BIG BLOG PART 1

So much is getting done I do not know where to start. I will begin my ramble from one week ago and you can weed through to reach the information important to you. Might have to split this into two blogs.

Last week I packed the TrueLite to our boat trailer for transport to our Alabama build center. I easily loaded it onto the trailer myself. I did not fold the wings as keeping them forward kept the tail lighter and was easier for me to push up the trailer ramps.

Rolled it up myself. Easy with wings unfolded. Just used a couple 2 x 8 planks for ramps.

It does only take a few minutes to fold the wings. Very nice. But to tie the TrueLite down securely for a long trip takes a lot longer. This will change when we design a custom trailer with wheel and wing supports. Our plan is to source and customize a small, light trailer that can be pulled behind nearly any car and will be quick and easy to load and off load with one person. Alternatively, one could park a 20 ft container on your local airport and have an instant and inexpensive hangar. Alternative #3 is a box trailer but those are expensive and require an even more expensive truck to pull it.

Our TrueLite demo went to Alabama so:

  1. Paul can fly it.
  2. We can weigh it with accurate DAR digital scales.
  3. Paul can transport it to Oshkosh.

Arrived a few days ago to St. Elmo, AL

The TrueLite draws a crowd.

Paul with a test sit and taxi. Bit of a hurricane nearby so no flying weather just yet.

The BIG NEWS for the TrueLite is our official weighing.

We closed the hangar door and emptied most of the fuel to get a TRUE empty weight.

The TrueLite weighs only 265 LBS. with a chute!!!!! The Part 103 limit is 254 lbs. plus a 24 lb. allowance for the rescue device. This means the TrueLite is a full 13 Lbs. UNDER the 278 lb. Part 103 limit.

Even better, the empty weight without the chute will still be under the Part 103 limit of 254 lbs.

We have another Vtwin flying!! This one in Canada, eh?

Another 4 Merlins arrived at our St. Elmo build center. Merlins are stacking up, but short term. Soon, we will have all the parts and issues sorted and we can finally block out the sun with all the Merlins flying!

We will have one of these new Merlins on display in our booth at Oshkosh. I trailered it to our R&D center in Dayton, Ohio.

This 18-foot trailer was built custom for hauling Merlins around. Trailer notes: The ramp is called a beavertail. that means it drops down very low and makes it super easy to roll the Merlin or TrueLite or Merlin Lite into it. And it is 8 feet wide and high so not issues with the tail feathers. Plus, it has power for lights and tools. The truck to pull it is also hybrid with an inverter, so we have power to run the trailer to power tools, or maybe a blender and a grill instead….

Spoiler Alert: This gray Merlin will have our first HYBRID power system. For details: Come to Oshkosh.

We installed some mounting racks for the wings. Note that the wing pictured is the Merlin Lite short ultralight wing. We will display it on a Merlin Lite at Oshkosh along with the long wing on the other side. Expecting some interesting comments from the Oshkosh crowd. Great for left patterns?

BONUS CONTENT: The new Starlink Mini just started shipping. Early adopters of Starlink were offered the first release and ours was just dropped by the garage. Of course we had to create an open the box video.

You can see the size difference. We are already designing the mount to the top of the Merlin fuselage. It will be active on the Hybrid Merlin at Oshkosh. Our mobile hotspot is 3D! I am looking forward to watching Netflix on my next cross country! But the real value is the potential to have navigation capabilities when GPS is compromised.

https://youtu.be/CAqM-XEYxwU

Self promotion: LOL

Patent #5 arrived. This is a continuation of the DEPOD innovation with more claims added.

I know more than a few readers were expecting some Merlin upgrade news here and read this far for nothing. But don’t panic, I have plenty to write about. Been too busy getting chit done to talk about it!

Part 2 is next. Watch this space.

CHIP