Aeromarine LSA’s Merlin PSA Takes Flight

Low-cost, single-seat light sport airplane is set for first delivery.

Aeromarine LSA’s Merlin PSA Takes Flight
Aeromarine LSA’s Merlin PSA Takes FlightAeromarine LSA

The Merlin Personal Sport Aircraft built by Aeromarine LSA in Lakeland, Florida, has taken its first flight. "Flight conditions were less than ideal with gusty winds and choppy turbulence, but the Merlin handles these conditions perfectly," said Aeromarine LSA's Chip Erwin. "The pilot sits right on the longitudinal axis and the wing loading is higher than the average LSA, so it is quite comfortable flying all day long."

Erwin said the airplane climbed as much as 1,400 fpm and achieved a cruise speed of 100 mph. He is now working on installing the wirelessly activated amphibious floats and expects to test them soon. “With the high power-to-weight ratio and the big flaps I am very sure the Merlin will be excellent on floats,” said Erwin. He claims the power-to-weight ratio is about 50 percent higher for the Merlin PSA compared with other light sport airplanes. This Merlin PSA has only one seat.

Aeromarine LSA is accepting orders for the Merlin now and expects to deliver the first kits in April. The price for the single-seat airplane is $34,900 including the two-week builder assist program, which Erwin says will take the airplane to flying condition. The builder assist program is offered at the company’s facilities at the South Lakeland Airport. With all options, including a BRS parachute, full avionics package including a two-axis autopilot and paint the total price tag adds up to $50,000.