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Glasair Merlin makes it's first flight


Top Cat

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Glasair have made the first flight of it's Merlin SLSA.

 

To me it's like they 'fixed' the Skycatcher's 'issues'. It looks a lot like the Skycatcher too.

 

All composite, 24 gals in 2 x 12 gal tanks I believe, Rotax Sport injected engine, Dynon Skyview Touch, 45 inch wide interior which looks very comfortable. Has the 'stoke' controls too.

 

  I believe the empty weigh is around 780 lbs but not sure. It's going to sell at around $150k, add a second screen, autopilot and BRS for another $10k.

 

https://glasair.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/merlin-lsa-takes-first-flight/

 

http://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/2015-news/04-09-2015-merlin-lsa-makes-maiden-flight

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Glasair have made the first flight of it's Merlin SLSA.

 

To me it's like they 'fixed' the Skycatcher's 'issues'. It looks a lot like the Skycatcher too.

 

All composite, 24 gals in 2 x 12 gal tanks I believe, Rotax Sport injected engine, Dynon Skyview Touch, 45 inch wide interior which looks very comfortable. Has the 'stoke' controls too.

 

  I believe the empty weigh is around 780 lbs but not sure. It's going to sell at around $150k, add a second screen, autopilot and BRS for another $10k.

 

https://glasair.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/merlin-lsa-takes-first-flight/

 

http://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/2015-news/04-09-2015-merlin-lsa-makes-maiden-flight

 

Its got wing struts and a 45 inch wide cockpit.  It also cruises at just 105ktas. And has a useful of 530lbs.  And a clumsy stokel?  And the BRS handle sticks straight out at you from under the fuel switch?  With the slow cruise and the low stall of 38kts it appears this is more STOL than the multi-mission aircraft the FD offers.   I assume they'll get wheel pants for it?

 

Same price as an FD for a lot less aircraft.    http://www.glasairaviation.com/merlin.html

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Looks nice enough, but nothing makes it stand out from current offerings - at least to me. Especially at $150k. I'd far prefer an RV 12 - for less money to boot.

 

But American-made is a plus, especially If that converts to good support and parts availability.

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I love Glasair as a company.  But this airplane makes me scratch my head.  They come in years late to a market that is already shrinking down to fewer players, and their offering offers nothing new as Eddie said.  Only "okay" useful load, slower than many other modern LSA in cruise...

 

All I can think of is that this airplane was already well into development before the market turned.  They might be able to sell more by raising the useful load and making it E-AB...then it might be a more economical two-seat alternative to their Sportsman line.

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There is NOTHING cluimsy about a stoke.  It is preferable to many people.  45" cabin is plenty wide unless you are overweigh.  It looks like a nice alternative for the many people who DO NOT WANT a Flight Design.

 

Hamburgers, why do you constantly put down anything and anyone that is different from you or your airplane?  You don't need to answer, I know the answer.

 

My points are valid.  45 is narrow as compared to the CT 49 inches, the Bristell is also 49 inches - you don't have to be overweight to appreciate that major difference in comfort.   A stokel is clumsy and blunts the feel of the aircraft.  The is not a touring aircraft at 105ktas cruise.  It appears to be more a small, pretty expensive STOL with little useful load for gear.  It's competition is a Zodiak Jeep, or an Aerotrek, not a Flight Design CT. 

 

Btw, I am critical of the FD C4 in it's current incarnation as well...looking at the strengths and weaknesses of aircraft is a common activity for all of us.. 

 

And I agree with Morden, the Glassair III is in a class by itself...and the Sportsman fast build kits are selling like hotcakes for good reason.  But this little LSA is weak.

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I love Glasair as a company.  But this airplane makes me scratch my head.  They come in years late to a market that is already shrinking down to fewer players, and their offering offers nothing new as Eddie said.  Only "okay" useful load, slower than many other modern LSA in cruise...

 

All I can think of is that this airplane was already well into development before the market turned.  They might be able to sell more by raising the useful load and making it E-AB...then it might be a more economical two-seat alternative to their Sportsman line.

Andy,

 

  I have to agree with your points somewhat. Glasair all but says it's a 'Skycatcher-like design' and it really looks like it, with all the 'fixes' that many critics suggested.

  So, I assume they think that the Skycatcher market is out there, and with a 'fixed' model the market would respond. That said, $150-160k is a lot, especially for flight schools as compared to flight schools that bought the RV-12 SLSA. There's a school in OR that has 2 and Chesapeake Sport Pilot in MD is adding a second to their fleet . They also have a CTLS, Sky Arrow, P92, and Sierra I believe so the Merlin would have to compete with them.

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Have any CTLS/MCs been sold in the US?

 

I understood that FD thought these would be good for the training market - despite one person's opinion, Aluminium is easier to repair than Carbon Fibre and composites but in the UK it's been a complete flop - I believe only 1 has been sold and that at a fairly heavy discount if the rumours are to be believed.

 

For flight training schools still seem to prefer to use the likes of a C150 and you can buy 3 or 4 decent ones for the price of a CT/MC

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Yes, you are right, 49 is bigger than 45.  45 is more than plenty unless you are obese.  I have a lot of hours in a SkyCatcher and love the stoke.  How many hours do you have in a SkyCatcher?  You know very little of which you speak.  I just don't see the need to bad mouth every airplane that is not a CTLSi.

