Here comes the Merlin!

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Nomore767
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Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:41 pm

The Merlin has received its FAA certification!

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Me ... 922-1.html

http://www.glasairaviation.com/merlin.html

To me the Merlin is the 'fixed' Cessna Skywatcher. It looks very similar, right down to the 'stoke', but has an injected Rotax engine, 24 gallons of fuel and the use of composites allows for a more reasonable empty weight.

The basic package includes, I believe, a single Dynon SkyView Touch, push button start, and a nicer interior than the Cessna. You can upgrade the airplane to add a second screen and a BRS parachute, which adds about another $10k and more weight, but these are all features which the SkyCatcher was criticized for.

It'll be interesting to see how the market reacts to this new SLSA.

Cluemeister
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Cluemeister » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:59 am

Nice aircraft. If I was looking in this price range, with these specs, I would compare this to the Tecnam Eaglet.

How do you think they match up? Any Eaglet owners out there?

howardnmn
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby howardnmn » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:31 pm

useful load with chute, autopilot, 2nd screen, wheel pants, misc ? 465 - 475lbs? 24 gal fuel = 144lbs. leaves about 330lbs people & bags
Remos GX nXES. N999GX
smith ranch/san rafael airport (CA35)
california

Cluemeister
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Cluemeister » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:02 am

I also noticed the stick is just like the Skycatcher. I like the fact it's still a stick, but leaves the floor clear for easier entry.
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FastEddieB
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:16 am

I generally prefer a stick to a yoke. Especially when teaching aerobatics - compare snap roll entry - stick straight back to a corner, compared to the monkey-motion needed with a yoke to achieve the same effect.

Best, IMHO, is a side stick, leaving one's lap unobstructed and the weight of your arm supported on a rest. Think Cirrus, Columbia, Sky Arrow.

But they all get the job done, and transition from one to another is generally, very, very quick. I would consider control placement as a factor when plane shopping, but not a huge one.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
FastEddieB@mac.com

Wm.Ince
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Wm.Ince » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:01 am

FastEddieB wrote:Best, IMHO, is a side stick, leaving one's lap unobstructed and the weight of your arm supported on a rest. Think Cirrus, Columbia, Sky Arrow.

Think Airbus! :D
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

c162pilot
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby c162pilot » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:33 pm


Cluemeister
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Cluemeister » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:31 am

Did anyone see this aircraft up close at Sun n Fun?

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MrMorden
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:16 am

The Merlin gets me scratching my head a bit. It's a nice looking airplane, and has some nice features. But it's several years late to the LSA party, and it makes me wonder why Glasair has decided to make this plane now, especially with the pending changes to medical requirements, which will almost certainly reduce the demand for LSA and Sport Pilot certificates.

If the Merlin brought something new to the market like aerobatic capabilities, very light weight, etc. this would be exciting. But the airplane weighs 790lb empty (530lb useful load) -- and that is factory weight, actual airplanes will probably be heavier. The cruise performance is mediocre at best at 104kt cruise speed, where many others with the same 912iS or a 912ULS engine are getting 114kt+ cruise speeds. And load factors are pretty much the same as other LSA, +4g/-2g. It's odd that with all the experience Glasair has making aerobatic, very fast airplanes, that their LSA doesn't benefit from any of that.

Just IMO, but I'm wondering what Glasair's marketing plan is here.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

Nomore767
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby Nomore767 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:25 am

This might answer your question?

"That investment was made possible after Glasair was bought in 2012 by Jilin Hanxing Group, a Chinese conglomerate.

Jilin is trying to develop a budding general-aviation sector in China, building small airports and flight schools.

“Now we have certification in the U.S.; it’s a fairly direct path to certification in China,” said Mott. Jilin Chairman Fang Tieji “will be able to sell the Merlin in China and set up production there.”

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MrMorden
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:48 pm

Interesting. Whatever their plans for the airplane, I wish them luck! As I mentioned, it's a good looking bird and if they keep the cost to the projected $139k it is a bit cheaper than many new factory LSA of similar finish level (Flight Design, SportCruiser, Sting, etc).
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

c162pilot
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby c162pilot » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:37 pm

The Merlin was not at Sun 'n Fun this year. Glasair passed on Sun ' Fun and have decided to exhibit at Aero Friedrichshafen instead as they have a diesel version of the Sportsman. They do claim that they will be at Oshkosh this year.

Having visited the factory recently (my second trip) and seen the plane up close that was used for the FAA Audit the things that comes to my mind as a differentiators to existing S-LSA's are the interior, compared to others that I have been in and flown the Merlin has the nicest interior by far and to my knowledge the Merlin is the only US manufactured composite high wing aircraft. Additionally for what it is worth Dynon's HQ and factory is literally down the road in Bothell Washington.

I would assume that after sales service and parts supply should be easier with no extended shipping from Europe or exposure to currency fluctuations.

Concerns for me would be the slower speed when compared to others in the category and the fact that currently the plane is day VFR only which may make the plane less attractive to private pilots who would like the flexibility to be able to fly at night.

Link to blog post on Glasair website about the Merlin certification: https://glasair.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/merlin-lsa-receives-faa-certification/

RTC'83
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Re: Here comes the Merlin!

Postby RTC'83 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:48 pm

c162pilot wrote:The Merlin was not at Sun 'n Fun this year. Glasair passed on Sun ' Fun and have decided to exhibit at Aero Friedrichshafen instead as they have a diesel version of the Sportsman. They do claim that they will be at Oshkosh this year.

Having visited the factory recently (my second trip) and seen the plane up close that was used for the FAA Audit the things that comes to my mind as a differentiators to existing S-LSA's are the interior, compared to others that I have been in and flown the Merlin has the nicest interior by far and to my knowledge the Merlin is the only US manufactured composite high wing aircraft. Additionally for what it is worth Dynon's HQ and factory is literally down the road in Bothell Washington.

I would assume that after sales service and parts supply should be easier with no extended shipping from Europe or exposure to currency fluctuations.

Concerns for me would be the slower speed when compared to others in the category and the fact that currently the plane is day VFR only which may make the plane less attractive to private pilots who would like the flexibility to be able to fly at night.

Link to blog post on Glasair website about the Merlin certification: https://glasair.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/merlin-lsa-receives-faa-certification/


Do they have any pictures of the interior? I have looked for some but have not been able to find any


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