Back at it in Ohio

I just returned from a few days of butt freezing in Dayton and have some progress to report: One butt successfully frozen.

Took a couple days to clear off the ice from the POS van I use there. Destroyed an ice scrapper then a credit card. Had to open the driver door to see to turn left. Happy to be back in Florida. However, next week I fly to the Czech Republic to inspect the next container which will be full of Merlins and Merlin Lites and 750 floats all going to the Sun n Show starting 4 April. Maybe I will get lucky and avoid another ice and snowstorm. But I doubt it.

Here is a sneak peek at the new 750 floats for the Merlin Lite and Electrolite. Fiberglass nose cones and water rudders are now finished as well.

The above photos show some of last week’s work. We have sorted the positions and mounting for the engine components: Exhaust, radiator, voltage regulator, fuel pumps, ECU, and overflow reservoir. We even made a test fit of the cowl and that is looking good as well.

The fuel pressure regular and tank selector mechanism are not shown but have been sourced. It is a bit complicated as there is a fuel return line with fuel injection systems. And this return fuel must feed back to the tank it was drawn from. Perhaps next blog I will detail how we solved that issue. It is eloquent.

As we progress, I am populating the BOM and building the inventory of hardware and USA-sourced items. Tech Pro also confirms that there are 8 more sets of cowls, exhausts and engine mounts near finished. I will go see for myself and make sure they all get packed in the container leaving in 2 weeks.

At the same time, we are mapping out the wiring harness and preparing our custom circuit boards.

What you see here mostly goes behind the panel. There will be the main switches and fuses to the left of the MGL EFIS and another circuit board holding the fuel switches and fuses to the right of the EFIS.

The panel will be laser or water-cut for the switches and above the switches will be the blade fuses. Above the fuses will be a small LED which will only light if the fuse is blown so you don’t have to hunt to find any blown fuse. No one else offers custom-made circuit boards with their aircraft kits that I am aware of.

Our build time of 2 weeks is going to be greatly exaggerated. And in a good way.

Sometimes we get custom painting requests.

Here are a few custom colors with one multi-colored Merlin already delivered.

We are happy to take on custom paint schemes. The process: Download the Merlin 3-view diagram from our builder’s page. Get your crayons out and have at it. Then pick the RAL paint codes you like best. Scan and send to us. We will digitalize it and send to you for approval. Once you agree we will cut full size templates and paint away. Here is one in the paint shop now.

 

 

This kit is planned to arrive to Florida in time to be on display at the SNF show. Come see it! Now you have no more excuses.

CHIP

 

 

GET R DONE!

Here is some big news! Weights of the Vtwin, reduction drive and main components collected. And the numbers are spot on or even below projected!

 

AEROMARINE VTWIN ITEM WEIGHTSLBSKG
VTWIN WITH REDUCTION DRIVE115.6152.44
VTWIN WITH RADIATOR, EXHAUST, SOLINOID, REGULATOR, ECU125.0056.70
INDIVIDUAL ITEMS FOR MERLIN INSTALLATIONLBSKG
REDUCTION DRIVE WITH HARDWARE15.437.00
VOLTAGE REGULATOR1.810.82
ECU0.260.12
SOLINOID0.570.26
RADIATOR3.531.60
EXHAUST WITH EXHAUST PIPES5.732.60
ENGINE BRACKET1.550.71
PRESSURE REGULATOR0.520.24

 

There will be a few nuts and bolts to add plus the cowl and propeller, but it looks like the total installation will be less than the HKS which is what we were expecting.

We are making the first USA Vtwin installation now and weighing parts as we install them. Plus, we are making a BOM and step-by-step photo assembly manual. We have already posted the Redrive to Vtwin installation manual.:

https://www.aeromarine-lsa.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Vtwin-Redrive-Installation-Manual.pdf

We had a couple issues with the first production parts. You can see above the engine mount pick-ups were welded on the wrong side of the bracket. That resulted in me flying back to Florida to wait for 2 new brackets to be fabricated and Fed Ex’d to Ohio. And the express package took a 5-day holiday in Frankfurt. Finally, the new brackets arrived in Ohio 2 days after I did.

