It was cold already and I was still on the ground in Ohio where the temp was hovering around 40 degrees F. My mission was to climb to 12,000 feet so I was doing the math in my head: Normal lapse rate of 3.5 degrees per 1,000 feet means the air temperature at altitude would be around zero. Note to self: Install cabin heat ASAP. 

Above if you can read it is the digital record of my flight. I did manage to climb to 12,200 feet in under 20 minutes and still had plenty of climb left but not so much patience. I knew it would take me some time to get back down as well. 

View from way up there.

Now I am back in Florida and continue working on two Merlins in the build program. Plan is to have Dwight’s Merlin inspected by the DAR and ready to fly sometime next week and maybe Jay’s Merlin done in time for the Sebring show later this month. Aggressive schedule but quite possible. Watch this space for progress reports as final assembly begins this weekend.



  1. From Chip:
    “about 22 miles.

    How about you fly your new Merlin there?

    Chip ”

    WHEN I win the lottery on Saturday, I’ll be calling you first! The only thing that I would worry about is if I could fit an MGL iEFIS Lite into the panel…

  2. I’m still waiting for that trip write-up to the Bahamas. You could glide to them from that altitude. Have you ever figured out what your best glide range would be from 12K ft AGL?