Last week the Merlin Vtwin in our Dayton workshop was nearly finished. The top cowl needed a bigger bubble and will be out of the composites and paint shop by the end of next week. So, I flew back to Florida to take an entire day off (yeah right, means I am answering e-mails, packing the trailer for Oshkosh, and writing blogs). I hope to play some ice hockey, then water ski, then BBQ tomorrow. Monday, I drive 8 hours to spend the week with Paul at our new build center near Mobile, AL. We have a couple of Vtwin Merlin builds to get going on.
So here is what I have to show for our hard work last week:
You have to look closely. These are not last week’s photos. Cooling system is 100% done and filled. Oil is filled. Fuel system is also done. Panel is operating. Wing tip navs and strobes are working. This Merlin is basically finished. Next trip we plan to have the FAA visit for the airworthiness inspection and certificate issue. Still need to program the EFIS and do the final cowl fit and set the prop pitch. Not so much work left!
We have mapped the fuel and new coolant hoses on CAD for our supplier. We will have new custom fitted and even colored hoses in stock by Oshkosh! Our FF PKG keeps getting better and better!
BREAKING NEWS: The Vtwin Merlin weighs about the same as a Rotax 582 Merlin!!!!
|AVERAGE MERLIN WEIGHTS
|AVERAGE WEIGHT OF MERLIN WITH HKS
|AVERAGE WEIGHT OF MERLIN WITH 582
|WEIGHT OF MERLIN WITH VTWIN
This is big news. This means the Vtwin can replace any 582 installations without a major weight issue!
We projected the weight to be a bit more than the 582 and less than the HKS. We are a lot closer, if even lighter, than the 582 installations. Note that this Merlin has the deluxe panel with big EFIS, transceiver, transponder, 4 antennas, and nav/strobes. But the cowl was not installed at the time of the weighing so add 4-5 lbs. We are pretty close on the balance as well. Looks like we will have to move the battery to the rear shelf and the numbers will fall into place nicely.
Builder Don has made some fine-tuning on the left side circuit board and sent the drawing off to the circuit board printer with an order for 50 copies. We should have those boards back by Oshkosh too.
BREAKING NEWS #2: Another Aeromarine Vtwin is flying!
Replica P-40 by builder Gord has now flown 1-1/2 hours with our Vtwin!!!! He only needed to upgrade the isolation rubbers to a firmer size to handle all the torque better. Nice.
I know, everyone wants to know 1) If they will get the upgraded parts and technology, and 2) When!?
The photo on the left has one Vtwin and one Merlin Lite cowl. Note the NACA inlet for the radiator on the Merlin Lite cowl. And several Merlin cowls finished and in the paint shop. Plenty of engine mounts and exhausts shipping soon with some cowls. Plenty of Vtwins and reduction drives in stock. Working on getting more props and spinners. And, of course, everyone gets the latest versions. Finally, some action.
Today I began the Oshkosh prep. I sourced a used trailer that has a tilt option. We will build some wheel channels and wing holders so one person can wheel up a Merlin or Merlin Lite onto this trailer. But for now, I just bolted on some wood support to transport the DEPOD wings to Oshkosh for display. BTW, the 2nd patent on DEPOD was allowed. I know, I told you already. But it is a big deal. To me at least.
The 2 Merlin Lites are getting closer to flying in the Czech Republic. I did say world news after all.
The Merlin Lite on floats was supposed to be at Oshkosh but the container would not arrive on time. And air freight quotes ranges from $17 to $60k! You will have to settle for photos and maybe some video at Oshkosh.