The Best Merlin Ever?

I have flown several Merlins and they are all great. But I am really impressed with Jay’s new Merlin. It scoots along at 110 mph @ 5,500 RPM. That is a nice speed. I think I could reach the claimed 120 mph TAS with a little altitude and maybe a little higher power setting. I was originally advertising the Merlin as 120 mph cruise but reduced that as I strive to publish only real data. Now I may have to go back to my original exaggeration.

The drawback is it takes twice as long to take off. Maybe 6 or 7 seconds and 400 feet instead of the exciting 3 second blast-off.

So would you trade 3 more seconds ground roll for a big increase in cruise speed? I think yes for going someplace. But I still like the impressive take-off. DUC is working on a in-fight variable pitch prop so then I can have both quick take-off and fast cruise. This is allowable under the E-AB rules. 


TAS is 115 mph! 

Both these 6’4″ guys fit into the Merlin! No, not at the same time. Photo on the right is Merlin owner Dwight about to take Jay’s Merlin for a joy ride.

Small is the new Big! The Merlin truly is a near perfect Personal Sport Aircraft. It meets the mission of a viable form of transportation and certainly exceeds the mission of fun sport flying! Note from a previous blog that the wing loading is more than 10% greater than LSA which makes for a more comfortable flight in turbulent conditions. Plus you are centered on all the axis so you do not even feel as much roll, yaw, or pitch change. And you can fly hands free for hours with small rudder corrections. I have taken off the autopilot option from the price list. Who needs it?

I have booked my flight to the Czech Republic in January to inspect the next container of Merlin QBKs. We ship 4 in a 40 foot container. Not every Merlin in this shipment has an owner yet. And Christmas is coming…..

I like to make sure the kit options and colors are all perfect prior to shipping. As Merlin builder Don stated: “My biggest surprise was there were no surprises!”

And for your viewing pleasure, from Oshkosh: