When an aviation enthusiast says the word Titan, they automatically think of the Titan Tornado or the T 51 Mustang. But this year Titan has expanded their product line with two new entries the Bulldog a two place side by side all-metal trainer and the Mini Merlin a Suzuki aircraft engine conversion.
According to John Williams owner of Titan Aircraft, a company in the Congo approached him to build a side by side seating all-metal aircraft. With an initial order of 50 aircraft. Well into the project the deal fell through, and the project “got put on the shelf.”
Then last year at Sun N Fun John looked around and “saw a bunch of sleek light-sport aircraft most from offshore, all relatively pricey, none that I felt would make a good trainer.”
So we decided to continue on with the “Bulldog” project. The Bulldog uses the same basic construction techniques as the Tornado, but in a tractor configuration with side by side seating. The has dual controls, but uses Yokes instead of sticks, with the center-mounted throttle.
This makes the plane easier to get in and out off since there is nothing in the way of the pilot’s legs. The entrance area is made even larger when the adjustable seats are moved back. This allows for pilots heights from 5 feet to nearly 7 feet to fit comfortably into the plane.
The yokes will also be more familiar to convention pilots moving into the light sports category. The Bulldog uses a 26 foot Titan wing. Power can be supplied by the Rotax 912 series of engines, but the plane has been designed to handle a variety of engines, including Continental and Lycoming.
John indicates that the plane will be available as an SLSA, and also in kit form which should take just over 200 hours to build.
John also had the Mini Merlin engine on display. The engine was developed by Dan Hawken of 51 Squadron Sales in Canada. Dan has decided to focus more attention on the building and marketing of the Titan line of aircraft and has sold the castings and re-drives to Titan so that they can continue to offer the engine to customers.
Currently, the engine has nearly 600 hours flying in T 51 Mustangs. It is right now in the process of meeting stringent UK testing requirements. Including a 50 hour test run on a stand. The Suzuki aircraft engine conversion is capable of putting out 180 HP, and weights in at 320 lbs.
It uses a 2.2-1 belt reduction drive which cruises along in the T 51 Mustang at 4250 rpm.
Sources and photo credit: www.sportaviationexpos.com