Post Oshkosh Catch-Up
For me Oshkosh #41 is in the books. Little-known fact (keep it that way please) I have had 4 unplanned landings at this show. Might be a record.
The show was very good. Plenty of people. Hardly a mask in sight. More than 8,000 aircraft. Pretty good weather. Huge storm was bearing down directly on Oshkosh with hail predicted and many vendors were scrambling for bubble wrap and carpet padding to cover their aircraft with. I figured the dimples would just improve our cruise like a golf ball. Then this huge cell came right up to Oshkosh with an incredible lightning show, and dissipated. The collective will of the aviators put up a forcefield over the airport. Barely even got windy. Not so lucky in other parts of Wisconsin. Coulda been ugly but we dodged that bullet.
What’s DEP-OD you say? I just got done answering that question a few thousand times. Check out what Kitplanes wrote:
No, this is NOT a current option. It is a research project to prove my innovation. And might be scaled up to a real Hyper-STOL I am designing. But with COVID there has been a shortage of bar napkins so progress is slow.
Some DEP-OD images
Here is what you need to know about the Merlin Lite:
- Order book stands at 19.
- All the revisions are done including the tricycle gear.
- Float design is done and 750 straight floats going into production this week. Only attachment points need refinement.
- Parts for the first two Merlin Lites are finished.
- Assembly of these two Merlin Lites has begun.
- Serial #1 has the new Polini 303DS engine.
- Serial #2 will be powered by a 30 kw electric motor and 10 kwh battery packs.
- Motor/controller/battery packs (2)/ and 2 propellers are getting prepared for extensive bench testing.
- Both aircraft will be flying in 1-2 months. 4 more Merlin Lites will be built this year (cross fingers)
The new long wing was installed with DEP-OD at Oshkosh. The wing is very impressive but I have said that before. Now the prototype is parked at Mt Vernon Airport queued up for the Midwest Expo in a few weeks. This was a logistics decision. Next container arrives to Dayton in 2 weeks. I will trailer one of the Merlins to this show. After the show I will deliver it to the Northern Wisconsin builder. Then I will return to Mt. Vernon to collect the Merlin Lite. Then drive to Dayton. Fly some. Work some. Then finally drive back to Florida. Maybe summer will be over by then.
In Vtwin news:
The factory has all our design change requests and has built one engine to these specs for our review. It is perfect. We even had a custom dipstick made for easy oil checking from a top cowl access cover.
Now they scheduled a custom production run of these engines for us. Enough to take up a lot of space in a container. We have also retained the space and services of a West Coast fulfilment center so we can quickly drop ship these engines directly to customers. This will save a lot on freight costs. We can ship reduction drives and props from Dayton by UPS.
Our Canadian customer is making quick work of his installation.
Oh my, I wrote too much. Signing off,
Dear Chip, Michael Orr Brenham, Texas
Enjoyed your blog, I’am Disappointed that I will not receive my Merlin Lite by Oct. but I’m excited about DEP-OD elec. wing props what a great idea. It is going to make me make a quick decision about renting the only hanger open at Brenham airport, please help me with a estimation of my plane arrival time asap please. I know if the DEP-OD elec. wing props work out I can land on my property and store it. Please write me back. Thanks email@example.com
Would like to hear more about Merlin Lite serial #2. So about 125 lbs of battery (10 kwh) and that will provide more than an hour with the wing loading?
Love the dry humour! That is one of the things I like about this blog along with having a really teriffic air craft!.
In your discussion on the v-twin, you state that there is no TBO because replacement is less than a typical overhaul. Do you have an estimate of what the time between replacement will be?