While cruising the
SportPlane area of Arlington 2004, my eyes took in the sight of an
old friend... one that appeared to have gained some weight. While
this is an affliction that has affected far too many of us (no
comments from the peanut gallery... or the ANN Staff...); in this
particular case the extra weight and width was looking mighty
Some years ago, I flew a delightful little single place sport
biplane called the Mifyter. Then powered by a single Rotax 532 of
questionable horsepower, the little single place Mifyter turned out
to be quite the thriller; it was fun, it was agile, and it had the
kind of manners that would keep the low time pilot out of trouble
but give the old pro something to hang onto.
Well... that was then, this is now.
A new Mifyter has come to the fore. Realizing that the market
for single place sport biplanes was limited, the original Mifyter
was stretched and widened to accommodate a side-by-side seating
arrangement, as well as the ability to break down into two separate
pieces so that the bird could be transported from home to field --
or stored in somewhat tighter quarters for those without ample
hangar real estate.
The new Mifyter II is a $17,995 kit, and even without the
optional quick build kits that will be available soon, it takes
some 650 to 850 hours to build. We are pleased to note that this
kit requires no welding and that most of the fiberglass work has
been completed before hand. The wooden wing includes precision cut
parts, and wing ribs that are built with the Cap Strips already
glued on. The Mifyter II uses Suzuki or Rotax power, so long as
more than 65 horsepower is available. It cruises 70 to 75 mph, with
a stall speed of 35 to 40 miles an hour and has a top speed of
nearly 90 mph. The takeoff roll is 250 feet, landings require 300
feet, and the rate of climb is estimated at 950 feet per
When I caught up with Rod Cowgill, the designer, the bird was
only a few days from flying, and while the workmanship looked
pretty complete, we're glad he isn't rushing the flight test
program. It sure looks cute though, and we've been promised a
chance to play with it at Oshkosh if circumstances permit them to
get their flight test program completed over the next few
Side-by-side biplanes are rare in the sport aviation movement.
Even rarer are those that people can afford; so we think the
Mifyter II has a pretty good future ahead of it, especially when
adorned with a few fake bombs and machine guns... like those we saw
installed on the demo bird at Arlington. So suitably attired,
you're sure to get the attention of all your airport buddies, so
long as no one calls the TSA!
We anticipate checking this critter out in a couple weeks and
look forward to letting you know how it does.