Chip is making progress with the Merlin Lite

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BTCrenshaw

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I just noticed Chip has posted a new video of testing the Merlin Lite. The lift off and landing's look pretty smooth, though he does mention what sounds like a hard tail down landing that he edited out. Nice looking all metal ultralight.

 

Daleandee

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Be nice if he can get this done but the two items of note were the over $30,000 price tag and the need for a BRS to make the legal FAR103 restrictions. From the site:

The Merlin Lite can be flown as a Part 103 ultralight with virtually no regulations but will require a BRS rescue system to increase the allowable weight.
... and the fact that it's a high wing. ;)
 

BTCrenshaw

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Be nice if he can get this done but the two items of note were the over $30,000 price tag and the need for a BRS to make the legal FAR103 restrictions. From the site:
... and the fact that it's a high wing. ;)
The BRS doesn't bother me as I plan on having an emergency chute anyway. Peer who is building a Badland F2 here on HBA in the build logs found a company named Comelli out of Europe (Comelli srl - Emergency parachute) that builds emergency chutes. The chute is deployed via a pressurized system instead of a rocket. I like that idea. It's less weight and I'm simply not keen on having a rocket motor in an ultralight. Also I would think in an ultralight that a pressurized deployment would work fine because of the slower speeds of our ultralights. The cost of the Merlin Lite includes the engine, emergency chute, and instruments so really it's not all that bad of a price. Compared to the Badland F1 the Merlin Lite is 3 times the cost, but again the Badland F series do not come with engine, emergency chute, or instruments. They are also kits where if I remember correctly the Merlin Lite isn't a kit. It all comes down to what you want and are willing to pay for I guess. For me, I like the all metal design and no wing struts, but from the cockpit back I don't care for the looks. Plus Chip still hasn't got a cowl on it. I think that's because he's right at the weight limit even with the BRS. Looking at discussions it appears the purchaser has a choice - door or cowl, but not both. Personally I'm going overboard with Chris at Badland Aircraft with a (titanium framed) Badland F5. Yeah, overboard a bit, but it's my money and I'm two years away from 60 and retiring. I'm going to have fun because I can't take my money with me when I leave this earth. 👼
 

pwood66889

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"I'm simply not keen on having a rocket motor in an ultralight."
Tisk - no ejection seat??? :) Well, I'm not planning on one for the `coupe either. Thank you for the well-thought discussion of the points involved, and I hope you and Banlands come to a meeting of the wallets.
 

Aesquire

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I like it! Very "Antonov/Bell" look to the rear fuselage.

I'm agnostic on rocket vs. Gas cylinder as far as both safety and performance goes. Someone may have data to change my mind. I wonder if there's a thread on BRS handle design?
 

Chip W. Erwin

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Yes, we are making a lot of progress. We would be on time to fly the new Merlin Lite wing at Sun n Fun in April but the container ships have been hard to book space on. The wing will arrive just prior to the show so we plan to bring it for static display and fly right after the show. We also will bring a couple VTwin 4-stroke engines and a Merlin.

To be clear, I did not edit my landing in that short video. I logged 3 landings. It was not a hard landing, just not as smooth as usual.

The cowl is not a weight issue. I just do not have it yet.

And for those with sticker shock I remind them that the Merlin Lite is available in a kit for much less.

And those buying a finished Merlin get one really finished and flown with the new Polini 303 engine, carbon prop, EFIS, EMS, electric trim, hydraulic brakes, huge Fowler flaps, large tires, windows, a door, vents, and a BRS rescue system. The value adds up. Not many ultralights have all those features even available.

We are an importer for the Comelli chutes. They are lighter and less expensive. And we have deployed one to see how well it works. I have video somewhere. It does toss the chute out into the airstream. As does the BRS. But the rocket is going to get it out faster and through more debris should there be any. You can choose.

See us at Sun n Fun.
CHIP
 

Richard Roller

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Be nice if he can get this done but the two items of note were the over $30,000 price tag and the need for a BRS to make the legal FAR103 restrictions. From the site:



... and the fact that it's a high wing. ;)
Okay, I'll bite. Why does it HAVE to have a BRS?
 

Daleandee

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Okay, I'll bite. Why does it HAVE to have a BRS?

Hang on ... I'll get it for you ...

To qualify for Part 103 a BRS-500 is required (FAA allows additional weight when so equipped), priced at $4,500
From here ... Merlin Lite… New, All-Metal, Fully-Enclosed, "Deluxe" Part 103 Ultralight - ByDanJohnson.com

No shame as a few ultralights use this method to make weight.

This is a really great ultralight option but I am one of those that's guilty of sticker shock. 🤑
 

Richard Roller

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BTCrenshaw

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"I'm simply not keen on having a rocket motor in an ultralight."
Tisk - no ejection seat??? :) Well, I'm not planning on one for the `coupe either. Thank you for the well-thought discussion of the points involved, and I hope you and Banlands come to a meeting of the wallets.
Always the most difficult thing about an airplane now isn't it! And thank you, I also like cordial discussions. Everyone's opinion are always welcome simply because I hate being ignorant and if someone can teach me something - then I'm that much better for it.
 

