actuates two hooks which pull the canopy down snug with an over-center motion of the handle to provide inside security and prevent inadvertent canopy opening in flight. The canopy frame is assembled with blind rivet construction. The Plexiglasä is held in the frame with RTV sealant and mechanical restraint in such a way as to prevent inadvertent blow-out. Two pins on the canopy frame guide and align the right edge of the canopy to assure flush alignment on the outside at all times.
The cockpit of the Mini-IMP is entered by merely stepping aboard over the edge, which is only 20 inches high, onto the floorboard where it is possible to stand erect without having to stand on the seat. A hand grip on top of the instrument panel visor is sufficiently strong to permit you to lower yourself into the foam and vinyl upholstered semi-reclining bucket seat. The fuselage is 26 inches wide at the pilot’s elbows which gives plenty of room inside even for a very large person. Seating is extremely comfortable with plenty of leg room for even very tall people, and the seating is wide enough for pilots up to 250 pounds weight. Permissible Center of Gravity travel is sufficient for even very large pilots as well as very small individuals.
The primary flight control is located on the structural angle that forms the right arm rest. The handle is slightly inclined to the left when in the neutral (aileron) position. This permits the pilot to easily rest his right hand against his leg in flight to steady any inadvertent motion of the flight control. The flight control system is a combination of rods for the ailerons and ruddervator mixer with cables running to the tail surfaces from the mixing system. The trim system permits instant trim adjustment and the trim handle position provide indication. There is no “feed-back” between the rudder pedals and the elevator motion of the flight control as is so common with some “mixer” systems which are used for “ruddervators” in some aircraft nor is there any “feed-back” from the elevator trim system in the aileron motion of the flight control. The rudder pedals are equipped with toe brakes and a parking brake pull handle is located on the instrument panel to the right. The rudder pedals are the “hanging” type which leaves the floor boards clear and prevents any possibility of fouling the pedals with anything dropped on the floor. The ignition switch and carburetor heat controls occupy the left hand semi-panel. Engine instruments are located on the center semi-panel between the pilot’s legs, with flight instruments on the main panel ahead of the pilot. The fuel shut off is located on the main bulkhead to the left behind the pilot. The main bulkhead is equipped with a large removable access panel which gives complete access to the magnetos and starter for any service or adjustment, making access to the engine complete on all sides.
The cockpit of the Mini-IMP is fitted with a specially designed semi-reclining fiberglass bucket seat, which is upholstered with deep urethane foam and covered with a durable vinyl cover. The seat folds forward for easy access to the baggage space behind it and is locked in the seated position with two Camlocä fasteners. The seat is fitted with shoulder harness as well as the safety belt. The shoulder harness ties directly to the wing attachments and engine mount cluster so that there is no danger of the shoulder belts tearing out in an emergency or crash landing
The instrument panel of the Mini-IMP is large enough to accommodate up to 8 standard size (3 1/8” diameter) instruments. Other panel arrangements are possible. Vacuum powered instruments are practical since it is easy to mount the driving venturi aft of the cooling fan so that they are not outside and otherwise impair performance. Radio antennae can be installed inside the nose cone or the optional composite vertical fin. The prototype radio installation exhibits excellent performance with the internal antenna. Miniature instruments and radios now available would permit easy installation of complete IFR capability if desired, although it should be pointed out that the Mini-IMP was not originally designed for IFR type flying.
The cockpit is fitted with a fresh air vent control on the left of the instrument panel. The vent gets its air from the nosewheel area without external drag producing openings. The rear of the cockpit can be fitted with a sound blanket, which effectively shuts out engine noise transmitted forward from the engine spaces aft of the rear cockpit bulkhead. The Mini-IMP prototype has not been fitted with a cabin heater. It is anticipated that it would be necessary to include an electrically powered blower in order to move warm air ahead into the cockpit area, and this necessitates the installation of an electrical system with its attendant complication and weight.
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