Merlin PSA, AeroMarine LSA, Two Week Build, Merlin PSA Experimental Light Sport Aircraft Kit.

Merlin PSA, AeroMarine LSA, Two Week Build, Merlin PSA Experimental Light Sport Aircraft Kit.

Lightsportandultralightflyertube | 4 months ago

Merlin PSA, AeroMarine LSA, Two Week Build, Merlin PSA Experimental Light Sport Aircraft Kit.

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A kit-built aircraft is one way to make airplanes more affordable, and more personal. The great news is you have many wonderful choices. What you may not have is time and that’s why this article covers Merlin PSA.

How much time must you invest to get airborne? Would you believe a mere two weeks? Many kits ask for months, even years of your labor plus a place to do this work. If you love the craftsmanship, that may be fine but if you build so you can fly, why not have the process be easier and swifter?

Aeromarine LSA went through the evaluation by FAA to assure their quick build airframe kit (QBK) owner task list met the requirements. The central Florida company succeeded by the slimmest of margins. If that sounds questionable to you, the result is a good thing. The closer a kit supplier can get to the magic 51% point, the less work you have to do. That means the manufacturer did more of the most difficult assemblies easing your effort and saving you time.

A big part of the Merlin magic is something called precision matched hole, which means that all aluminum skin parts, for example, come pre-drilled so the builder simply begins pulling rivets. Matched-hole construction is not new but making it more precise is helpful.

Matched-hole construction pilot holes must still be drilled to the finished size before riveting can begin. With precision matched-hole methods, Chip notes the holes are punched to the correct rivet size, ready to be attached with temporary clecos. Multiplied by thousands of rivet holes, this represents large time savings.

Many components — the entire horizontal stabilizer and elevator, for instance — come significantly pre-assembled. Every fifth hole has a temporary rivet securing the part. The temp rivet is color marked and after the builder rivets the surrounding holes, he replaces the temporary. This idea is widely used on the Merlin PSA quick build kit.

In addition, a Merlin PSA QBK airframe includes spars and sub-assemblies that are factory riveted together (photo). All parts in the QBK are pre-fabricated and pre-drilled but major portions are delivered in fully finished form. Even paint priming is already done in many areas. For first-time home builders, the combination makes for a far easier set of tasks. It also helps assure builder and FAA that the job is done correctly.

Merlin QBK also includes composite gear, wheels, brakes, control and fuel systems. The overall basic airframe costs only $16,500.

You will need the firewall-forward package involving an engine mount, nose cowl, throttle, oil tank, exhaust, propeller, spinner, air filter, radiator, plus related hardware and fittings. Add another $3,800 (now $20,300).

Your choice of powerplant presently includes Rotax 582: 65HP Electric Start, B Drive, Oil Injected for $6,950 or a HKS 700E 4-Stroke for $12,000 ($27,250 to $32,300). An electric propulsion option remains in testing but is coming.

Instruments, interior, options, and paint will add more but Aeromarine LSA owner Chip Erwin reports you can get airborne for around $35,000. With the Rotax 582, that expense looks achievable and those who prefer four strokes could still finish for $40-45,000. Such investments purchase quite a bit of airplane for a sum many can afford.

Merlin is a single seater. Is that all the airplane you need?

A single seat Merlin PSA performs energetically with the Rotax 582’s 65 horsepower. It will also be a performer with the 60 horsepower HKS two cylinder four stroke option, in return for which you get wonderful fuel economy and a throatier rumble compared to the higher pitch of a two stroke. Video and Audio content is Copyright © The Ultralight Flyer Video Magazine. This video and audio material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.


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Merlin PSA aircraft kit