Entries by Chip

Pre-Oshkosh Catch-Up

This is a month long trip: First week to Prague and Olomouc, then to Dayton to finish a Merlin and pack for Oshkosh. Then to Oshkosh for the marathon show, then ferry a couple aircraft to Mt Vernon in advance of the Midwest Expo in September, then drive to Florida. And shortly return to Dayton […]

Merlin Lite Long Wing Installed

‘Bout time. But these things take a while. Design, parts fabrication, assembly, fine tuning, shipping, more assembly, installation…. I really love precision matched-hole technology. Rivets mostly just drop into place. The wing spar bolts fit perfectly. Ailerons and flaps connect nearly perfect. I did have to fabricate new flap actuator arms as these huge 3-hinge […]

Merlin Lite Weight

As we progress with the Merlin Lite development we will be collecting data for our ‘self-certification’ documentation. The Part 103 rules are pretty simple. Stall speed, top speed, single-seat, 5 gallons fuel maximum and 278 lbs empty with a rescue chute. Of course we will be conducting a lot more tests than that to be […]

Dayton Trip

This last week was spent in Dayton split between our Phillipsburg Hangar and the AFRL lab. One Merlin build is just a few hours away from completion with the BRS installation basically done and panel mostly wired. We will fabricate some custom composite channels to cover the exposed BRS straps on top of the fuselage. […]

Merlin Vtwin Installation Update

In my 41 years in aviation I have seen a lot of failures, and learned from them (I hope). One of the most famous ones is the Bede 5 with thousands sold with no suitable engine forthcoming. The Merlin has had plenty of good engine choices. Until HKS stopped production and Rotax plans to discontinue […]

Greetings from Prague

Well not really, I was in Prague Sunday morning and playing hockey in Tampa Sunday evening. Had to plan that flight carefully. Not like the flight to Prague. I was all prepared with a negative test plus positive for anti-bodies inside the 72 hour window the Czechs mandated. But I was not allowed to board […]

Container #1 Arrived! And other dribble

Finally. Good timing too, right after SNF show.  I was able to get up to Dayton to meet and unload the container and get the kit deliveries started. It was a real challenge to get this container shipped. The container ships were full. Then the dock workers were overload or understaffed or just plain Covid […]

Sun n Fun

I am conflicted. 6 day air shows in the Florida heat, wind, ants, and sun are a marathon. Plus I actually have to talk to people. Yet this year I was actually looking forward to the show. At least for one day. Would anyone show up? Would the mask police be out with batons? Would […]

Sun N Fun Prep

Sun N Fun starts Tuesday and runs through Sunday. Aeromarine booth is way out in Paradise City away from any contagions besides great aircraft. I know at least one blog reader plans to attend. The other one is stuck on the other side of the pond. Lets start with the Vtwin news. We painted the […]

More Barely Significant News

Today I flew the Merlin Lite. Finally better weather, kind of. MVFR with 1,300 foot ceilings. Perfect for an ultralight to make a few laps around the pattern so that’s what I did. My taildragger skills (or lack of) can always use the practice. I noted the climb was around 500 FPM. Cruise was about […]