A few of my 15 followers have noticed I have not blogged in a while, and they are anxious for news. I have not posted in some time as I am busy making the news to write about. And I usually like to have something significant to write about when I post a new blog. But today, the big news is I am still here busting butt to get aircraft finished and delivered. The last few weeks have been spent in Alabama and Ohio working on the Vtwin installation and getting firewall forward parts sorted. I will write some highlights as I think of them.
The new engine wiring harnesses arrived. Plenty for everybody. We unwound one and traced each wire back to the plug pin number to confirm it is prepared correctly and they are.
Wiring harness in stock!
The reduction drive upgrade parts are also in stock. I have started to ship firewall forward parts out now. But slowly, as I would really like to make the shipments complete. Not quite there yet. As Paul and I work through customer builds we update the working document for the BOM and for the photo guide assembly manual. Anyone wants a draft just e-mail me.
Here is a Vtwin mounted on a test stand in Alabama. We did mount and run a Vtwin some time ago in Dayton. Now we think we can improve our installation with some ECU fine-tuning so we mounted up an engine just as it would be on a Merlin.
Here we have plumbed in a fuel pressure gauge and amp meter to confirm these parameters are in spec.
We are also experimenting with an in-tank fuel pump. Bench testing is promising.
Oh, and 15 instrument panels are finished and shipped to AL. MGL water-jetted the panel then powder-coated them. Then laser-engraved the labels and N numbers for those customers that have N numbers reserved.
News from CZ: The next 7 Merlins and one Merlin II are nearing completion. The Merlin II is already in the paint booth.
Merlin II in the paint booth.
We are flying the Merlin Lite in Alabama now. I will ask Paul to write a flight review so you can hear how great it is from someone less biased than me. I know he likes it. And he is not used to the long glide when power is pulled. We did discover that a mag sensor mount was out of spec by 1/10th of a millimeter. Polini sent us new spacers and now the engine starts perfectly.
My next trip is:
- The CZ to inspect the next two or three containers of aircraft getting ready to ship. And to make sure TPA has completed my parts order. Some parts for the firewall forward package come from TPA so I will make sure to get them so everyone can get on with their builds.
- Next stop will be Spain to fly the TrueLite and to nail down delivery of the first kits.
- Then to India to install floats to a CH601 and fly it.
- And a quick stop in Myanmar to visit an aviation friend and kind of accomplice in aviation endeavors.
- And finally, to the Philippines to finish and fly a Merlin there. And help out with a couple M-Squared aircraft that happen to be at the same airpark.
The trip might not be in that exact order. Depends on if I head east or west leaving Tampa. Another time round the world.
Nearly forgot, Builder Don got his wings installed and HKS engine started! Another Merlin will be flying in Dayton soon! Pictured above: Ben, Don, Chip & Ron.
Oh, BTW, I also am expecting 2 more patents this year in the electric aviation field. Patents starting to stack up with four total. More on that later. Some of this work directly helps the Electrolite project. Personally, I think the Electrolite will be a big success.
And, in my spare time, like there is any, I have submitted 3 of 4 proposals for military projects. One to NASA, one to the Navy, and one to the Air Force with a second one for the Air Force in preparation. The topics generally revolve around the technologies in my wheelhouse like the Hyper-STOL aircraft, and amphibious version, and hybrid propulsion systems. I included an autonomous air-to-air refueling technology just for a teaser. This military work helps fund the Merlin R&D and production so winning an award is a good thing for Aeromarine and our customers.