This tiny, lightweight motor first became popular in Europe, especially with competition pilots. It’s light weight and low fuel burn for the power produced made it perfect for competition pilots and everyone else. It can get over 100 lbs of thrust with a 48″ prop. Miniplane, the builder, was first to put it on their paramotor frame but soon began selling the engine others.
Many instructors complained about maintenance issues because certain aspects were difficult to troubleshoot and repair. For example the dreaded power fall-off, where it goes to full power for a few minutes then tapers down. The pull start system is a bit challenging to work on and, depending on the problem, can require removing 15 or so rivets to get to it. The cooling fan is housed in that same unit so it must be deriveted (which admittedly is surprisingly simple) to replace.
This motor, like all small displacement machines, gets its power by running at high RPM – over 9000 – so it requires more frequent rebuild if run hard.
Throttle response is quite good on a properly running motor. I’ve heard pilots complain about this and indeed I’ve flown those with a slow response but that’s because there’s a problem. A normally running Top 80 is quite nimble.
This is probably the most impressive motor for the amount of power delivered per pound of weight. It enjoys US support (link above) and a loyal following although it is now sold on very few production units in the U.S.
1. Use a resistor plug like the BR9ES or a resistor cap like the NGK EM05 which denotes a 5k ohm resistance. Do NOT combine the two resistance devices lest the spark be too weak.