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Foot Launch Wheels Packages Buyer's Guide
Paramotors > Foot Launch > MiniPlane
 
miniplane  

Light weight, solid track record

Light, affordable, reliable
The Italian made Miniplane has been on the market for many years. Its mission: to be light, affordable and reliable, all at the same time. Revised several times over the past 15 years, the miniplane frame and Top80 engine, both made by the same company, have accomplished this goal so well that it has been one of the most popular paramotors in the world, particularly for lighter pilots. Recently the miniplane has made available larger engines, the Thor 130 and the Manari 180.

Sacrificing strength
Part of how the Miniplane achieves its light weight is to sacrifice strength while avoiding expensive materials like titanium. The result is a somewhat flexible cage and more fragil frame. For experienced pilots and good students with proper instruction, this sacrifice in strength is not an issue. During transport, the miniplane does require a bit more care.

 
Miniplane Models
 
model engine power drive clutch starter hang system propeller frame weight price
Miniplane                    
Top80 PSF 80 cc 15 hp gear yes manual high wood, carbon option aluminum 43 lbs $5200
Top80 ABM 80 cc 15 hp gear yes manual low ws wood, carbon option aluminum 46 lbs $5750
Thor 130 PSF 125 cc 22 hp gear yes flash high wood, carbon option aluminum 51 lbs* $6200
Marnari 180 ABM 180 cc 25 hp belt no manual low ws wood, carbon option aluminum 52 lbs* $5750

* manufacturer's specifications

miniplane
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miniplane paramotor in flight
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Engines

Top80 engine
The light weight Top80 engine is manufactured by the same company that makes the Miniplane. Because the Top80 has been around for so long, many are familiar with it and know it's idiocracies, which are a fact of life for all paramotor engines. Even though the motor is only 15 hp, there are pilots over 200 pounds flying the miniplane at sea level. However, in general we recommend pilots over 185 pounds move up to an engine with more power.

Thor 130 engine
Miniplane recently started offering the Pollini Thor 130 to accomidate heavier pilots. Pollini has been building scooter and racing engines for decades and recently starting building engines specifically for powered paragliding. After a few issues, the Thor 130 has developed a proven track record. The Thor 130 is smooth, powerful, and has a flash manual starter that is easy to pull. One drawback to the Thor 130 is that it is heavy.

Minari 180 engine
Miniplane recently started offering the Minari 180 cc engine. This engine is very similar to the Vittorazi Moster 185 since Minari actually makes many of the parts for the Moster. The Minari is light weight like the Moster and has proven to be reliable. Currently the Minari is not available with a clutch but they are reports indicate that there will be one available soon.

engine manufacturer size clutch power* weight*
EOS 100 Booster EOS 100cc yes 21hp 9.75kg
Top80 Per Il Volo 80cc yes 15hp 12.6kg
Thor 130 Pollini 125cc yes 21hp 13.8kg
Moster Plus Vittorazi 185cc yes 25hp 14.2kg

* manufacturer's specifications

Features

Frame
The miniplane frame is modular and transportable. The bottom section below the tank completely detaches. The frame can accomidate a PSF high hang point harness or an ABM low hang point weight shift system.

Cage
The miniplane cage is light but flexible, so extra care must be exercised with this part of the paramotor. The outer ring consists of four flexible fiberglass rods, connected by aluminium sleeves, held together by pressure along the circumfernce of the ring. The spokes of the cage are tapered carbon fiber. The cage system is held together by axial tension towards the center of the paramotor provided by tightening the net. This clever system is very light, and although not as strong as other cages, if you do brake it, the parts are modular and can be easily replaced at relatively low cost.

Weight shift or high hang
Miniplane is available in two harness configurations, the ABM weight shift, and the PSF high hang points with solid under arm J Bars. The ABM is more responsive and provides more visibility for shorter pilots. However the PSF is a little easy to learn and has more room for larger pilots. The ABM is $550 more than the PSF. Miniplane pioneered this type of weight shift system and the concept has caught on with most major brands.

Harness
Harnesses are available in two sizes, medium and large. Most pilots will choose the large. Recently miniplane is now offering the new Super Light Air Back Support Apco paramotor harness.

Propellor
All miniplanes are equipped with a wood propellor. You can upgrade to a 130 cm carbon fiber propeller. However, the 130 cm prop does not provide much cage clearance and is for experienced pilots only.

Frames compared

New Frame is...

  stronger
  disassembles to smaller size
  easier to repair
  2 pounds heavier
  available on the ABM, not the PSF

The miniplane frame has recently been updated. It's stronger and more transportable than the previous version. It's also easier to repair if it's damaged. The photos to the left compare the previous frame to the new frame. The cage ring and net remains the same but a couple of the spokes have slightly different lengths. The ABM uses the new frame. The PSF is only available on the original frame.

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