Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Building an aircraft from scratch in just four days [AAD143]

19 September 2014

At the start of AAD, there was little more than a collection of tools and components, but by the end of the show a new aircraft should have taken to the air. The Airplane Factory has set itself the extraordinary ‘Sling 4-4-40’ challenge of building and flying a Sling 4 aircraft in just four days, with 40 personnel working day and night. The project is ongoing at the Fun Fly Park here at AAD, so go along to give them your support and see how they are progressing.

The Sling 4 aircraft they are building was designed by the company as a four-seat light sport aircraft. It is based on the Airplane Factory’s Sling 2 two-seater, with a larger cabin and wings, and a 115hp turbocharged Rotax 914UL engine in place of the Sling 2’s 100hp Rotax 912. The turbocharged engine provides full power up to 15,000ft altitude.

Originally designed as a kit aircraft for homebuilders, the Sling series is also available in ready-built form. In 2009, the Airplane Factory flew a Sling around the world, repeating the feat two years later in a Sling 4. Last year, it flew a Sling 4 from its headquarters at Tedderfield Airpark, Eikenhof, to the EAA Convention at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

On the outbound sector of the 18-leg trip, the Sling 4 crossed the Atlantic via the Azores and Newfoundland; on its return, it flew from Newfoundland to Greenland and Iceland.

(237 words)