Here you can see the new bracket painted and installed lower port side.

Now we have mapped out positions on the firewall for the overflow tank, ECU, voltage regulator, solinoid, and fuel pumps. Everything fits in real nice.

But then…..

What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing if the drawing in the background was a mirror. But it’s snot. At least I can and did fix this myself with some re-riveting. You are looking at the nifty exhaust bracket. There are two of them that attach to the engine by replacing a cover on each side so they have gaskets as well. And by attaching the muffler to the engine we avoid most of the vibration transfer which stresses out the attachment tubes and can result in failures.

We have shipped the first Merlin to Vtwin Firewall Forward Package (FF PKG) to a Merlin builder. He now has all his main components like the engine mount, Vtwin, redrive, exhaust, radiator and cowl. As we proceed with this Vtwin installation in Ohio we are making proper documentation to include the BOM and photo assembly manual. And, of course, we are busy fabricating plenty more FF PKGs to get out to other Merlin builders ASAP.

Plus, we are installing the first deluxe panel with the MGL 8-1/2 EFIS, antennas, EMS-to-Vtwin connections, and custom wiring harness. Expect more blog posts to follow this work. Getting R Done!

In other news another container of beautiful Merlins is shipped and will arrive to our newest build center near Mobile Alabama in a couple weeks. This orange Merlin pictured has a nice slate gray interior and is really sharp.

Plus, we will ship 2 more Merlin quick-build kits and the first 2 Merlin Lite aircraft by the end of February. That container will go to Lakeland, FL so we can offload right to our booth at the show. The first two sets of 750 straight floats will be in this container too. Our SNF booth will be epic!

Watch this space!
CHIP

 

Plenty of News from the Hangar!

But not all of it is good. Let’s get the negative stuff done so we can get on with the good stuff. IMHO best just to tell it like it is.

Shipping of container #3 is delayed until the middle of January.

That is so frustrating. It was supposed to ship in November or even before. Our assembly shop just didn’t get the work done mostly blaming it on not having every part. there was a communication breakdown between them and Tech Pro. I got that sorted and they got the parts. And should have shipped last week but the assembly shop got quarantined. Just our luck. After the holidays they will finish up some painting and load the container with a new ship date of 15 January and ETA to our build center of February.

2021 was actually an excellent year for Merlin sales with some 6 containers of aircraft sold. A lot of this has to do with the new Vtwin 4-cycle engine so lets’ start there.

We had some rough running at idle issues. We spent 2 months chasing down a rabbit hole thinking the ECU needed reprogramming due to the prop and redrive loads. Turns out all we need to do was turn up the fuel pressure higher. Runs so smooth you would think it was not even running. We have a bunch of test runs now. Here are a couple:

https://youtu.be/Ok2fkv8a88c

https://youtu.be/lCuoRYMiyXk

We have engines in stock. We have reduction drives in stock. That is of course very important but useless without the firewall forward installation package. The good news here is that design is now finished, and the first two FF PKGs were shipped this week to our Dayton build center.

Above are the 2 FF PKGs in transit. We have some Merlins collecting dust waiting for these and now finally they are coming. We will make 2 installations in Dayton and one in CZ to control the parts, make the installation manual, and the Bill of Materials list. About the only good news about the late shipping container is that we can include more FF PKGs and finally get these out to our patient builders.

Here are some reduction drive images.  Last week we dismantled this redrive so we can document the re-installation and make the assembly to the engine manual and BOM. Plenty of redrives in stock.

For everyone who has ordered our deluxe 8-1/2 inch MGL EFIS panel we have some good news. Most of our orders have been filled. At one time there was a 5-month lead time due to the microprocessor shortage, but we dodged that bullet.

