Glasair Aviation company president Nigel Mott celebrates certification with a bottle of champagne with GA employees.

Glasair Aviation company president Nigel Mott celebrates certification with a bottle of champagne shared with GA employees.

It has been busy days since the FAA certified our Merlin LSA for turnkey sales. Well, actually, there were many, many busy days leading up to certification; we’re just busy in a new way.

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The Glasair Aviation Merlin LSA, named for the bird that is the smallest raptor. The Merlin was certified under ASTM guidelines and has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds. Cruise speed is 105 knots and stall speed with full flaps is 39 knots.

An initial press release garnered quick responses from the trade and national aviation media sending congratulations and requesting interviews, tours, and time with our little airplane. A complimentary story by Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates led to a front page article in that paper, which in turn brought mention by several Puget Sound television and radio stations.

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GA employees gathered around the Merlin to celebrate certification. (Yes, we should have had the people in front kneel down so you could see the plane. Next time.)

This week we were visited by AOPA Pilot magazine Senior Editor Alton Marsh and Senior Photographer Mike Fizer. Alton put the Merlin through its paces in a test flight and later flew it as Mike shot air-to-air photos from a platform plane. The pair spent two days with us flying the plane, interviewing staff and touring the plant. No dates publication dates  have been set, but keep a look out for their work to appear in AOPA’s online and print media.

AOPA Senior Photographer sets up for shots of the interior of the spacious Merlin LSA.

AOPA Senior Photographer sets up for shots of the interior of the spacious Merlin LSA.

Other aviation media are expected as well. Pretty exciting times.

As you might expect from Glasair Aviation, the Merlin is an all-composite aircraft — sleek, strong, responsive and just plane fun to fly. It features plentiful room for two, the efficient Rotax 912iS fuel-injected engine, and the latest Advanced Flight Systems avionics suite. Base price is $149,950. Avionics upgrades are an option at added cost.

Now that certification is in hand, we’re moving quickly to organize for production, with deliveries on initial orders slated for the third quarter of the year. The company is in the process of establishing regional dealerships. (Parties interested in establishing dealerships should contact the company directly.)  For now, though, purchases can be made through Glasair Aviation, with Rainier Flight Service in Renton, Washington, serving as its delivery- and training center.