Merlin Lite Hop and Update

Now that I have moved the Merlin Lite to Florida and mostly recovered from COVID I am finally back in the hangar. This week I installed new windscreen and wing root fairings and reworked the tailwheel geometry. This short hop was to check the handling improvements. I could say I tested the gear on purpose, or that I logged 4 landings not just one. But in the end the tail wheel is greatly improved. As soon as the new temperature monitor arrives I will be back at altitude.

I did manage to fly to the Czech Republic last week and they even let me back into USA. I brought with me a box of parts including some nice fairings to complete the Merlin Lite prototype. This new windscreen fairing replaces my ugly bathtub caulking. Explains why I am not a plumber.

This wing root fairing is a very complex shape. Yet it fits quite well and cleans up the wing joint nicely.

I noticed in taxing in Ohio that the tailwheel was not tracking as well as I expected. I tracked the issue down to the long spring having too much leverage on the mounting structure. I made some modifications to reinforce the fuselage structure with some aluminum angle and to reduce the length of the tailwheel spring about 3 inches. Then I went for a short hop:

The ground handling and take-off/landing handling was greatly improved. But it did nothing for my lousy tailwheel flying skills.

I would be flying however the EMS gauge is not reading the engine temperatures’ properly. I checked the senders and they are fine. I have a new Polini EMS arriving soon and look forward to getting back in the air later this week.

Next videos will have some real flying and should be therefore slightly more entertaining and informative.





2 replies
  1. Bruce W. Luedeman
    Bruce W. Luedeman says:

    I imagine the Merlin Lite will also come with a nose wheel option. I think God intended me to fly with a nose wheel. Everytime I’ve tried to taxi a tail wheel God makes the tail wheel swing around to the front end. : )

  2. Bruce Luedeman
    Bruce Luedeman says:

    I have around 19 hours in a Rans S-12 ultralight (no longer manufactured). I have a Private Pilot License (550 hours total) but can no longer qualify for a class III physical. That was about 10 years ago. I hope to purchase a Merlin kit in a few months. Since the Merlin is a single seat a/c is there a two place ultralight you would suggest to do some preparatory dual time in to familiarize my self for the solo Merlin Lite? Thanks from Kansas City, Missouri.

Comments are closed.