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AOPA: New Merlin LSA takes flight

AOPA: New Merlin LSA takes flight

If it’s all about the flying, and you want to keep all the fun to yourself while getting airborne at a comparatively low cost, Chip W. Erwin, the founder of Aeromarine LSA, has an airplane to sell you.

Erwin is the creator of the Merlin PSA (personal sport aircraft, which is not an official FAA designation but is legal as a light sport aircraft) that will carry you skyward at a faster clip than many LSAs. The single-seat, amateur-built design took flight Feb. 12 in Lakeland, Florida, home of the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo, and Erwin reported Merlin’s fun quotient was high.

“The acceleration and climb rate are exhilarating,” Erwin said of his design in a news release Feb. 15. The aircraft is powered by a Rotax 582 two-cylinder engine producing 65 horsepower. At the gross weight of 715 pounds listed on the Aeromarine LSA website, Merlin’s power-to-weight ratio is 20 percent higher than a 1,320-pound aircraft with a 100-hp engine. Additional engine options, including the Pegasus O-100 and an electric alternative, are in the works.

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Chip W. Erwin
South Lakeland Airport
Lakeland, FL

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