How to choose a title for this blog:
- Big news from Czech!
- ’bout fkng time!
- Great success after 2 years of work!
- Even better than expected!
- Never a doubt!
- What took so long?
Pick one. Anyone. They all work. And I know, it has been a while since the last post but I (we) are tired of hearing how close we were. Today we flew for 18 minutes. Short flight because EMS is not yet programmed for the Vtwin. I expect to get most of the programming done tomorrow then we can fly a lot more. And get some decent video. I will try to get some video posted ASAP.
- The engine starts instantly. Just like you would expect from a modern, fuel-injected, computer-controlled, electronic ignition engine.
- The sound is perfect. And very quiet. No more 2-stroke whine. Sounds like an aircraft should.
- The power is impressive. I will quantify it in due course with take-off, climb and cruise data. But it feels great! With full brakes on and wheels locked the Vtwin drags the Merlin across the grass. That’s impressive. Not even with full power.
- The MGL panel looks and works fine. Once programmed I will copy all parameters to the micro-SD card then post for everyone to download for their MGL EFIS/EMS.
So why did it take so long? Short version answer:
- It has to be done right. Our engineers have done a fantastic job.
- The engine needed customization:
- Engine mount
- Custom wiring harness
- Custom cooling system
- Custom oil filler
- Custom reduction drive
- Custom-made cooling system
- Matched propeller
- Custom dual-pump fuel system with electronic switch and fuel return lines
- The avionics are complex:
- Mounting tray for all the remote components
- Panel laser cut, anodized, then laser-engraved
- Custom fuel management circuit board
- Special switch & breaker circuit board
- Perfectly-matched custom made wiring harness
There is a lot of detail I will get into later on our technology. Maybe a special page on our web site. But I think what we are doing is exceptional in the kit aircraft industry. I do not see such technology from most of the other kit suppliers and no one at our price point. See the latest article in Kitplanes magazine about engines and engine package pricing costing upwards of $60k!
So back to the flight. The engine runs flawless. No issues whatsover. But I did forget to mention to the Czech test pilot that the EFIS was programmed in MPH not KPH so his landing was a bit fast… oops.
For your viewing pleasure: https://youtu.be/cPAb0hmVj5U
Other business in summary:
- I have been in Czech a month and will stay longer to get more hours on the Merlin/Vtwin.
- Merlin Lite is at another airport getting ready for flight test program. I will finally have time to work on it also.
- New TrueLite ultralight is in design evaluation.
- A Merlin builder in California reports first flights with HKS power.
- Another HKS-powered Merlin is now flying in Ohio.