Week 43 – Center Fuselage

I put aside the rear fuselage for now until I get the replacement longerons. Estimated delivery is in 6-8 weeks so it’ll be a while.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the center fuselage. One thing to note is the kit comes with autopilot brackets for the Garmin servos. Since I’m using Dynon, I had to do some research. Fortunately, the mounting holes and positions are the exact same for both brands, so I can use those brackets for my servos. I riveted the rear section and began working on fitting the parts forward of that. I printed out Craig Maiman’s order of build for his hints and discoveries.

I also have been working on positioning of all of my avionics, antennas, etc. I built a wiring map to help out with that. I need to start working on planning the panel out and how everything connects to everything else. Dynon uses what is basically a power and data server that everything connects to, so it’s not impossibly complicated.

Next is to continue working on panel planning and building up the center fuselage.


Week 41/42 – Rear Fuselage

I’ve been slowly making progress on the rear fuselage. I riveted the floor longerons and fitted the rear skins, not to forget the small skin at the very back.

I’m planning on installing a Rami AV17 comm antenna on the bottom, which isn’t standard. I’m putting it just aft of Rib 3, same as the top antenna. I made a bracket to mount it to and will run coax to that spot.

I’m still waiting on replacement longerons so I paused on the rear and moved to the center fuselage.

As I previously said, the fuselage instructions aren’t as detailed as the other sub-kits. Because of this, I’ve been building up the next few steps to figure out build order and anything missing.

I’m going to work on building a panel planning page based on my research. I’ll link that once it’s built.

Next is to continue working on the center fuselage while I wait for my longerons.

Week 39/40 – Rear Fuselage

I’ve been working on prepping, priming, and assembling the rear fuselage. The instructions are not as good as the other kits because it’s a mix of Sling 4 and TSi instructions. There are a couple of differences not called out in the instructions. An example is Rib 3 which is different due to the extended baggage compartment. I got some drawings from TAF to clarify.

Because of this, I’ve been very slow and careful so I don’t miss anything. I built the very aft end where the empennage attaches. I then built the ribs and temporarily attached everything to the floor skin and longerons. About half of my longerons were damaged in shipping so I’ll need to wait for replacements. But I do have enough work to keep me busy in the meantime.

I’m trying to sort out where I’m placing my Dynon ADHARS or magnetometer. The standard place is aft of rib 3, but it’s hard to inspect in the future. I’m also planning on a second com antenna but looking for a place for that too. Probably on the bottom between ribs 3 and 4. Once I get things clecod together I’ll plan further.

Next is assembly of ribs 2 and 3 then prime what longerons I have.

Week 38 – Fuselage Arrival

I spent this week finishing up the left wing before the fuselage got here. I put the connector on the wing tip and riveted everything up. I also filled and sanded the rivets the same as the right wing. I also took some pictures of the interior for any bad rivets. I then put it on the wing stand to make room for the fuselage crate.

That arrived today and there was some damage. The PVC shipping tube containing the longerons was destroyed and they were crushed. It’s a lot of stops between South Africa and New York and it was damaged somewhere in there. I’m working with TAF to get them replaced.

Another thing was that this crate was heavy duty cardboard instead of a wooden crate. While it makes it easier to dispose of, it’s much flimsier. This weekend I’m going to do a thorough inventory and inspection for any additional damage.

Next is to inventory and sort the new parts. I’ll store most of it in the basement until I need it.

Week 35-37 – Vacation and Left Wing

I was on vacation and traveling for work the past few weeks and apparently the plane won’t build itself. So I haven’t done much in a while.

Since getting back, I finished wiring up the pitot voltage regulator and the landing/taxi lights. After checking function, I am ready to skin the top.

I will update the Sling price list I previously posted for the updated 2019 costs. Link is here.

I have also ordered the fuselage and it will be here next Friday. So I have to finish the left wing to make some space.

Next is to skin the top, install the outboard leading edge skin, then the fuel tank.

Week 33/34 – Pitot Lines

I’ve been out of town for work so I haven’t done much.

However, before I left, I installed the pitot and AoA lines and connected them to the Dynon pitot tube. I used the Dynon install kit which has all of the parts and pieces and tubes to install everything. It would probably work for any brand system, and I highly recommend it.

I also ran wires for the wingtip light and landing/taxi lights.

When I get back I’ll finalize the wiring and build the taxi/landing light assembly. Then I can close up the left wing.

Week 32 – Pitot Tube and Left Wing Skin

I did a lot of work this week because I’ll be out of town for a while.

I skinned the bottom of the left wing and got that riveted on. Went much faster than the right because I kind of know what to do now. I also wired and mounted the wingtip light. I also practiced bending and flaring tubing for my eventual pitot install.

As I previously said, I’m going with a Dynon setup so I am installing a Dynon regulated heated pitot instead of the Garmin unheated GAP26 that comes with the kit. The heated pitot comes with a voltage regulator that needs to be mounted, and inspected at the annual. That means I had to install an inspection panel. I went with this panel by mykitairplane.com. Great service and had it 3 days after ordering. It’s custom made to order. I installed it using John’s advice from Homebuilt Help. Pretty straightforward to install but a little nerve-wracking cutting a hole in the wing. I mounted the regulator on the door with M4 screws and rubber standoffs so it doesn’t rest directly on the door.

Next is to flip the wing back upright, install the wiring for lights, pitot heat, and pneumatic tubes for pitot and AoA. That will happen after my trip.