February 2020 Progress Report
Total Hours Completed: 628 (45%) Hours to Go: 771
The end of this month will mark two years since I made the decision to purchase a Sling 4 kit plane. I thought it would be a fitting time to start putting up a regular progress report, in additional to my blog posts. At 628 hours (as of 11 Feb 2020), I’m nearing the halfway mark, assuming 1400 hours of total build time.
Recently I’ve been stepping up my presence on YouTube, since Sling Aircraft is growing quite rapidly, and it deserves more dedicated airtime from the builder community. I recently moved all my content to a dedicated channel, simply named Jetshine
So, on to my progress report: I am deep into building the center fuselage, which has so far been the most detailed and labor-intensive part of the build. The base structure went together pretty quickly, but since then I’ve spent the last two months focusing on details, namely the control linkages, wiring and plumbing.
I’ve proud of several modifications I’ve designed and built, including:
- Modified rear elevator torque tube bearings (changed from plastic bushings to ball bearings)
- Remotely located fuel selector valve
- Replace rubber fuel lines with 3003-O aluminum tubing
- Replace poly brake lines with 3003-O aluminum tubing
- Custom laser-etched throttle panel
- Upgraded parking brake valve
- Custom wire standoffs and various brackets for attaching cushion clamps
- Modified center console, to relocate both front and rear seat audio jacks
I’m very pleased with how the kit is coming along, but I admit the photos don’t really reflect the amount of work. I haven’t done too much structure work lately (no skins, ribs, or rivets getting installed in recent weeks), so that’s why it doesn’t look like much has been done. But, getting all the wiring and plumbing done now will make subsequent completion of the fuselage go much faster, allowing me to attach the side sides, marry up the center and rear fuselage, and then proceed to installing the canopy.
I have the interior finishings (leather, carpeting) on order and they are due to arrive to TAF in California any day now; it will take a few days to clear customs, then they’ll be on the way to me, so I’m expecting sometime in early March. I’ve also let TAF know that I would like to order the undercarriage kit. I expect the plane will start looking much more plane-like this spring once it’s on wheels!
At the same time I’ve been doing all of the above, I’ve also been working on a related project, creating custom electronics that will be used throughout the plane. I’m excited to share more details of this soon!