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New FAR 103 Merlin Lite from Aeromarine's Chip Erwin

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simflyer

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Knowing this project pers. from start. It flies well with 27-45hp engines - 26hp Verner JCV360 run it at 100mph+.
Rtx582, HKS and actual Gaokin engines are too heavy and overpowering it.
Cantilever wing in Merlin is useless and contraproductive - too high main spar is in front of Your head and fuse is too high (only + is higher door). Better was to use simple strut as Cessna knows tens of years. They did same err with Dusty 200.
 

gtae07

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That’s really cool, especially since that price is ready-to-fly. I like the looks. Wonder what a kit price would be?

However, if Part 103 isn’t a requirement, a flying Sonex or Onex would be the same price...
 

12notes

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That’s really cool, especially since that price is ready-to-fly. I like the looks. Wonder what a kit price would be?

However, if Part 103 isn’t a requirement, a flying Sonex or Onex would be the same price...
They sell an E-AB kit of a very similar aircraft for US$18,500, without engine or instruments.
Merlin – Aeromarine-LSA (prices at the bottom).
 

12notes

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You mean like the preexisting Hummel Ultrabird?
The Ultracruiser is the ultralight from Hummel. The Hummelbird is the E-AB single seat 1/2 VW. The Ultrabird, like the related Humelcruiser, has the unfortunate disadvantage of not existing.

The Ultracruiser does have a cantilever wing, but to make the part 103 weight, it can't have a canopy. The ultralight version of the Merlin Lite requires the BRS to be part 103 due to the extra weight allowance it gives. E-AB versions of both can be made with the canopy or without the BRS, respectively.
 

Victor Bravo

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I have seen the structure of the Hummel Ultracruiser in person. Not particularly comforting. If this Czech Merlin-Lite is built like the Hummel UC, I wouldn't want one of those either.
 

galapoola

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That’s really cool, especially since that price is ready-to-fly. I like the looks. Wonder what a kit price would be?

However, if Part 103 isn’t a requirement, a flying Sonex or Onex would be the same price...
I reached out to Chip and he got back, the "kit" version wouldn't be a whole lot less, maybe 2-3k less. Not set yet, developing. I'm guessing that the single jug engine in the pictures is 2 stroke?
 

Aerowerx

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The Ultracruiser is the ultralight from Hummel. The Hummelbird is the E-AB single seat 1/2 VW. The Ultrabird, like the related Humelcruiser, has the unfortunate disadvantage of not existing.

The Ultracruiser does have a cantilever wing, but to make the part 103 weight, it can't have a canopy. The ultralight version of the Merlin Lite requires the BRS to be part 103 due to the extra weight allowance it gives. E-AB versions of both can be made with the canopy or without the BRS, respectively.
Sorry about the name confusion.

Still, the Ultracruiser is a sheet metal ultralight predating the Merlin Lite
 

galapoola

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The Ultracruiser is the ultralight from Hummel. The Hummelbird is the E-AB single seat 1/2 VW. The Ultrabird, like the related Humelcruiser, has the unfortunate disadvantage of not existing.

The Ultracruiser does have a cantilever wing, but to make the part 103 weight, it can't have a canopy. The ultralight version of the Merlin Lite requires the BRS to be part 103 due to the extra weight allowance it gives. E-AB versions of both can be made with the canopy or without the BRS, respectively.
My dad built an ultra cruiser from plans, even without the canopy it was over. Even without a starter and battery, it was not 103. When LSA opened up he got an N number. I guess you could add a ballistic chute to increase the max but his was definitely over as was everyone else he talked to who tried to build it to 103.
 

PagoBay

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I think you have confused the Merlin LSA v-twin and the smaller single on the FAR103.
Right. Sorry. The FAR103 is using a Polini engine based on the photos provided. Should be the Thor 200 model.
But don't hold me to that. Chip advised all specifications are coming soon.
 

12notes

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My dad built an ultra cruiser from plans, even without the canopy it was over. Even without a starter and battery, it was not 103. When LSA opened up he got an N number. I guess you could add a ballistic chute to increase the max but his was definitely over as was everyone else he talked to who tried to build it to 103.
Then he didn't talk to enough people. There are a lot of 103 compliant UltraCruisers out there from people I've talked to on the old Yahoo group and the current Facebook group.

Starter and battery would definitely be overweight. Battery cables alone might make it overweight. Heavy instruments, a mounted radio, etc, could make it overweight. The canopy weighs less than 5 lbs, and that's more than enough to make it overweight. Built to the plans as a tailwheel, with minimal instruments and no canopy, it can be barely under 254 lbs. I think the lightest it is possible to build it is 252lbs. That's only 2 lbs of leeway, cut a few overlapping pieces a bit too long and you're over.

There is nowhere to mount a ballistic chute in any of the Hummels, the only structural parts of the fuselage strong enough to take that type of load and large enough to put a ballistic chute are filled with pilot and fuel tank.
 

Victor Bravo

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VB.. the website has see through CAD images that show the structure. Here: Please give us your candid comments.
I meant that if the new Merlin Lite was as wobbly and "quivering"and marginal-looking as the UltraCruiser I saw, then I would not want it. I have no experience or knowledge of the MErlin Lite... it may be a 6G aerobatic airplane that is very robust. I hope it is.

In fairness, there is a chance that the UltraCruiser that I watched fly several years ago was not built properly, or that the builder forgot some parts, or that the builder built it out of thinner sheet metal than was shown on the plans. That may be true, and I'm sorry to cast any negativity on the Hummel company or its products. I have no axe whatsoever to grind with Hummel, Casler, etc.

My comments are also based on being a pilot in the South-Western USA, where the deserts and mountains are our playground. It is entirely possible that an UltraCruiser flying in a beautiful calm morning in Ohio has a reasonable safety factor.

The UltraCruiser I saw took off, flew around for a while, and landed safely. Nobody hurt, no pieces fell off, etc. But it just didn't strike me as being very robust at all. It flexed and twisted as it taxied over small gravel. You could bend or twist parts of the airplane in your hands that didn't seem appropriate. Sitting there idling (half-VW), the engine vibrations and rocking were affecting the airframe such that it was making oil-canning noises and amplifying sounds like a drum.

I'm not saying that the UC was designed poorly. I have no idea if it was or not. I'm saying that in order to make it meet Part 103 it looked as if it was at it's limit just sitting there idling.

It could very well have been my problem only, and my lack of confidence, because of the oil canning.
 
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