Glasair’s Merlin Achieves SLSA Approval

Glasair’s Merlin light sport aircraft has achieved SLSA approval. Glasair

Glasair announced yesterday that it has achieved SLSA approval for its Merlin light sport aircraft. While the Arlington, Washington-based company has been in the business of making experimental airplanes since the 1980s, including the Sportsman four-seat airplane built through the two-weeks-to-taxi program, Merlin is Glasair’s first production airplane. Merlin will not be offered as an experimental LSA.

The FAA sign-off comes less than a year after the Merlin first took flight last April and two years after the program was announced at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo.

Merlin is a two-seat high-wing LSA powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912 iS engine, giving it a cruise speed of about 104 knots. It has a 530-pound useful load. The Merlin panel features Dynon’s two-screen SkyView touch-screen PFD/MFD combination.

Glasair has taken eight deposits to date. The initial production rate is set for 18 airplanes during the first year. Merlin's price tag is set at $149,950. With yet another LSA product offering, the market is becoming quite saturated. The FAA now lists more than 180 SLSA airplanes, and there are many experimental models. There is even another Merlin LSA, though it is limited to a single seat.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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