In my 41 years in aviation I have seen a lot of failures, and learned from them (I hope). One of the most famous ones is the Bede 5 with thousands sold with no suitable engine forthcoming. The Merlin has had plenty of good engine choices. Until HKS stopped production and Rotax plans to discontinue the 582. Hence our efforts beginning about 2 years ago to source or develop a 4-stroke alternative. And it wasn’t easy. But Aeromarine has an extensive and worldwide network of resources and we were able to secure a custom-built engine to our specifications direct from the factory in China. And have a reduction drive built to our specs to match this engine from India. Then have a computer-matched 3-blade carbon ground-adjustable prop with spinner designed and made for us specific to the Merlin’s speeds and this engines’ torque curve from Slovakia. All integrated to our Merlin made in the Czech Republic.
Nearly every customer with a new Merlin order has placed their faith in our experience and abilities to complete this project with the results of a new, very modern and reliable and even inexpensive 4-stroke powerplant perfect for the Merlin. And quite a few new customers have stepped up and placed their order knowing we have not even flown this Vtwin on the Merlin yet and have not even finished the installation.
And I do not intend to let them down.
I have seen a lot of new aircraft designs come on the market over the years and am quite sure that their likely-hood of long-term success is inversely proportional to their advertising budget. Am I right? I think so. There is another new LSA on the market last year with a huge advertising budget. Who wants to bet they are in business a year or so from now?
That being said, Aeromarine spends its marketing budget on getting things done in the shop. And right now the two big priorities are to build Merlin Lites and to finish the Vtwin installation to the Merlin within the next month. And we are on track to do so. Here is how it will look:
The design work is mostly done now and we are busy making the actual installation to a finished Merlin kit. The cowl mold will be cut and all the bits and pieces fitted perfectly. Then we flight test. Then we ship these firewall forward packages out to Merlin builders.
As this is a short blog I will share these photos of a finished and painted Merlin shipping soon for your viewing pleasure.
Another container of Merlins ships in a week or so. Container #3 is almost full.
Guess I am not the only one that flys a single-seat aircraft for the quality of the social experience.