The Float Blog

Yes, I am still in the Czech Republic. Aeromarine has some very important work to do here that we can’t talk about. But there is a lot of other work we are doing that we can and will talk about so let’s get on with it.

Yesterday we packed and shipped 3 aircraft into a 40-foot container going to Lakeland, FL. This container will arrive about 2 weeks before the Sun N Fun show starts. That is unusual. Usually, the paint is drying on my flights to Oshkosh or SNF. But of course, I have to return to Florida before then and that will happen after my 2-week trip turned to 3-1/2 months.

I will need the two weeks for test flights and to prepare our booth and the aircraft for the show. I have a long list of work to do. Seems like I say that often.

So, what’s in the box?

Even the container packing is CAD-designed. Then a lot of custom mounting fixtures for floats, wings, and wheels are welded and bended up. Closed cell, high density foam is cut on a very large router and matches the wing profiles exactly. I guess we could call this matched airfoil packing.


We packed show supplies too. Doubles to weigh down the aircraft for shipping. Of course, customs has all the details.

We have a really nice Merlin with an HKS we shipped for show display. I will assemble and fly this Merlin to the show.

We have finally the first production model of the Merlin Lite which I will also fly at the show. I plan to fly this Merlin Lite in the factory demo slots at Paradise City should anyone want to see it in action.

And for me, this is the showstopper: The new Merlin Lite on our new Aeromarine 750 floats!!!! I just don’t think there is anything like it in the ultralight market. Correct me if I am wrong but only after you see this aircraft in person.

Firstly, it’s a Merlin Lite. That aircraft by itself raises the ultralight bar a mile or two. Then it’s our well-proven floats that are now made with precision matched-hole technology to make them the most perfect shape ever. Then there is the installation which I have never seen in a float costing less than $50k. The photos will speak for themselves. Come to the SNF show just to see this aircraft.

After the show, I plan to make the first test flight of Merlin Lite #2 and it will be from the pond! And here is the pond in my back yard:

My private seaplane base application is in the final review with the FAA.

But I diverse. Getting back to the Merlin on floats. Here is the installation:

Simple. Just hoist up the aircraft, remove the main gear, bolt on the floats. It is simple, if you have the mounting system designed on CAD and built perfectly. Then everything fits and, in a few hours, you are done.  But only if you have the perfect installation parts. Have a look at these details:

Perfect geometry on the fittings. Bolts line up, struts line up. Spreader bars bolt right on. And, of course, the struts and spreader bars are all a custom aluminum airfoil extrusion.

Every Merlin Lite has float strut pick-ups welded on the engine mount. When the main gear leg is removed a custom fitting bolt in to pick up the rear struts. So, changing back to wheels or skis when the pond freezes over is quick and easy. And yes, for those who noticed, the nosewheel will be removed. Just left on for shipping.


One water rudder is enough for an ultralight so why pay extra? But if you will only have one it should be this one. In the cockpit you can see a push rod connecting to the rudder pedals. If you follow this back it goes to a bellcrank which actuates a teleflex cable which moves the water rudder hopefully the same direction as the main rudder (it does of course).

It gets even better. Note the round object in front of the throttle quadrant. It has a handle and a friction lock, when you rotate this forward it pulls the water rudder up. Proper seaplane pilots always retract their water rudder before take-off.

Even the fairings are impressive! 2-part 3-D composite fairings nicely finish off this quality installation.

Coming soon to a blog near you: More Merlin Vtwin videos. And a video of our Czech facility. Watch this space. And see you at the show?