I now have 6 hours in the Merlin PSA and am having plenty of fun!

A Press Release is going out. See the news page of this web site to download and read the PR.


Here are my initial impressions. Full flight review will be written when I expand the envelope and/or by journalists (we don’t use any animals in our product testing. We use journalists):

  • Ho Lee Chit: The acceleration is awesome! I was rotating in 3-4 seconds and well under 200 feet roll and at pattern altitude by the time I reached the end of the runway! Once airborne the Merlin just wants to keep accelerating so I need to raise the flaps prior to exceeding Vf. Climb was 1,100 to 1,400. And that is with prop set at 14 degrees which is not max climb.
  • Controls are light and balanced. Even the rudder is light which is unusual with a steerable nosewheel. Usually that adds a lot of friction.
  • The Merlin handles winds and turbulence comfortably. The pilot sits center on all three axis so turbulence is barely felt. This is really nice! Plus the wing loading is higher than many LSA.
  • It is hard to go in a straight line. Oh, not the aircraft, the pilot! It is just so much fun to make turns! I will have to make and post a video just making plenty of turns!
  • Today the air was smoother than the last 2 days so I checked out faster cruise. At 5,000 RPM I see 90 mph and 100 mph at 5,500 rpm. With a prop set toward climb too. So 110 mph is certainly attainable with some altitude and prop pitched. I don’t know yet about 120 mph but I certainly will make that test.

There is no doubt that the Merlin will be outstanding on floats and I can hardly wait to get them installed. See this lap around the pattern video:

BTW, the electric system is all upgraded and ready to flight test.  Just now waiting for better conditions for the Zigolo.