But these things take a while. Design, parts fabrication, assembly, fine tuning, shipping, more assembly, installation….
I really love precision matched-hole technology. Rivets mostly just drop into place. The wing spar bolts fit perfectly. Ailerons and flaps connect nearly perfect. I did have to fabricate new flap actuator arms as these huge 3-hinge flaps call for bigger rod ends and push rods.
Have a look:
Drum roll: Hangar roll out – Dayton, Ohio
This is one beautiful wing.
Huge 3-hinge slotted flap. This flap is longer than the Merlin wing! No problem to meet the Part 103 minimum speed.
Note the two pitot tubes. Top one is for the EFIS. Bottom one is angled down to be more accurate at high angles of attack and is plumbed to the more sensitive analog ASI. Panel photo shows temporary mounting of the analog ASI for the flight test program.
Clarifications for my other reader:
- There will not be a cowl on this prototype. The production Merlin Lite has the Polini 303DS and is tricycle gear and slightly different engine position. The production Merlin Lite has a cowl. The design is already finished.
- Initially, all Merlin Lites will be tricycle.
- Straight floats will be built later this year. I have built many sets in the past. They weigh only 30 lbs. each and fit the Part 103 rule. With the long wing the Merlin Lite will be EXCELLENT on floats! I already bought the wind sock for my seaplane base.
- We are already planning the electric-powered version of the Merlin Lite. And yes, there will be an electric Merlin Lite floatplane.
I will post videos of the flight tests but it will be a while before I will have time to edit all the footage and make a proper video. I suppose I could post some stills to show it does fly. Watch this space.