We are designing a new instrument panel to fit this EFIS. It will be hinged at the bottom for easy access. The switches and fuses are all mounted on a custom circuit board. The panel is laser-cut for this circuit board and EFIS then powder-coated. And all the wiring harness are custom-made to fit including the 3 antenna cables. This very sophisticated and complete panel will have an installation time of perhaps a few hours or a day at most.

This Merlin has a Rotax 582 installed. It is now in the black hole of container shipping on its way to Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it will show up at a future airshow there.

Merlin Lite News:

The 30 lb. 750 straight floats are done. The Merlin Lite on floats is gonna be a blast. And with electric power it will make more than just a splash!

I have been flying the Merlin Lite prototype quite a bit lately. But most of my video cameras did not record and none of the audio was captured. I have bought new batteries and accessories plus another camera. The last flight yesterday was in 12 mph crosswinds with gusts to 16 mph. It was a good test, and the aircraft handled the winds a lot better than the pilot. But cut me some slack after all it is a taildragger. Some of those gear-testing landings will be posted in the future once edited for my ego. Follow the Aeromarine page on Facebook to get a notice when this video is published.

It is clear that we need to build more Merlins and Merlin Lites and even a few of our 2-seat Merlins. In January I will sneak through the lockdown and visit CZ again to address this supply issue. I plan to be flying the Vtwin-powered Merlin and the Polini-powered Merlin Lite then.

I will also have most of the electric powered system for the Electrolite by then. Merlin Lite #2 will have this power system. I might be over the pond for a while to get all this work done. Maybe I should pack my hockey gear.

We won’t have much of a back-log once the airframes arrive to the USA. We are adding a third build center near Mobile, AL. We also plan to bring a 2-seat Merlin to USA to offer conversion training, especially for the Merlin Lite as many of those customers are likely to need some refresher training. More on this new center to follow. Have to sandbag some news for the next blog.

Merry Christmas!

CHIP

 

 

 

Merlin Lite and Vtwin Update

OK here we go with another blog. I know, ’bout time. But I had to have something to report. I still don’t but will give it a go anyway:

Vtwin News: We built a test stand, installed wired, and plumbed the engine, and it fired right up and runs perfect. Stuck a prop on it with same results. Just as we expected. Now we can breath again. I have 20 engines and 20 reduction drives in stock and will start pairing them up and shipping them off soon. This link shows our Vtwin high pressure fuel system with return to feed the fuel injection system.

https://youtu.be/ONJGYrD9XwY

And this link shows our first run with a prop attached:

https://youtu.be/lCuoRYMiyXk

We have two Merlin firewall forward packages shipping by air to us soon and we have two Merlins waiting for Vtwin installations in our hangars. Plus some Merlin builders ready for engines now as well. 5 containers of Merlins sold so far in 2021. That means plenty of engines needed. And plenty of engines and reduction drives in stock too. Plus we are now the 2nd biggest customer of MGL with all the new panels sold.

Last week was vendor-bonding at the Deland airshow. This Merlin Lite prototype has the now patented DEPOD installed in the wings. That got some attention at the show. Our DEPOD not only cuts take-off and landing distances by more than 50% but it also has active envelope protection. That means a loss of primary engine power on take off is a non-event as the aircraft can still climb on DEPOD power and circle back to make a normal landing. Furthermore, the DEPOD eliminates the base-to-final spin, or all other spins for that matter as the computer automatically spins up one motor when needed to keep the ball always centered.

Now the Merlin Lite is back at the South Lakeland hangar and reassembled ready for more fun and informative flights. Expect some new videos!

In production news the first two Merlin Lites are nearly finished and we will begin with both Polini and electric-power installations in early December.

Above you can see finished wings, tails, flaps, and ailerons. The rear and forward fuselage assembles are mostly done as well and will be joined soon. Once we have the airframe assembled we will conduct a W&B exercise to determine the engine and motor positions and then can design and fabricate the mounts.

Watch this space!