 

Like the rest of us, you are starting to catch on.

The guy has very little experience and no credibility.

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The sales numbers really tell the truth...FD has sold more S-LSA than anyone overall.  Carbon Cub owns the STOL LSA portion of that market.  RV is the closest 'new competitor to FD with their new S-LSA RV-12.  And Zodiak the closest STOL competitor to Carbon Cub. At least based on 2014 numbers.

 

FD is slipping a bit due to growing pains....They still have the best multi-mission S-LSA, but they are falling down on production rate and getting diluted in focus going after the certified 4-seater market. 

 

There are tons of other companies and planes in the LSA niche, but none put together the package the way FD and Carbon Cub do in their respective niches.  At least so far....

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Have any CTLS/MCs been sold in the US?

 

I understood that FD thought these would be good for the training market - despite one person's opinion, Aluminium is easier to repair than Carbon Fibre and composites but in the UK it's been a complete flop - I believe only 1 has been sold and that at a fairly heavy discount if the rumours are to be believed.

 

For flight training schools still seem to prefer to use the likes of a C150 and you can buy 3 or 4 decent ones for the price of a CT/MC

Ian,

 

   I did a few lessons at an all CTLS flight school here in SC when I first started looking at light sport flying. I found out later that they had the very first MC in the USA. I missed it, which is a shame as I wanted to at least fly it.  I 'believe' that it might now be located at Benson just down the road a bit from Roger Lee.

  There was another one which I think EAA gave away in a sweepstakes but I don't know what happened to it.

 

 Other than that it doesn't seem very popular in the USA.

 

Oops..sorry Roger, I just saw your post.!

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The Glasair Merlin has only just made it's first flight, so we'll need to see how the airplane is brought to market, with prices, weights. options etc.

 

I know a guy who is quite interested in it and has been communicating with them as development has proceeded. Apparently the flying plane will be at Sun n Fun but it has to complete some testing within the vicinity of the factory before it can offer demo flights etc.

 

I've heard a base price of $139k now and that the Garmin G3X Touch will be offered as well as the Dynon Skview Touch.

 

Glasair appear to have met the critics complaints with the original Skycatcher. This version offers all composite, BRS, 24 gals fuel, dual Skyview/Garmin, Rotax Sport injected engine, a nicely configured cabin interior and the stoke controls. High wing for those who prefer it.

 

 As someone who flew the Skycatcher, and liked it, including the stoke, I'm intrigued and would like to see it in person.

 

There's no reason that the Merlin couldn't be attractive to all aspects of the LSA market, particularly those that liked the Skycatcher. It certainly could be flown cross country. I picked my RV-12 up from Vans in OR an flew it to SC. Some plonker said it wasn't capable of that!

 The Merlin looks more comfortable and the Sport engine offers good fuel burn.

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I wonder if they created a baggage compartment, instead of a flat area with a net? Oh, and done something different with the plywood floorboards? The stoke works fine, although it depends somewhat on your arms since the seat doesn't move. I enjoyed learning in the Skycatcher. I don't think it compared well to the CTLS in cabin room, panel, or overall comfort. And, for me the O-200 was a negative. The one I flew didn't have autopilot or BRS. I was not surprised it did not survive as a Cessna product.

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I wonder if they created a baggage compartment, instead of a flat area with a net? Oh, and done something different with the plywood floorboards? The stoke works fine, although it depends somewhat on your arms since the seat doesn't move. I enjoyed learning in the Skycatcher. I don't think it compared well to the CTLS in cabin room, panel, or overall comfort. And, for me the O-200 was a negative. The one I flew didn't have autopilot or BRS. I was not surprised it did not survive as a Cessna product.

Doug,

 

 If you look at the pictures in this link the Merlin looks a LOT nicer in the cabin that the Skycatcher.

 

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

 

Makes you wonder if Cessna had produced the Merlin, instead of the Skycatcher, whether it would have been more successful? I think the test concept Skycatcher was going to have a Rotax.

 

I also wonder if it be better if Glasair offered the ULS engine, maybe allowing for lower empty weight, or allowing a customer to opt for say the BRS which in turn would add weight. I realise that Rotax will probably be moving forwards toward more injected engines in the future.

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Hi Top Cat,

 

Talked to Rotax about the 912 series engine's.

As of this time they have no intentions of discontinuing the carb version. They will make all three 912 series engines and the 2 stroke 582.

 

Their cut off point for not MFG any engine is 150 or less a year. Right now they are MFGing almost 4500 engines per year and supply approx. 80-85% of the worlds light aircraft engines. You would be absolutely shocked about how small a space they do this in. The rest of the huge plant is for other things.

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Hi Top Cat,

 

Talked to Rotax about the 912 series engine's.

As of this time they have no intentions of discontinuing the carb version. They will make all three 912 series engines and the 2 stroke 582.

 

Their cut off point for not MFG any engine is 150 or less a year. Right now they are MFGing almost 4500 engines per year and supply approx. 80-85% of the worlds light aircraft engines. You would be absolutely shocked about how small a space they do this in. The rest of the huge plant is for other things.

Good to know Roger, thanks for posting that! :D

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