Good News #1: I have been Covid-free for a month now. But my lungs are still not fully recovered. Every hockey game I play gets a bit better however so I think in some weeks or months I will be fully recovered. At least I hope so. Need to get my blazing speed back. Oh wait, I never had blazing speed. I may be old but at least I am slow!
News #2: More Vtwin engines arrived and look great! First customer collected his engine the week and he will begin installation to his trike in a pusher configuration. I will post photos when available.
Another engine arrives this week to Tech Pro in the Czech Republic. They already have our CAD files and will be responsible for the final details of the Merlin installation such as the exhaust and cowl.
Photos: VTwins arrive to Dayton with another one sent to the Czech Republic for the 2nd Merlin installation and the cowl fabrication. 2nd image is two of three Vtwins. Another VTwin is already in the customers shop. 3rd image is our dual high pressure fuel pump drawing. High pressure for the fuel injection and dual pumps for redundancy. Pumps are in stock and the custom fittings are at the weld shop.
News #3: I am writing this blog while cramped into an economy seat midway over the Atlantic as I am returning from a very productive meeting with Tech Pro in Olomouc. I also got a few new teeth in Prague. I have an excellent dentist there. I know, long way to go for a cleaning but well worth it for quality service at half the price in USA. But I digress. I had a big agenda for this trip. First off was inspecting the 8 Merlins getting prepared for the next two container shipments. And they look great! I will have happy customers and hopefully zero back-orders. Almost everything is already done.
Merlin QBKs getting ready to ship. Aircraft for the next two containers are mostly finished with plenty more queued up.
Digression #2: I booked my Prague ticket after the December lock down was lifted. But it was reinstated again shortly before this trip. Tourists were banned. That was actually kinda nice. But all restaurants and pubs and most hotels were closed. Only essential shops like grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores and flower shops were open. Don’t know how flower shops made the list. Never have been essential to me but that might explain a lot….
Most grocery stores also well some small household or office supplies but they were not permitted to sell those items as it would not be fair to the small shops that were forced closed. At the check out my couple of beers were approved but the tape and scissors I needed to box up some parts were confiscated. Malls were open but 95% of the shops in the malls were closed.
Nearly empty mall with a few food court shops open for take-out. Of course the mall cop busted me for not having a mask while drinking my beer. Actually found a better use for the masks….
News #4: The new long wing for the Merlin Lite is nearly done. And as expected it is truly a work of art. Built to withstand + 4 G’s but without an ounce of extra aluminum. The skins will be installed, and the wing set shipped this month in the next container. I look forward to test flying it and comparing performance to the original shorter wing. The span and huge 3-hinged Fowler flap are designed to meet the Part 103 24 knot stall speed and I am quite sure it will. The test is not even at gross weight but with a 170 lb pilot only. This rule was written in the early 1980s when 170 lb pilots existed.
The wing is nearly ready for top and bottom skins and will be shipped with the next container later this month.
News #5: The Merlin Lite video on YouTube has gone viral with over 102,000 views. I just need to watch it another 100k more times…
News #6: The Merlin Lite design is getting updated based on my test flights and design objectives. Here are some sneak peeks:
There is a pretty big design change you can see above if you are paying attention. But by now my 12 readers’ eyes are glazed over.
News #7: That’s not enough already? After the dust settles from this trip, and it warms up some up north, I will fly up to Dayton to finish a Merlin in the build center and prepare the shop for the next container with 4 more Merlins and the Merlin lite long wings. Plus continue the parallel installation we are doing with the Vtwin to the Merlin. But first I need to play some ice hockey to see how the new teeth hold up.