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Taylor Micro-Imp

tay-mini-imp


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 a 25-hp Revmaster converted 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 Citroen 2CV engine has been extensively modified to provide an excellent, low cost, durable, aircraft power plant and includes such features as solid state magneto, anti-reversion exhaust manifolding, injection carburetor, electric starting with alternator, etc.

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.

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.

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.

Designed in 1975, first built in 1976.

The limited tooling for the Micro-IMP and the production rights to the design were in the possession of the Mini-IMP Aircraft Company. 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 were being made available on a compact disk.  While there are no plans at this time for Mini-IMP Aircraft Co. to develop the design, they were interested in a joint venture with interested individuals or companies to further refine and market this aircraft.

Engine: 620cc Citroen 2CV, 25 hp
Gross Wt. 700 lb
Empty Wt. 360 lb
Fuel capaci¬ty 7 USG
Wingspan 27’
Length 15’
Max speed: 120 mph
Cruise 110 mph
Stall 45 mph
Climb rate 500 fpm
Takeoff run 800 ft
Range 500 miles
Undercarriage: retractable

 

 


Range 500 miles

 

 


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