Chip

 

 

 

 

2022 Prices? Rut Row

I have been worried a bit about how the world events and pending inflation and work shortages and microchip shortages and F/X changes and freight issues would affect the Merlin line of aircraft pricing. After all I am trying to offer quality aircraft at very reasonable prices.

The good news is I do NOT plan to raise the Merlin or Merlin Lite base prices. Apparently these issues are worldwide so there have not been huge F/X or other swings. The EU government is spending more money than they have just like in USA.

However there are some fine tuning on options and accessories. Strobe lights, upholstery, and the BRS systems have some small price adjustments. At least we will now include a couple fiberglass wingtip fairings with each strobe set and nice custom BRS composite shroud covers.

Other cost considerations like labor and avionics have not yet materialized in increased prices, just longer lead times. But we are getting aircraft and avionics and reduction drives and props and Vtwin engine. All is good. Not great but good.

But freight has to have a more significant adjustment as the costs of shipping containers of aircraft has tripled. At some point the higher cost of USA-based labor is offset by the higher freight costs. In anticipation of this I am planning to move assembly of the Merlin Lite and the  Electrolite to USA in the middle of 2022. But first we have to get production sorted and first deliveries out the door. And it does look like the Electrolite price, which has not yet been set, will be higher than I hoped. But that directly relates to the higher quality components we have selected which will translate into improved performance, endurance, and safety.

There is some real news: The electric system has been bench-tested with our 2-blade carbon prop with excellent results and meeting our expectations. This week we are testing the 3-blade carbon prop. Next blog I hope to post some of these tests and results.

For your viewing pleasure (and lack of anything else to post) here is a sneak peak at the Lake Mango seaplane base. Windsock has arrived and will be installed after this next Dayton trip.

CHIP

 

 

Czech Trip Post: 1. Vtwin 2. Merlin Lite 3. Merlins

So you can skip to the blog of interest:

1: Vtwin stuff

2: Merlin Lite & Electrolite Update

3: Merlins and other dribble

Strange that the first 3 trips this year under the Czech lockdown were a breeze. But as soon as the country opened up it became a lot harder to get in. Nice that the restaurants and pubs were open again but I could do without the tourists. Oh wait, I am one. At least this trip a medical tourist. I took my son there to have some wisdom teeth pulled. Great holiday for him.

MicroChip

You would think a hockey player wouldn’t need to lose teeth voluntarily.

Part 1: Vtwins

Here is an example of a typical Vtwin’s life installed in an ATV. Built to handle this abusive environment. As I like to say “Redneck tested.” Flying in an aircraft is easy work.

Security bolt will be installed for tractor props on the redrive.

Exhaust will be connected to the engine base so it moves with the engine which reduces exhaust pipe fatigue

Radiator is custom-made as it is smaller than the Rotax radiator. Less BTUs to dispel. Cowl is made to match and has better lines

The Vtwin to Merlin installation is pretty much done. We will have a Czech Merlin and a Dayton Merlin flying soon. Finished: Exhaust, cowl, custom radiator, redrive, prop, engine mount, and most of the fuel system. We do need to finish the systems installation, sort a header tank for the fuel return line, and make an assembly manual. We also are reprogramming the ECU. ATVs have no load in neutral but aircraft are turning a prop and reduction drive in idle. We have the cable and software and are working to optimize the engine ECU program to match aircraft operations. We have 20 engines in stock now plus a dozen reduction drives. Shipping Vtwins resumes as soon as we have the ECU reprogrammed.

Part 2. Merlin Lite & the Electrolite

This is taking longer than I expected. For one, the 20+ changes including new engine, new wing, tricycle gear, updated controls, basically results in nearly a new aircraft design. But that was the easy part. Making all the parts and then assembly was hampered by the Czech government paying workers nearly as much to stay home as to work. We know that is not just in the Czech Republic either. But we are getting somewhere. All the parts are made now which is the hard part. Assembly is well underway. I am expecting the first two airframes done this month with the Polini 303DS getting installed on one and electric on #2. Then we will push to get 4 more Merlin Lites done this year.

