The Merlin Lite has gone public! The first post was by Dan Johnson and has gone viral with nearly 20,000 views in the first 2 days! A record for Dan’s popular site:
Here are some questions and answers from a journalist in South Africa:
- What made you design and produce this little craft? Modern technology. The majority of Part 103 ultralights are still tube and fabric and cables. It has been very challenging and capital-intensive to design and manufacture a more conventional aircraft that can meet the strict Part 103 parameters of weight and stall speed. But now with 3D CAD systems and match-hole technology punch presses it is possible. And we proved it at the Midwest Expo by bringing scales with us and proved we were 8 lbs. under the limit! Customers can include paint and more complex instrumentation now and still be compliant. But of course more important is that they have the pleasure and comfort and security of flying an aircraft that has the looks and feel of an aircraft.
- I am interested in the ‘magic’ feature of an electric trim and why you felt it necessary to include this> We include a LOT of features rarely, if ever, found in ultralights like the EFIS, phone charger, electric trim, flaps, windows, air vents, cabin heat, defroster, etc. Most of these items don’t add much to the cost or weight but add a lot to the impression and value of the aircraft.
- Who are you aiming at buying your craft? We do not have such a defined market as this style aircraft is both new and has a wide appeal. Low cost flying without burdensome regulation.
The Merlin Lite certainly attracted a lot of attention at this show. Today is the last day then back to Dayton to continue preparation for test flights then production.
Above photos highlight some of the details and features. Notes:
- Huge baggage area
- 5 position 50 degree flaps
- Racing quality 3-point seatbelt
- Real throttle
- Dual independent hydraulic disk brakes
- Full EFIS and Ipad panel with 2 GPSs, moving map, radar overlay, EMS, charging port, and fuel gauge.
Here is an excerpt from the price list showing all that is included:
|FINISHED AND READY TO FLY MERLIN LITE||$31,000|
|BRS 500 RESCUE SYSTEM||$4,500|
|POLINI 250DS ENGINE||INCLUDED|
|3-BLADE GROUND ADJUSTABLE CARBON PROPELLER||INCLUDED|
|INTERIOR FULLY EPOXY-PRIMED||INCLUDED|
|DUAL INDEPENDENT HYDRAULIC BRAKES||INCLUDED|
|ENGINE INSTRUMENTS: TACH, WATER TEMP, CHT||INCLUDED|
|TRICYCLE OR TAILDRAGGER||INCLUDED|
|12 VOLT POWER SUPPLY/CHARGER||INCLUDED|
|DUAL AIR VENTS||INCLUDED|
|PUSHROD CONTROLS WITH TRIPLE BEARINGS||INCLUDED|
|5-POSITION FOWLER FLAPS||INCLUDED|
|25 LBS BAGGAGE CAPACITY||INCLUDED|
|4.15 GALLON WING TANK||INCLUDED|
|3-1/8 EFIS (ASI, ALT, BALL, G-METER, VSI, GPS, ARTIFICIAL HORIZON, COMPASS, HEADING INDICATOR)||$950|
|2ND 4.15 GALLON WING TANK||$600|
|CABIN HEAT & DEFROSTER||$450|
We are planning for the first deliveries in January and the order book is open to reserve production slots.
Now back to work.