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First UK Merlin Flys

The UK customers have a new very progressive certification class called Single-Seat Deregulated (SSDR). Certification process is: The customer signs a 1-page declaration that his aircraft is 300kg gross weight or less and meets the stall speed specs. Done. That simple. Oh, post the page to the UK CAA then done. Go fly. Like the Part 103 class in the USA but for a much bigger and faster aircraft. And fly like a real aircraft as the Merlin is. Nice rule. And the Merlin fits it nearly perfectly. However they are using only the Rotax 582 to keep the weight at an absolute minimum. I think maybe they can try the HKS if we find similar empty weights. Looking good so far.

But we have it pretty good in the USA with the E-AB rule. Sure, you have to put in some rivets and finish the aircraft but that is no longer a daunting project. Our new PRECISION matched-hole technology means the builder now simply lines up the parts and pulls some rivets. Build time is not measured in years or even months but more like weeks. And when the new build manual is perfected then possibly even days to complete. Subject to the builders’ panel and paint choices of course. Those 2 items will take longer than the airframe build!!!!!

Dan Johnson visited our build program yesterday. I will let you know when he posts his video.

2 photos above: Shows the R0tax 582 installation. At least now we have oil injection so no more pre-mixing the oil and fuel. 2nd photo shows the very nice throttle and brake assembly. Simple and effective. With 2-fingers one can lock the wheels but the 582 thrust is so great you will still skid on the grass!



Here shows a pretty good panel choice with the MHL Xtreme EFIS/EMS, Ipad mini tablet mount, transceiver, space for transponder, fuel valve. With the Garmin or Foreflight app the pilot really has a lot of information. Even real-time weather radar overlapping the moving map is possible!

Plenty of baggage space too and more fuel endurance than I need.

Graham Smith is making test flights before handing over to the customer and reports 97 mph and around only 5,300 RPM which is a pretty low power setting for the 582. I would expect 105-110 mph at 5,700 rpm and even higher TAS with some altitude.

Nice looking Merlin. Simple white paint with some vinyl graphics stuck on. I like that idea. We have the graphics file available as well.

Expect a few more Merlins to fly in the UK soon. Watch this space!



1 Comment
  1. Nice blog post Chip. Beautiful looking aircraft.


Chip W. Erwin
South Lakeland Airport
Lakeland, FL

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