Merlin Lite #1 gets electric power

This is still #1 but parts for #2 are done and two spar sets are done.

This REB30 motor has 30 kw power with up to 40kw available for take-off.

Aeromarine (that’s me) has patent #2 in progress. This one is for the Jettisonable battery pods. The ribbon copy of Patent #1 will arrive in 2 weeks. That one is the DEP on Demand innovation.

The design of the 750 straight floats for the Merlin Lite is done and most of the parts are made. The floats will be done on time to be installed on the electric powered Merlin Lite. Oh, I forgot, it has it’s own name The Electrolite (TM). Float brackets will be installed on #1. After the flight test program is finished in the Czech Republic we can ship to USA and move right to float operation. I have already figured out my docking station. And not for the notebook!

Something to imagine: A true Part 103 Electrolite with a 40kw electric motor on floats. That is close to 54hp with lightweight straight floats, huge wing, huge slotted flap. Think duck taking off a pond! This product is going to make a huge splash! Figuratively of course.

Part 3: Merlins and other dribble

I hate to make excuses but the container I thought would ship about now won’t ship until mid November. But at least it is close. A couple Merlins are getting some really nice paint jobs. That is always nice. The Czech painting for the most part is excellent and a really good value.

The container after this one is already sold out. 2021 was a record year for Merlin sales and 2022 is well underway for deliveries. The Merlin with the Vtwin is a perfect match.

Dozens of mock-up jigs are made to fine-tune the precision matched-hole programming

I always wondered how they got the holes to line up so perfectly between bent ribs and skins. I thought it was the high-end Catia software. And that is true but that is only accurate to a limit. The CAD designers cut mini tooling to bend then drill small part samples then measure the exact hole position after the part is bent and tweak the software. That is how the Merlin goes together so perfectly without hardly ever even picking up a drill.

 

Here is another interesting jig: This is a cross section of the Merlin fuel tank. It simplifies the bending and installation of the VDO fuel sender. You can also see the fuel pick-up.

BRS bridle covers

This new fiberglass fairing covers the Kevlar BRS bridles from the front spar to the chute cover. When it passes the rear spar the fairing is a bit taller to cover both front and rear bridles together until they slot through the fuselage skin to attach to the chute and rocket. Look carefully and you can see the new aluminum breakaway chute cover. I brought 6 sets of these covers with me on the aircraft. They are too long for the luggage so I just carried them with me. Big boomerangs…..

One last note: The new deluxe panel design featuring the 7-1/2 inch MGL EFIS is pretty much done. Builder Don is working on the wiring harness and custom circuit board for the switches and fuses. This will be one really nice panel with ADSB in and out, traffic and weather overlays, synthetic vision, etc… And take hours instead of days to install. I am keeping him fueled with beer….. Fine line between not enough and too much.

Legal drinking age is 18 in the Czech Republic. Happy Day!

CHIP

 

 

Vtwin news and more Merlin deliveries

Starting with Vtwin installations:

Almost these photos are of the Vtwin being installed on Merlin at Tech Pro Aviation. The firewall forward package is pretty much done! Welding jigs and cowl molds finished. In 2 weeks I will be in Czech controlling and checking this work and inspecting the next 6 Merlins getting ready to ship plus checking on the assembly of the first two Merlin Lite aircraft. One will be Polini-powered and the 2nd will be electric. We will be making bench tests of the new electric power system as well.

The last photo above is a customer Vtwin installation.

We have a batch of reduction drives shipped 2 weeks ago from India. Tracking shows they moved from one part of the post office to another part today. Still in India but looks like they got tired of walking around them and decided to send on their way.

