Since the loss of the round the world production prototype Sling on 13 February 2010, The Airplane Factory has focused chiefly on three things. The first is the static re-testing of every single component of the Sling, partly for confirmation purposes, but mostly so as to increase the approved aircraft MAUW from 600kg to 700kg. The second is performing comprehensive analytical studies on the Sling so as to determine why it transitioned into a flat spin after three turns, and whether this is likely to occur if the aircraft is again used for intentional multiple turn spins. The third is the development of the company production line for full production purposes so that aircraft of a high standard can be quickly, efficiently and cheaply produced from 1 July 2010.
In the interim the business has received confirmed orders for seven aircraft and expects to deliver the first three by mid July 2010. Thereafter The Airplane Factory expects to deliver two aircraft each month until year end, increasing the number thereafter. James, one of the company founders, is waiting anxiously for the delivery of Sling number three, having undertaken not to cut his hair until this momentous event in his life. Photos will be posted when the date finally arrives. Meanwhile, the developments to date are visible above.
Final flight testing on the replacement factory demonstration aircraft, at 700kg MAUW will take place during July 2010 for purposes of approval to this level. Although the company’s expectation is that the Sling will still be used first and foremost as a light sport aircraft, this will provide the opportunity for those pilots who hold PPL’s to fly it at a higher MAUW where this will be of convenience.
Finally, The Airplane Factory has acquired premises on the Tedderfield Airfield south of Johannesburg and will be relocating to that site during July 2010. This will serve to provide the extra space required as well as facilitate final assembly and flight testing.