Mini-IMP Aircraft Company
In 1978, with the success of the Mini-IMP program, Molt Taylor and his friend, Jerry Holcomb began construction of the prototype Micro-IMP aircraft. It was intended as an alternative to the then-new “Quickie” aircraft, a Burt Rutan design, which was being offered by Quickie Aircraft Company of Mojave, CA. Like the Quickie, the Micro-IMP was intended to be a very light-weight, low-power and low cost sport plane. Molt and Jerry chose to use a new building material that they had developed for the primary structure, a special resin-impregnated, fiberglass-reinforced paper that they called TPG (Taylor-Paper-Glass)
The Micro-IMP was basically a smaller, lighter version of the Mini-IMP and embodied most of the Mini-IMP features and design ideas. It featured a fully retractable tri-cycle landing gear, full span, reflexing flaperons, a NASA GA-PC(1) airfoil, a unique two-position propeller and a fully trimmable inverted “V” tail.
Molt had intended to have Wicks Aircraft Company, a leading supplier of materials for experimental aircraft builders, provide complete kits for the Micro-IMP, with all the parts pre-printed on the TPG paper stock, so that the builder would only have to cut out the pieces and laminate them with the cloth. The kit would have included all instrumentation and materials to build the airplane. The engine which powered the prototype was an aircraft conversion of the 620cc Citroen 2CV automobile engine which has been produce in the millions in Europe. The engine, which was intended to put out about 32-38 h.p. simply couldn’t be persuaded to put out more than about 16-18 h.p. and thus the prototype was severely underpowered. A planned 800 cc version of the engine never got produced.
The Micro-IMP was finished in 1981 and was last flown at a demonstration during Oshkosh 1982. At that time, the airframe was hung up in the rafters at Molt’s shop awaiting inspiration, time and money to install another, more powerful engine. Prior to Molt’s death, the “hulk” of the Micro-IMP was sold to a teenager in the local area and its whereabouts at this time is unknown.
The design empty weight of the prototype was 250 pounds, but like many good attempts, that goal was not met. The actual weight of the prototype came out at 420 pounds, and that weight, along with the reduced power from the Citroen 2CV essentially doomed the Micro-IMP to questionable success. That it flew at all is a testament to the excellent design of the airplane. Due to other events, notably the Bullet 2100 project and Molt’s declining health, the Micro-IMP was not developed further. Jerry Holcomb went on however to develop, build and fly a refinement of the Micro-IMP design which he named the “Perigee”. Information packages were sold but plans and kits never materialized. Jerry might still be persuaded to resurrect the Perigee if he were suitable persuaded. JHolcomb@pacifier.com
The limited tooling for the Micro-IMP and the production rights to the design are in the possession of the Mini-IMP Aircraft Company. Recently, a large collection of Molt's original drawings and shop sketches for the Micro IMP have been found. These drawings along with a large number of B/W photographs are being made available on a compact disk. While there are no plans at this time for Mini-IMP Aircraft Co. to develop the design, we would be interested in a joint venture with interested individuals or companies to further refine and market this aircraft. Only technically competent individuals or organizations need to apply.
If you are interested in pursuing the development of the Micro-IMP and you meet the technical requirements, please feel free to contact us. Additional information is available on the Micro-IMP by purchasing the informational CD
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