Some Vtwin news: We have 19 in our warehouse and one arriving tomorrow to Dayton. When running the engine there are some idle issues as the ECU is programmed to idle without any load. On an aircraft there is the reduction drive and propeller load even at idle. We need to tune the ECU for this. We have ordered the software and a cable to make this action. We have a test stand, prop, and redrive all ready so after the show I will return to Dayton and complete this new ECU mapping. Then we can get busy shipping engines!

This Thursday the Midwest Expo starts so tomorrow I will drive a Merlin quick-build kit to this show and hand it over to the customer.

Container day! 4 Merlins, a set of 1450 amphibious floats, and some smuggled Slovak beer. Good thing too, gets pretty hot inside those containers. Already delivered 2 of the Merlins. Plus one to the Mt Vernon show, and one stays in Dayton for a build program.

Next road trip and other dribble

Today I leave for Dayton.

Tomorrow the FAA arrives to inspect and issue the airworthiness certificate for a new Merlin with a 582 installed. Then I will test fly and ship. This one is going to Saudi Arabia.

Friday morning the next container arrives with 4 Merlin kits and one set of 1450 amphibious floats. Our hangar will be overflowing.

I will be in Dayton all week working on build programs. Then the week after is the road trip to the Mt. Vernon show 7-9 September. Then a Merlin on display there will continue to its’ new owner in Wisconsin. But he will have to wait until the Packer game is over on Sunday.

Then I return to Mt. Vernon to collect the Merlin Lite and bring it back to Dayton. Then I will take it to Florida to continue the flight test program.

In Vtwin news our dedicated production run of engines built to Aeromarine specifications was finished last week and we are now shipping these engines direct to customers. Our 2nd batch of reduction drives is in stock now and we will simply add some hardware and UPS to our Vtwin customers. Plus the first Vtwin Merlin cowl will be produced next week. The custom radiator and exhaust are both done as well. Now we just need to make a bunch to complete the firewall forward BOM and deliver the entire lot to our builders.

Shipping Vtwins direct by air from our Shanghai fulfilment center

Avionics is now the elephant in the room. I am getting a lot of components in stock but some items have as much as a 5 month backlog due to the microchip shortages. Plan ahead!

Container #3 is now full. I will inspect the Merlin kits on 29 September and ship in October if all is in order. I hope to have a lot of Vtwin firewall forward packages shipped in this container as well.

Container #4 should have 2 Merlin Lites in it. Electric and gas. But that depends on the flight test program that we will conduct in the Czech Republic. We plan to have both aircraft finished together for side-by-side flying and comparisons.

And finally something noteworthy. The recent Dan Johnson video from Oshkosh as posted: https://bydanjohnson.com/video-bonanza-despite-covid-and-distance-fresh-light-aircraft-videos-continue-to-arrive/?fbclid=IwAR2xQ9j2zECD8CGXbYF8teMyU9y3zS8uu2vEms75R9oX8oiah8DfwzI4eyY

Or directly on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Gaah_1WBViU

And no, the DEPOD is not going to be available anytime soon. It is an R&D project for the AFRL. But it sure would be fun installed on an Electrolite on floats. Like a duck off the pond! Hold my beer…..

CHIP

 

 

 

Post Oshkosh Catch-Up

For me Oshkosh #41 is in the books. Little-known fact (keep it that way please) I have had 4 unplanned landings at this show. Might be a record.

The show was very good. Plenty of people. Hardly a mask in sight. More than 8,000 aircraft. Pretty good weather. Huge storm was bearing down directly on Oshkosh with hail predicted and many vendors were scrambling for bubble wrap and carpet padding to cover their aircraft with. I figured the dimples would just improve our cruise like a golf ball. Then this huge cell came right up to Oshkosh with an incredible lightning show, and dissipated. The collective will of the aviators put up a forcefield over the airport. Barely even got windy. Not so lucky in other parts of Wisconsin. Coulda been ugly but we dodged that bullet.

Merlin, Merlin Lite, DEP-OD, and Vtwin all on display on our prime real estate in the main aircraft area. Next year we may have a booth in the ultralight area as well so we can show off the Merlin Lite’s performance.

