On 26 February 2011, in Hangar 44 Tedderfield Air Park, The Airplane Factory team and friends will commence the building of a standard Airplane Factory Sling LSA from scratch in seven days. Working as many hours as necessary in order to complete the aircraft on time, the full team will be living on the airfield for the duration of the build. If all goes according to plan the aircraft, to be registered ZU-SOL, should fly on Friday afternoon, 4 March 2011. Then on 1 April 2011 Mike and James will set off to fly the aircraft for delivery in Europe. They plan, weather permitting, to fly into Krakow seven days later, to finalise negotiations with The businesses partners in Europe, Solaris Wind and Aviation. Then they fly on to the airshow in Friederichshafen before return to SA on 14 April. ZU-SOL will be left with Solaris for European certification.
The Seven Day Build is an opportunity for aviation enthusiasts, children and anyone else who may be interested to see how a conventional structure, semi-monocoque aluminium aircraft is put together in short time. Directions to and GPS co-ordinates for the build location appear under “Contact Us” link of the airplane factory website. Food, music, massages, vocal support and other contributions will be welcomed. While advice and interference with the build team will not be welcomed, builders will do their best to make the process accessible. Evenings at Tedderfield often present magnificent sunsets and sitting in a camp chair sipping a beer or glass of wine watching an aircraft come together in record time features high on the JHB entertainment of the week list.
Finally, family and friends of The Airplane Factory are welcome to attend the wrap party on Friday evening 4 March, which will commence in earnest, we hope, just after ZU-SOL flies. See invitation below. Also see our facebook page (“The Airplane Factory (Pty) Ltd”)
INVITE –Dear Friends, Flyers and Fabulous others
You may already know about the special project that the Airplane Factory is undertaking from 26 Feb but for the uninformed, a brief description follows:
The 5577 project is about 5 technically superior Men and 5 aesthetically pleasing Women, building a Sling in 7 days. A bit like Madiba’s 46664, but with a considerably shorter period of hard labour.
Mike & James will then fly the uniquely created Sling to Poland in 7 days to deliver it to its eager new owner. Clearly a project of this nature calls for a celebration and that’s where you FFF’s come in. We anticipate completing the build by Fri March 4th at the latest and the party will then commence. To allay any concerns for those who are paying close attention to detail here, Mike & James will not be flying to Poland straight from the party. Given their usual impeccable upstanding behaviour at social events, this would not be a problem but after a hard week, a bit of shut eye is only fair before they begin their treacherous dual continent journey.
As if this were not a great enough challenge, they will then return in an unprecedented effort by walking from Poland to Spain and swimming across the Mediterranean to Morocco. The original plan was from Palermo to Tunisia but in light of the torrid political climate, a change of route has been necessary. From Morocco, they will fly in the more conventional manner in a commercial airliner. Plans are afoot for another party to celebrate their homecoming so watch this space. (It must be noted that if your behaviour at the first party is not at least as impeccable as Mike and James’ and the ever virtuous Jean, watching this space will not be necessary).
As with all Airplane Factory parties, there is no real start and finish time but for the enthusiasts, there will be some late afternoon flying to appreciate against the backdrop of the highveld sunset. Drinks will be served for as long as they last…you flying, climbing, dancing, singing folk are a thirsty lot…and a “lang arm” to Pink’s “Get the party started” won’t go amiss after dark.
So there you have it. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you and to this end, please RSVP if you’ll be joining us.
Excellently yoursThe Airplane Factory 5577 crew