BTCrenshaw

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I like it! Very "Antonov/Bell" look to the rear fuselage.

I'm agnostic on rocket vs. Gas cylinder as far as both safety and performance goes. Someone may have data to change my mind. I wonder if there's a thread on BRS handle design?
Good question. As for my opinion on rocket or gas cylinder, both seem to work very well. Having experience in rocketry (I mean the bigger ones, not Estes), I'm not so happy with a fire breathing engine somewhere on the aircraft. No bad experiences and they have proven to be more than reliable. It's just a personal choice, no judgement on those that have them and those that don't, just a choice - which I think everyone will agree is nice. I'm waiting for the spring loaded ejector! 😧
 

BTCrenshaw

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Yes, we are making a lot of progress. We would be on time to fly the new Merlin Lite wing at Sun n Fun in April but the container ships have been hard to book space on. The wing will arrive just prior to the show so we plan to bring it for static display and fly right after the show. We also will bring a couple VTwin 4-stroke engines and a Merlin.

To be clear, I did not edit my landing in that short video. I logged 3 landings. It was not a hard landing, just not as smooth as usual.

The cowl is not a weight issue. I just do not have it yet.

And for those with sticker shock I remind them that the Merlin Lite is available in a kit for much less.

And those buying a finished Merlin get one really finished and flown with the new Polini 303 engine, carbon prop, EFIS, EMS, electric trim, hydraulic brakes, huge Fowler flaps, large tires, windows, a door, vents, and a BRS rescue system. The value adds up. Not many ultralights have all those features even available.

We are an importer for the Comelli chutes. They are lighter and less expensive. And we have deployed one to see how well it works. I have video somewhere. It does toss the chute out into the airstream. As does the BRS. But the rocket is going to get it out faster and through more debris should there be any. You can choose.

See us at Sun n Fun.
CHIP
GREAT to hear from you Chip, thank you so much. Oh I'm so looking forward to retirement in 2 years - I'm moving to Florida and Sun-n-Fun will be on the annual list of events to attend.

Oh man, you might have me with the 4 stroke engines. I've rode 2 stroke motorcycles for many years when I was young so I know the issues they can have. Not that they fail often, and their simplicity is great, I just prefer 4 strokes. I think most of us do.

Thank you for clarifying the landing's in the video. Too many distractions here at the house during our Texas freeze, so I certainly missed those landings, and actually I thought what I saw was not smooth, just a little bounce on the tail at most. I saw one pilot porpoise down a runway, bounce bounce bounce. Not that I'm any expert. I've had time in 150's and 182's, but no tail wheel aircraft. I have an instructor I'll hopefully be working with soon to get some experience in this area.

Also great to hear on the cowl not being a weight issue. That's going to make that plane look great.

Ah, great on the kit form too! I didn't realize from the interviews I've watched that it can be home built. And actually I don't see the price as that much for a complete aircraft.

Wow, you're constantly making points here - All the available gear and importer of Comelli chutes.

I need to get to Sun-n-Fun!

Thanks again Chip for the added information. Looking forward to seeing you showing the Merlin Lite. With what you, Chris, and others are doing with ultralights I'm hoping the ultralight community takes off - ok, that was bad!

Sincerely,
Todd C.
 

BTCrenshaw

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So, it needs a BRS because it's to heavy to qualify as a part 103 ultralite otherwise?
Correct - If I remember correctly (and anyone please chime in if I'm wrong on this) gives a fixed weight allowance for the chute, even if it doesn't weigh as much as the allowance. This gives the weight room to meet the requirements for Part 103 above 254Lbs. I don't know what that allowance is and am having trouble finding it, something rings in my head of 25 additional pounds so weigh in can be somewhere around 279??? I'm guessing from old memory cells on this one so it needs to be double checked.
 

Daleandee

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Correct - If I remember correctly (and anyone please chime in if I'm wrong on this) gives a fixed weight allowance for the chute, even if it doesn't weigh as much as the allowance. This gives the weight room to meet the requirements for Part 103 above 254Lbs. I don't know what that allowance is and am having trouble finding it, something rings in my head of 25 additional pounds so weigh in can be somewhere around 279??? I'm guessing from old memory cells on this one so it needs to be double checked.
You only missed it by a pound ... the allowance is 24lbs (at least from what I could find). Here's a reference page:

 

pwood66889

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Thank you for your generosity of reply, Todd. Hope to welcome you to Florida in a couple years - I'm not that far off I-10. Yes, I'll buy the coffee! Though I also suffer from insufficiency of wallet!
Percy
 

BTCrenshaw

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Thank you for your generosity of reply, Todd. Hope to welcome you to Florida in a couple years - I'm not that far off I-10. Yes, I'll buy the coffee! Though I also suffer from insufficiency of wallet!
Percy
You know with all the screwy things and the way the majority of people seem to treat each other these days, I've honestly found the people on this forum for the most part really great. I've made a couple of friends and you're on for the coffee if I get to cover breakfast! I'm trying to accelerate the move to Florida. My sister and brother-in-law live in Middleburg so I know where the I-10 is for sure. Looking forward to meeting you and other pilots and those wanting to get into flying once I get to Florida.

Thanks,
Todd
 
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