What’s DEP-OD you say? I just got done answering that question a few thousand times. Check out what Kitplanes wrote:

https://www.kitplanes.com/electrolite-the-hyper-stol-ultralight/

No, this is NOT a current option. It is a research project to prove my innovation. And might be scaled up to a real Hyper-STOL I am designing. But with COVID there has been a shortage of bar napkins so progress is slow.

 

 

Some DEP-OD images

 

Here is what you need to know about the Merlin Lite:

  • Order book stands at 19.
  • All the revisions are done including the tricycle gear.
  • Float design is done and 750 straight floats going into production this week. Only attachment points need refinement.
  • Parts for the first two Merlin Lites are finished.
  • Assembly of these two Merlin Lites has begun.
  • Serial #1 has the new Polini 303DS engine.
  • Serial #2 will be powered by a 30 kw electric motor and 10 kwh battery packs.
  • Motor/controller/battery packs (2)/ and 2 propellers are getting prepared for extensive bench testing.
  • Both aircraft will be flying in 1-2 months. 4 more Merlin Lites will be built this year (cross fingers)

The new long wing was installed with DEP-OD at Oshkosh. The wing is very impressive but I have said that before. Now the prototype is parked at Mt Vernon Airport queued up for the Midwest Expo in a few weeks. This was a logistics decision. Next container arrives to Dayton in 2 weeks. I will trailer one of the Merlins to this show. After the show I will deliver it to the Northern Wisconsin builder. Then I will return to Mt. Vernon to collect the Merlin Lite. Then drive to Dayton. Fly some. Work some. Then finally drive back to Florida. Maybe summer will be over by then.

In Vtwin news:

The factory has all our design change requests and has built one engine to these specs for our review. It is perfect. We even had a custom dipstick made for easy oil checking from a top cowl access cover.

Now they scheduled a custom production run of these engines for us. Enough to take up a lot of space in a container. We have also retained the space and services of a West Coast fulfilment center so we can quickly drop ship these engines directly to customers. This will save a lot on freight costs. We can ship reduction drives and props from Dayton by UPS.

Our Canadian customer is making quick work of his installation.

Oh my, I wrote too much. Signing off,

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 to meet the next container. So many delays. The latest is the container train could not cross Germany due to the flooded railway. But finally in August 4 more Merlins will arrive. And one will leave the nest as it was just finished and awaits the airworthiness inspection.

Finished Merlin above. Finally restaurants are open in Prague. View of the Powder Tower.

In no particular order:

VTWIN NEWS: Plenty of news here. Vtwin engine mount went through a few revisions and is now set. Cowl design is done and mold is already under construction. Firewall forward package will be completed by the end of August and the first batch of packages should be shipped by the end of September.

Photos: Vtwin being installed to a Merlin. Images of the cowl design. Images of the cowl mold and parts of the mold already cut. Our first real batch of 20 Vtwins will be produced to our specifications in the next few days.

This image is of the updated BRS installation. New bridle covers are designed and the mold is being prepared.

750 FLOATS

I flew ultralights on floats in the early 1980s. Soon I will get to do it again. The floats I produced a few years ago are now digitalized and prepared for 3D matched-hole production. Expected weight: 30 lbs each! Part 103 legal!

ELETROLITE: While in the Czech Republic I met with a leading producer of electric power systems for aircraft. We have agreed to make the installation on the Merlin Lite as it is a perfect aircraft to fly with electric power. Light with a long wing. Nearly a self-launching motorglider. In fact it does meet the official definition of a self-launching glider which opens up another market that does not require a medical.

Watch this space for a viable electric powered floatplane!

OSHKOSH: I am packing for Oshkosh now and driving up tomorrow. Another big show, but this year a lot of people are expecting record attendance after being cooped up so long. Come visit! Booth 195.

And you will see our new DEP-OD. Download our new brochure to see what that is!

CHIP